What to watch for in WPIAL sports on Dec. 5, 2023: Lincoln Park gets early start on section play

Monday, December 4, 2023 | 7:56 PM

Some believe Lincoln Park might be the best boys basketball team in the WPIAL.

So if the Leopards are first, then it would only be appropriate that the defending WPIAL and PIAA Class 4A champs are the first to open up section play this season.

On Tuesday, Lincoln Park and host Beaver open up early action in Section 2-4A.

As expected, the Leopards are off and running this season with impressive wins at the Geneva College/Midland Classic.

Lincoln Park beat Devon Prep by 31 points in its opener, and then followed up Sunday with a victory over Class 5A top-ranked Moon, 63-53.

Beaver is also off to a 2-0 start after sweeping through the Brentwood tip-off tournament. The Bobcats rolled past Plum by 21 points and host Brentwood by 35 points.

Last season, Beaver finished in third place in the section, four games behind Lincoln Park and two games behind runner-up North Catholic.

Battle of good starts

Lincoln Park at Beaver isn’t the only matchup of 2-0 teams in boys basketball Tuesday.

Eight other district teams collide in an effort to build some more early season nonsection momentum.

New Castle is at Kiski Area. The Red Hurricane beat Western Beaver and Blackhawk on opening weekend while the Cavaliers were winners over Westmont Hilltop and WPIAL defending 3A champion Deer Lakes.

Baldwin visits Thomas Jefferson. The Highlanders defeated Altoona and Chartiers Valley while the Jaguars were victorious over Elizabeth Forward and McKeesport.

Shady Side Academy hosts Avonworth. The Bulldogs were triumphant over Freeport and Riverview while the Antelopes knocked off West Shamokin and Winchester Thurston.

Yough travels to South Park. The Cougars won over Summit Academy and Derry and the Eagles beat Propel Montour and East Allegheny.

Cool cats

Two of the top girls basketball programs in the WPIAL in recent years square off Tuesday in an early season showdown as South Fayette host Upper St. Clair.

South Fayette is the two-time defending champion in Class 5A and has won three district crowns in the last eight years.

The Lions won their season opener Friday south of the border as they prevailed at Wheeling Park, 68-66.

Upper St. Clair last won a WPIAL title 16 years ago when it beat Peters Township in the 2008 finals.

The Panthers though have enjoyed plenty of silver linings in recent seasons, finishing as the district runner-up the last three years.

Following a loss to last year’s 4A defending champion North Catholic in the season opener Friday, USC bounced back with a 36-point win over defending Class A champion Union.

More Basketball

Apollo-Ridge girls basketball making strides as it transitions to new coach Raevaan Mottley
Experienced assistant ready to move into head coaching role with Ligonier Valley boys
Valley turns to prominent basketball alumni to help restore luster to boys, girls programs
Armstrong’s Emma Paul named 2023-24 TribLive HSSN Girls Athlete of the Year
Mt. Pleasant’s Scott Giacobbi retires after 19 seasons coaching girls basketball