What to watch for in WPIAL sports on Dec. 7, 2023: Recent WPIAL finalists collide in girls hoops

Wednesday, December 6, 2023 | 11:53 PM

Two of the top girls basketball programs in recent years collide in a nonsection battle when Freedom visits Neshannock on Thursday.

The host Lancers won WPIAL Class 2A gold in 2021 and again in 2022 and shared the Section 1-3A title with Laurel last season.

The Bulldogs were the WPIAL Class 2A runner-up the last two years, falling to Shanengo in the finals last season.

Freedom is still searching for its first victory of the season after losing to Class 5A playoff teams Lincoln Park and Trinity in the Geneva College/Midland Classic last weekend.

Neshannock has won two of its first three games this season, beating District 10 teams General McLane and Lakeview in the Lakeview tip-off tournament before falling to Lincoln Park on Tuesday.

No zeroes, yet

Eight teams that are off to perfect starts in the new WPIAL girls basketball season collide Thursday as four will continue unbeaten while four will have to regroup after their first fall.

Baldwin is one of three teams in Section 2-6A that have won their first two games. The Highlanders are on the road to visit Class 3A power Shady Side Academy. The Bulldogs are also 2-0.

Peters Township is another one of the 2-0 teams in Section 2-6A. The Indians also hit the road to visit Montour. The Spartans are 2-0 and playing their third straight home game after hosting their own tip-off tournament.

Armstrong and Chartiers Valley are not close on the map, but they are both off to perfect starts. The Colts are the other 2-0 team in Section 2-6A and they welcome a River Hawks team that will make the long trip south looking to improve to 4-0 this season.

Seton LaSalle began the season with wins over Belle Vernon and Woodland Hills. Now the Rebels host their first game as they welcome Aquinas Academy. The Crusaders are 3-0 and coming off a double overtime victory over Mohawk.

Final countdown

The final six games of the 2023 high school football season are set for Cumberland Valley High School.

Six teams from Western Pa. were winners in the state semifinals last week and head east to Mechanicsburg to play for a PIAA championship.

The action begins Thursday with the Class A and Class 4A title games.

The Class A final pits WPIAL champion Fort Cherry against District 3 champion Steelton-Highspire in a battle of 15-0 teams.

The game features two outstanding quarterbacks. Rangers sophomore Matt Sieg has passed and rushed for a combined 3,884 yards while Steamrollers senior Alex Erby has thrown for 4,084 yards this season. The Navy recruit is the all-time leading passer in Pennsylvania high school football history with 13,227 career passing yards.

In the Class 4A finals, two more undefeated teams square off as Aliquippa (13-0) battles Dallas (15-0).

The Quips are making their third straight trip to the PIAA 4A finals after beating Bishop McDevitt in 2021 and then losing the rematch to the Crusaders last season.

Dallas intercepted a third straight clash between Aliquippa and Bishop McDevitt when the Mountaineers beat the Crusaders in the PIAA semifinals last week, 26-23 in double overtime.

The Class A game kicks off at 1 p.m. while the 4A title game begins at 7 p.m. at Chapman Field.

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