What to watch for in WPIAL sports on Dec. 8, 2023: Pair of boys basketball tournaments set to tip off

Thursday, December 7, 2023 | 10:01 PM

While the 2023-2024 high school basketball season began last Friday with various tipoff tournaments, things have settled into nonsection contests throughout the week.

However, two local and two statewide boys basketball tournaments begin Friday.

Central Catholic will host the two-day Jack Twyman Tournament that features two defending champions and a preseason top-ranked team.

On Friday, Penn Hills battles Gateway at 6 p.m. It is the season opener for last year’s WPIAL 5A champion Indians while the Gators are 2-1 after beating City League power Allderdice on Tuesday.

Then at 8 p.m., host Central Catholic, winners of the 6A title last winter, battle 5A No. 1 Moon. It is the season debut for the Vikings while the Tigers are 0-1 after losing their opener to 4A top-ranked Lincoln Park.

The tradition continues at Franklin Regional with the start of the Mike Rettger Tournament on Friday.

On opening night, Laurel Highlands (1-1) takes on Seneca Valley (1-2) at 6 p.m. while host Franklin Regional (2-0) faces West Mifflin (1-1) at 7:30 p.m.

Two district boys teams hit the road for tournament action.

Chartiers Valley travels north this weekend to Erie to play in the McDowell Tournament. The Colts are 1-1 this season and will face the host Trojans at 6:30 p.m.

North Allegheny is headed northeast to participate in the York Suburban Tournament. The 0-1 Tigers will face the host the Trojans at 7:30 p.m.

Fray-day action

There are plenty of interesting nonsection boys basketball games set for Friday, including four games where the two combined teams are 5-1.

Peters Township (2-1) visits Hampton (3-0), South Fayette (2-1) travels to Shaler (3-0), defending 3A champion Deer Lakes (2-1) is at Yough (3-0), and Brentwood (2-1) hosts Chartiers-Houston (3-0).

There are two games matching teams that are both 2-1 as Fox Chapel visits Baldwin and Sewickley Academy is home to Serra Catholic.

In a battle of early season undefeated teams, Uniontown (2-0) travels to Thomas Jefferson (3-0).

Finally in a contest where size matters, Montour (2-1) will visit Upper St. Clair (2-0) as the Spartans are led by 6-foot-11 junior Ama Tening Sow while the Panthers counter with 6-9 junior Tyler Robbins.

Final countdown continues

One day is in the books with two more remaining in the 2023 PIAA high school football championship games at Cumberland Valley High School.

The action continues Friday with the Class 2A and Class 5A state title games.

The Class 2A final is a rematch of last year’s title game as City League champion Westinghouse goes up against District 4 champion Southern Columbia.

In the game a year ago, Southern Columbia knocked off Westinghouse, 37-22, to capture its 13th PIAA championship. The Tigers’ Braeden Wisloski rushed for 163 yards and a touchdown while teammate Wes Barnes had 113 yards rushing. Keyshawn Morsillo rushed for 116 yards for the Bulldogs. Southern Columbia outgained Westinghouse, 401-290.

In the Class 5A finals, two undefeated teams square off as WPIAL champion Peters Township (15-0) battles District 12 winner Imhotep Charter (14-0).

The Indians are making their first trip to the PIAA finals while the Panthers are in the championship game for a third straight year after losing to Penn-Trafford in 2021 and Pine-Richland in 2022.

The Class 2A game kicks off at 1 p.m. while the 5A title game begins at 7 p.m. at Chapman Field.

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