What to watch for in WPIAL sports on Feb. 1, 2024: Drama in Section 2-4A girls basketball as February begins

Wednesday, January 31, 2024 | 11:52 PM

Welcome to the start of the February Frenzy, a month where district playoffs take place and WPIAL winter sports champions will be determined.

It might be a short month, but it will be packed with excitement, beginning Thursday with a full slate of WPIAL girls basketball section games.

The Blackhawk girls basketball team has taken control of Section 2-4A from day one and can clinch the outright section crown with a win at home against Ambridge.

However, the drama in this section is the chase for at least three other playoff spots between four teams that enter the night separated by only one game.

Hopewell is 4-3 in the section, followed by Quaker Valley at 3-3 and both Central Valley and Beaver at 3-4.

Thursday will be a big night to either clean things up or make the postseason chase even murkier as all four go head-to-head.

The Vikings visit the Quakers while the Warriors travel to battle the Bobcats.

Head to head is the first tiebreaker in all district ties.

The current breakdown for these four teams head to head against each other is:

Hopewell is 3-1 with two games left against the other three teams.

Quaker Valley is 2-2 with two games remaining vs. the other three teams.

Central Valley is 1-2 but has games left against each of the three.

Beaver is 2-3 but will be done with the other three teams following Thursday’s game.

Looking to tie

There are two district girls basketball games Thursday with first place at stake, one in 5A and the other in 2A.

The top of Section 2-5A is crowded with Armstrong at 8-2, North Hills at 7-2 and Hampton at 6-3.

The front-running River Hawks visit the Talbots. Hampton is hoping to win and force a tie with Armstrong.

However, that might not be a tie for first place. North Hills visits last-place New Castle and an Indians win and a Talbots victory would leave North Hills alone in first place with Armstrong and Hampton tied for second.

Armstrong defeated Hampton in their first meeting, 55-47.

In Section 2-2A, everybody is looking up at Burgettstown, which has won all six of its section games this season.

Right behind them in the standings is Fort Cherry with a 6-1 section record.

The Rangers’ lone section loss was when they visited the Blue Devils on Jan. 8, 46-29.

However, since that loss, Fort Cherry has won six games in a row and is 14-4 overall.

Burgettstown is 10-8 this season and has won five straight games.

The two collide at Fort Cherry at 7:30 p.m. in a game you can watch on Trib HSSN.

Boys key section battle

One boys basketball team is in a battle for the section title while the other is in a fight for its postseason life.

Worlds collide Thursday when Gateway visits Kiski Area.

The Gators are 5-2 in the section and have dropped two straight and four of their last five games, but are still alive for the Section 3-5A crown as they trail first-place Franklin Regional by one game.

The Cavaliers are in a three-way tie for third place in the section with Penn-Trafford and Latrobe at 3-4.

Kiski Area lost to Franklin Regional on Tuesday, but had won four in a row before this week.

Gateway won the first meeting between the two, 64-57, at home on Jan. 9.

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