What to watch for in WPIAL sports on Feb. 17, 2024: Girls Class 3A teams step into spotlight

Saturday, February 17, 2024 | 12:12 AM

The opening weekend of the 2024 WPIAL basketball playoffs continues Saturday with the spotlight shining on all eight Class 3A girls opening-round contests.

There will be a touch of déjà vu in the air in Greene County when Section 4 co-champion Waynesburg hosts Seton LaSalle at noon.

The Raiders and Rebels locked up in the first round of the 2023 postseason as well.

Waynesburg jumped out to a 19-10 lead after one quarter, and that was the winning margin in the victory over Seton LaSalle, 64-55.

Kaley Rohanna had a huge game for the Raiders, scoring almost half of their points with 31, while Josie Horne scored 10 points in the win.

Tiara Curry led the Rebels with 22 points, while Mallory Daly scored 13 and Addie Lonergan added 10 points in the season-ending loss.

Waynesburg has won 12 of its last 13 games coming into the postseason.

Seton LaSalle, which finished in a three-way tie for second place with Keystone Oaks and Our Lady of the Sacred Heart in Section 2-3A, lost five of its last eight games.

The other seven girls first-round games in 3A Saturday are:

• Defending champion and top-seeded Avonworth (19-1), winner of 13 straight games, entertains No 16 Apollo-Ridge (8-13) at 2 p.m. with audio on HSSN.

• A pair of section runner-ups collide on the neutral floor of South Park when No. 9 Burrell (16-4) squares off with No. 8 Keystone Oaks (15-6) with audio on HSSN at noon.

• No. 4 Neshannock (15-7) will have to deal with sophomore Skyler Gates and her 17.7 points-per-game average when No. 13 Brownsville (12-9) makes the long trek north to Lawrence County.

• Eleven years after their most recent title and 26 years since their first girls basketball crown, No. 5 South Park (15-7) hosts No. 12 Mt. Pleasant (14-7) with audio on HSSN at 2 p.m.

• Super sophomores Maggie Spell (19.8 ppg) and Karis Thomas (16.5 ppg) lead No. 2 Shady Side Academy (20-2) against No. 15 Mohawk (13-9) in a game now being played at Avonworth at 4 p.m.

• Two teams that have each won six of their last eight games collide when No. 10 Ellwood City (15-7) battles No. 7 Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (15-7) at Avonworth at noon with audio on Trib HSSN.

Historic golden girls

History will be made Saturday at North Allegheny with the inaugural WPIAL girls wrestling championships.

This is the first year the sport has been sanctioned by the PIAA and while there was no dual meet championship, gold will be handed out to the individual champions in each weight class Saturday.

The top six wrestlers at each weight will advance to the Western Regional championships at Canon-McMillan on March 2.

More postseason on mats

With the team wrestling district and state championships in the books, the attention turns to the individual wrestling postseason.

The first step is Saturday in Class 2A with the wrestling sectionals.

The top six wrestlers in each weight class will qualify for the WPIAL championships Feb. 23-24.

The sectionals will take place at three locations Saturday.

Sections 1 and 2 are at Burgettstown, sections 3 and 4 take place at Keystone Oaks and sections 5 and 6 will be at Greensburg Salem starting at 9:30 a.m. at each site.

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