What to watch for in WPIAL sports on Jan. 11, 2024: First place on the line in ‘South Hills’ section

Thursday, January 11, 2024 | 12:22 AM

For decades now, the South Hills section in the highest classification in girls basketball, either Quad-A or now Class 6A, has been dominated by three schools: Mt. Lebanon, Bethel Park and Upper St. Clair.

Those three have combined to win 10 WPIAL championships in the last three decades.

However, in Section 2-6A, those three teams along with Baldwin and Canon-McMillan are falling back in the pack to the two frontrunners: Peters Township and Chartiers Valley.

The Indians and Colts have at least a two-game cushion over the rest of the teams as the two prepare to battle for first place Thursday at Chartiers Valley.

Peters Township is one of three undefeated girls basketball teams remaining in the WPIAL. They are 4-0 in the section, 13-0 overall and have outscored their opponents by an average of 19 points per game.

Chartiers Valley is also 4-0 in the section and has won 10 of 11 games this season. The Colts have won seven straight contests since suffering their only loss of the season to defending 5A champion South Fayette.

Five years ago, these teams both captured double gold. Peters Township won a WPIAL and PIAA title in 6A with an undefeated season while Chartiers Valley earned district and state championships in Class 5A.

Budding rivals

One of the better rivalries in WPIAL Class 3A girls basketball in recent seasons has become South Park against Waynesburg.

Three years ago, South Park won the section title while Waynesburg enjoyed a turnaround season and ended up in second place.

In the 2022 season, the teams split during the regular season and finished as co-champions in the section. However, the two met in the 3A quarterfinals with the Raiders edging the Eagles, 71-68.

Last year, the two split again in the regular season; however, Waynesburg won the section crown outright while the Eagles settled for second place.

On Thursday, the two meet for the first time this season at South Park with, again, first place in Section 4-3A at stake.

The Raiders are 3-0 in the section and 12-1 overall. Waynesburg has won four straight games after suffering its only loss of the season to Big Walnut (Ohio) in the KSA Holiday Tournament in Orlando, Fla.

Senior Kaley Rohanna leads Waynesburg, averaging over 18 points per game.

The Eagles are also 3-0 in the section and have a 7-3 record. Two of their three losses came in the Deep Creek Lake Classic in Maryland over the holidays. Since then, South Park has won three straight.

The big four

We are not even at the midway point of section play in district girls basketball and already there is a clear line between the top four teams (which would qualify for the WPIAL playoffs) and the other three teams in Section 3-2A.

Greensburg Central Catholic, Winchester Thurston, Clairton and Serra Catholic are a combined 12-2 in the section and 30-12 overall, while the Ellis School, Springdale and Steel Valley are 1-11 in the section and 9-27 combined overall.

Those top four teams go head to head Thursday when Greensburg Central Catholic (3-0, 7-4) hosts Clairton (3-1, 9-1) and Winchester Thurston (3-0, 6-5) visits Serra Catholic (3-1, 8-2).

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