What to watch for in WPIAL sports on Jan. 17, 2023: Fayette County rivals to battle for 1st place

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Monday, January 16, 2023 | 6:57 PM


Rivalry Tuesday, the unofficial halfway point of section play in the 2023 season, has key midseason games everywhere in WPIAL boys basketball.

None may be bigger though then the fight for first in Fayette County.

Defending champion Laurel Highlands hosts Uniontown in a battle of 4-0 teams in Section 3-4A.

The rivals have been dominant all season.

The Mustangs are 11-1 overall and have won five straight games since losing to Lincoln Park over the holidays.

The Red Raiders are 13-1 and have won 12 consecutive contests since falling to Norwin in the second game of the season.

Laurel Highlands has a strong 1-2 punch with senior Keondre Deshields averaging nearly 24 points per game while fellow senior Rodney Gallagher is averaging 21 points per game.

Uniontown is led by a pair of sophomores. Notorious Grooms averages 15.4 points per game while Calvin Winfrey has an average of 12.5 points per game.

You can watch the game at 7:30 p.m. here on the TribLive High School Sports Network.

Other boys showdowns

While the Uniontown-Laurel Highlands game will get a lot of attention, there are a few other rivalry matchups with first place at stake Tuesday.

In Section 1-5A, first-place Bethel Park (9-3) hosts neighbor Peters Township (10-3)

The Black Hawks are a perfect 4-0 atop the section while the Indians are tied for second place with Thomas Jefferson at 3-1.

In Section 1-3A, front running Neshannock (9-3) visits Mohawk (12-1).

The Lancers are 5-0 in leading the section, one game ahead of the host Warriors, who are 4-1 in section play.

In Section 4-2A, leader Fort Cherry (12-2) visits Burgettstown (6-6).

The Rangers have yet to lose in five section game while the Blue Devils are a game behind, tied for second place with Chartiers-Houston at 4-1.

Top girls hoops matchup

One of the top district girls basketball games of the first half of the season takes place Tuesday.

Class 5A No. 1 McKeesport (12-1) will host No. 3 Oakland Catholic (11-2).

The Tigers and Eagles are a perfect 5-0 atop Section 3. They both knocked off Penn-Trafford (9-3) last week. The Warriors had been a top 5 team until those back-to-back losses.

While those teams battle for first place in their section, another big 5A matchup Tuesday is for second place in Section 4.

Trinity (7-4) visits Lincoln Park (12-1). Both the Hillers and Leopards are 3-1 in the section having lost to first-place South Fayette earlier in section play.

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