What to watch for in WPIAL sports on Jan. 17, 2024: Recent champs collide when Deer Lakes takes on Shady Side Academy

Tuesday, January 16, 2024 | 7:34 PM

Two boys basketball teams with recent hardwood gold will wait until midweek to hit the midway point of section play.

Deer Lakes, the 2023 Class 3A champion, sits in first place in Section 3-3A as it prepares to visit 2022 3A winner Shady Side Academy.

The Lancers are alone in first place with a 5-0 section record and have won 10 of their 12 games overall. The defending champs have won three straight games.

The Bulldogs are tied for second place with Burrell at 3-1 in the section and 6-5 overall this season. SSA has won two in a row and four of its last five games since ending a four-game losing streak.

These teams split in the regular season a year ago and finished as co-champions in the section.

You can watch the game at 7:30 p.m. on Trib HSSN.

Tables have turned

Another 3A boys basketball “first half” section contest set for Wednesday pits two teams going in opposite directions from a year ago.

Last season, Steel Valley won Section 2-3A with a 10-2 section record. It ended up seven games ahead of South Park, which finished in sixth place with a 3-9 section mark.

So far this year, the Eagles have surpassed their win total from last year and are 2-3 in the section and 8-6 overall.

It has been a struggle for the Ironmen, who have yet to win a game, sitting at 0-4 in the section and 0-12 overall.

Steel Valley looks for that elusive first win Wednesday when it hosts South Park.

Midweek mat action

Wednesday will once again be a busy night of wrestling duals around the district with only two weeks left in the regular season.

There are two matches with first place at stake between undefeated section foes.

In Section 5-3A, Trinity and West Allegheny are tied for first place as they prepare to square off at West A.

Both teams are 3-0 in the section and undefeated overall. The Hillers are 6-0 while the Indians are 8-0.

West Allegheny edged Trinity a year ago, 35-31, as the Indians finished in second place in the section behind Waynesburg while the Hillers finished in third place.

In Section 5-2A, Highlands visits Hampton.

The Golden Rams are 4-0 in the section and 11-4 overall. The Talbots are 4-0 as well in section matches and 6-3 overall.

Last year, Highlands won the section and finished three games ahead of Hampton. In their regular season meeting, the Golden Rams beat the Talbots, 54-15.

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