What to watch for in WPIAL sports on Jan. 20, 2022: 2nd half of girls hoops season begins

Thursday, January 20, 2022 | 12:35 AM

The second half of section play in WPIAL girls basketball begins with a busy Thursday around the district.

One of the great races shaping up for the final three weeks is in Section 2-5A.

The top four teams are separated by only one game.

Mars is 5-1 in section play, both Indiana and Armstrong are 4-1, and Hampton sits in fourth place with a 4-2 section record.

The top three teams are in action Thursday as Mars host Armstrong while Indiana is home to last-place Fox Chapel.

The Fightin’ Planets have won four straight games and are coming off a seven-point victory Tuesday over Hampton.

The River Hawks have won five straight but lost at home to Mars on Dec. 16, 48-38.

Indiana lost to Hampton last week, ending a five-game winning streak that included a win over Mars.

Stay tuned.

Fighting for a share of the top

There are three other WPIAL girls basketball games on Thursday where first place outright or a share of the section top spot is up for grabs:

Woodland Hills at Latrobe in Section 4-5A: The host Wildcats have a one-game lead in the loss column over both the Wolverines and McKeesport. This will be the first of two meetings between the two teams in the next six days.

Blackhawk at Montour in Section 2-4A: The visiting Cougars are one of six WPIAL girls basketball teams that have yet to lose this season. The Spartans have won six straight games since losing at Blackhawk on Dec. 16, 69-23.

North Catholic at Freedom in Section 1-3A: The visiting Trojans had a five-game win streak end in a loss to Blackhawk on Saturday. North Catholic is 9-4, but all four losses have come to teams in higher classifications. The Bulldogs have had a lot of bite recently, winning six consecutive contests. Freedom lost at North Catholic on Dec. 16, 64-49.

Moon mission

While it is a nonsection game, there will be a lot of interest in the Mt. Lebanon at Moon matchup Thursday.

The Blue Devils are coming off a win over rival Upper St. Clair on Monday to improve to 13-0 this season.

Last Thursday, the Tigers lost a tough section game at Chartiers Valley, 49-45. It is the only loss for Moon, which is 13-1 overall.

The Tigers had a nice bounce back on Saturday when they knocked off 6A power Upper St. Clair, 41-38.

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