WPIAL reveals section schedules for 2020-21 basketball season
Friday, May 22, 2020 | 4:02 PM
In WPIAL boys basketball, Butler vs. Pine-Richland has become one of the hottest section rivalries, with overtime finishes and single-digit margins driving up the drama.
Next season, it’ll be 50% bigger.
There are only five teams in Section 1-6A boys for the 2020-21 season, so the WPIAL will allow those schools to play three times in the regular season rather than just twice. The section includes Butler, Pine-Richland, North Allegheny, North Hills and Seneca Valley.
The WPIAL released boys and girls basketball schedules Thursday.
Butler and Pine-Richland will meet Dec. 22, Jan. 19 and Feb. 5.
Newly hired North Allegheny coach Dan DeRose will make his section debut at home Dec. 15 against Seneca Valley and then play the Raiders again Jan. 12 and Feb. 2.
Section 1-6A boys is the only five-team section in WPIAL basketball. It’s a competitive section, but at least four of the five teams will qualify for the playoffs. Sections with seven or fewer teams receive four playoff qualifiers. Sections with eight teams receive five playoff qualifiers.
Playing three times through the section gives every team a 12-game block. Those schools will need to add 10 nonsection contests to reach the PIAA maximum of 22 regular-season games.
The WPIAL waited to release schedules until after the PIAA heard an appeal Wednesday from the Lincoln Park boys. The Leopards, who lost their appeal, will make their Section 2-4A debut against Quaker Valley on Dec. 18.
Among the girls teams, four-time reigning WPIAL Class 4A champion North Catholic will make its Section 1-3A debut Dec. 17 at Freedom.
The Highlands boys, who won the WPIAL Class 4A title last winter, make their Class 5A section debut Dec. 22 at Hampton and finish their section schedule Feb. 12 at Plum.
New Castle, another Class 5A boys newcomer, opens section play at home against Moon on Jan. 5 and finishes at home with Chartiers Valley on Feb. 12.
New Baldwin boys coach Jeff Ackermann will make his section debut with the Highlanders on Jan. 5 at Upper St. Clair.
Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
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