What to watch for in WPIAL sports on Jan. 26, 2023: Class 6A girls basketball powers to meet


Thursday, January 26, 2023 | 12:19 AM

They have been the most successful girls basketball programs in the highest classification over the last eight years.

On Thursday, they meet for the second time this season in a clash for the top spot in Section 1-6A as Norwin (14-2) visits North Allegheny (10-4).

The Knights won the last two Class 4A championships before expansion to six classes, winning it all in 2015 and 2016.

Then the Tigers began their run of four district 6A crowns in five years when they captured gold in 2017, 2018, 2020 and 2021.

Norwin has a perfect 5-0 section record and has a one-game lead over North Allegheny, which at 4-1 in the section leads third-place Butler (3-2) by one game.

In the first meeting Jan. 2, the host Knights rolled past the Tigers, 53-32.

Junior Ava Kobus and sophomore Kendall Berger each scored 14 points to lead the Knights while junior Lauren Palangio added 11 points and Norwin erased a three-point deficit after one by outscoring NA 20-9 in the second quarter.

Senior Jasmine Timmerson, a Pitt recruit, led all scored with 20 points for the Tigers.

Norwin had a seven-game winning streak snapped with a nonsection loss to Upper St. Clair on Monday. North Allegheny has won two in a row and six of their last seven games.

Three for all

First place in a couple of Class 3A girls basketball sections will be up for grabs Thursday.

Currently, there a three-way tie for first place in Section 2-3A between Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (4-1, 11-4), Keystone Oaks (4-1, 12-5) and Avonworth (4-1, 10-5).

On Thursday, the Chargers visit the Golden Eagles with the winner taking over first place, at least for 24 hours. Avonworth hosts South Allegheny (1-4, 7-10) on Friday.

In Section 3-3A, first-place Shady Side Academy (13-2) visits Apollo-Ridge (15-2).

The Bulldogs are a perfect 5-0 in section play and can take a big step toward a section title with a win on the road against the 4-1 Vikings.

SSA won the earlier meeting between the teams rather handily, 66-34.

In Section 1-2A, one game separates the top three teams.

Freedom (12-3) and Shenango (14-4) are tied for first place with section records of 7-1. They lead Aliquippa (6-2, 8-6) by one game.

On Thursday, the Wildcats visit the Quips while the Bulldogs try to snap a two-game losing streak when they host Sewickley Academy (1-6, 5-10).

Crowded from top to bottom

Another Class 3A section is jammed up as the second half of section play tips off.

Waynesburg (4-1, 13-2) enjoys the lead at the midway point, but it only has a one-game lead over three teams and a two-game edge over another.

On Thursday, the Raiders are on the road as they visit Charleroi (3-2, 8-6).

The other two section contests have McGuffey (2-3, 12-5) hosting South Park (3-3, 7-9) while Yough (3-2, 8-8) travels to Brownsville (0-5, 5-10).

January bracketology

The first WPIAL team postseason begins next week with the district team wrestling playoffs.

The brackets for the 18-team tournaments in Class 3A and 2A will be released Thursday afternoon.

Waynesburg in 3A and Quaker Valley in 2A are the defending champs.

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