What to Watch for in WPIAL Sports Jan. 17, 2023: Fayette County Rivals in Battle for First Place


Monday, January 16, 2023 | 18:57

Rivalry Tuesday, the unofficial half of the stock game in the 2023 season, features key midseason matchups all over WPIAL boys basketball.

None may be bigger than the battle for first place in Fayette County.

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

The rivals were dominant all season.

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

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

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

Uniontown is led by a pair of sophomores. Notorious Grooms is averaging 15.4 points per game while Calvin Winfrey is averaging 12.5 points per game.

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

Other boys’ confrontations

While the Uniontown-Laurel Highlands game will get a lot of attention, there are several other first-place rivalry games in play on Tuesday.

In Section 1-5A, top-ranked Bethel Park (9-3) hosts neighboring Peters Township (10-3)

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

In Section 1-3A, top-seeded Neshannock (9-3) visits Mohawk (12-1).

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

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

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

The best girls on the links

One of the best district girls basketball games of the first half of the season will be played on 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. Both knocked off Penn-Trafford (9-3) last week. The Warriors were a top 5 team until those back-to-back losses.

While those teams battle for first place in their section, another big 5A matchup on 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 sectional after losing to top-ranked South Fayette earlier in the sectional.

Tags: Laurel Highlands, Uniontown

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