Alle-Kiski Valley high school lookahead: Week of Dec. 18, 2017
• Kiski Area’s girls basketball team is seeking an end to its 26-game section losing streak, which dates to the 2014-15 season, and the Cavaliers (2-2, 0-1) will get a chance to stop the skid on their home court when they host Plum. Sophomores Harley Holloway and Hannah Potter lead the way for Kiski Area. Plum (0-4, 0-1) is seeking its first win under new coach Steve Elsier.
• Coming off a win in its Section 1-4A opener, Burrell visits defending WPIAL Class 4A girls basketball champion Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic. Brittany Dunn and Kaylen Sharrow are providing steady scoring for the Bucs (2-2, 1-0). Sophomore Tess Myers, the sister of former Burrell standout Natalie Myers, is one of the top players for No. 1 North Catholic (3-0, 1-0).
• It might not be a boys basketball section contest, but it’s always a big game when Burrell and Valley meet. The Bucs (2-3) will visit the rival Vikings (1-1) as both seek a nonsection victory. Logan Bitar leads the way for Burrell against the strong stable of guards at Valley, including Nyjewel Carter and Dru Stokes.
• The top two teams in PIHL Division II meet as Burrell (8-3) hosts Moon (10-0), and it’s a battle of the unstoppable force and immovable objects. The Bucs lead Division II in goals with 74, and Moon boasts the best defense, allowing just 16 goals.
• No. 3 Fox Chapel will try to keep its unbeaten start going with a Section 3-6A game at No. 5 Woodland Hills. Both teams are coming off victories in their section openers: Fox Chapel over Hempfield and Woodland Hills over Latrobe. This is a WPIAL playoff rematch from last season, as Woodland Hills eliminated Fox Chapel.
• A pair of 2017 PIAA qualifiers in girls basketball meet as St. Joseph hosts Our Lady of the Sacred Heart (3-1) in nonsection play. The host Spartans (2-2) are looking to bounce back from a two-point loss to Sewickley Academy.
• Burrell wrestling goes for its 100th consecutive section victory when the No. 1 Bucs visit Summit Academy in Section 3-AA. They last dropped a section match during the 2002-03 season.
• Kiski Area posted a shutout win over Gateway in its Section 1-AAA opener, and now the No. 1 Cavaliers will host Plum. Seven Kiski Area wrestlers recorded pins in the 84-0 victory over the Gators.
• Another test for St. Joseph girls basketball, as the Spartans host Winchester Thurston in their Section 3-A opener. Winchester Thurston not only won the section title last season, the Bears went on to win the WPIAL. St. Joseph will look to make a statement.
• Leechburg girls basketball no doubt has fond memories of Northgate, the location of the Blue Devils’ WPIAL playoff victory over Burgettstown last season — the first postseason triumph in team history. Leechburg (3-1, 1-0) will return to the site for a Section 2-2A contest against the Flames (1-2, 0-1).
• In a rematch of one of the most unforgettable games of last boys basketball season, Freeport hosts Indiana for a Section 1-4A game. Ben Beale hit a buzzer-beating 3-pointer to give the Yellowjackets a victory over the Indians last season, getting hoisted onto the crowd’s shoulders afterward. Freeport (2-2, 0-1) looks to bounce back from a loss to Valley in its section opener.
• It’s the opening night of Section 3-5A boys basketball, where five of the section’s six teams made the postseason last season. Highlands (1-2), which lost much of its core to graduation, visits unbeaten Franklin Regional (4-0). Kiski Area (0-3), replacing much of its starting lineup, hosts Gateway (0-4).
• Kiski Area knocked off Canon-McMillan to win the WPIAL Class AAA title a season ago, but the teams will face each other again for a nonsection match before the holidays.