Westmoreland H.S. lookahead: Week of Jan. 28-Feb. 2
Girls basketball: Fifth-ranked Franklin Regional earned one of its most impressive upsets in program history when it took down Mars earlier this season in Section 2-5A. The teams meet again in Murrysville with playoff positioning a stake.
Other top local games include Penn-Trafford at No. 2 Oakland Catholic (3-5A), and McKeesport at Mt. Pleasant (3-4A). Penn-Trafford recently pulled an upset over former No. 2 Penn Hills.
Hockey: Franklin Regional and Penn-Trafford are jockeying for position in the PIHL Class AA Southeast Division, and the teams meet at 6 p.m. at Center Ice in Delmont.
Hempfield has an important division matchup at Upper St. Clair with a 9 p.m. faceoff at Ice Castle in Castle Shannon.
Wrestling: Franklin Regional opens the WPIAL team playoffs with a Class AAA preliminary-round match against Peters Township at 7:15 p.m. at Canon-McMillan.
Boys basketball : Section 3-6A is beginning to sort itself out as the WPIAL playoffs near. Each game carries meaning, including these: Hempfield at Penn-Trafford; No. 1 Latrobe at Connellsville; and Norwin at Fox Chapel.
Additional local games to watch include: Greensburg Salem at No. 3 Penn Hills (1-5A), Plum at No. 5 Franklin Regional (3-5A), Mt. Pleasant at Freeport (1-4A), Yough at Derry (1-4A), Charleroi at Southmoreland (4-3A), and Greensburg Central Catholic at Leechburg (3-A).
Girls basketball : Three local games could pull some of the spotlight away on a traditional boys night. No. 1 North Allegheny visits No. 4 Norwin in Section 1-6A, and two formidable nonsection matchups have Franklin Regional at Latrobe, and Hempfield at Penn-Trafford, the latter part of a doubleheader with the boys.
Hockey : The best local game is Greensburg Salem vs. Norwin in the PIHL Class A East Division (7:10 p.m. at Center Ice Arena).
Wrestling: The WPIAL team playoffs open with first-round and quarterfinal matches at various sites. At Canon-McMillan, Greensburg Salem will wrestle Thomas Jefferson at 6 p.m. in the Class AAA first round.
At Hempfield, the host Spartans will face the winner of Hampton and Chartiers Valley at 7:15 p.m.
Norwin faces Butler at 6 p.m. at Seneca Valley.
In Class AA, Derry takes on South Park at Beth-Center, and Southmoreland faces Beth-Center. Both matches begin at 6 p.m.
Boys basketball: First-place Ligonier Valley hosts Saltsburg in a Class 3A Heritage Conference clash, and Seton La Salle plays at Greensburg Central Catholic in nonsection action.
Girls basketball : Monessen plays at Greensburg Central Catholic as part of a girls-boys doubleheader.
Girls basketball : Greensburg Salem will try to shock Class 4A with an upset at home against No. 1 North Catholic in Section 1. Other top games are: Peters Township at Hempfield (2-6A), Franklin Regional at Armstrong (2-5A), Woodland Hills at Penn-Trafford (3-5A), Southmoreland at Elizabeth Forward (3-4A), and California at Monessen (2-A).
Hockey: Plum visits Latrobe in a Class AA Southeast game at 8:35 p.m. at Nevin Arena.
Boys basketball : While a “game of the night” pick is a challenge, there are a list of good games with playoff implications. They include: Connellsville at Hempfield (3-6A), Latrobe at Norwin (3-6A), Penn-Trafford at Fox Chapel (3-6A), Gateway at Greensburg Salem (1-5A), Derry at Knoch (1-4A), Freeport at Yough (1-4A), Southmoreland at Washington (4-3A), and Chartiers-Houston at Jeannette (2-2A).
Girls basketball : Butler at Norwin (1-6A) and Belle Vernon at McKeesport (3-4A) are top games.
Wrestling: The WPIAL team semifinals and finals will take place at Norwin (Class AAA) and Chartiers-Houston (Class AA). The Class AA semis start at noon, with the finals at 2 p.m. Class AAA semis are at 4 p.m., and the finals start at 6 p.m.
Bill Beckner is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Bill at [email protected] or via Twitter @BillBeckner.