Class 4A boys basketball loaded with recent WPIAL winners in new alignment

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Monday, June 13, 2022 | 10:06 PM


Lincoln Park and North Catholic have met in the WPIAL boys basketball finals four times in the past six seasons, but they won’t wait long to face one another again.

The WPIAL board on Monday approved a new section alignment for the 2022-23 and 2023-24 seasons that has them sharing a section in Class 4A. There’s a new look in a number of WPIAL basketball classifications, but especially in 4A boys where the number of sections is increasing from three to four.

WPIAL administrator Vince Sortino said the basketball committee’s intent was to make all four sections equally competitive. That task was made harder when defending WPIAL Class 5A champion Laurel Highlands dropped to 4A next season. The Mustangs join a section with Belle Vernon.

Also dropping to 4A are Hampton, Indiana, Greensburg Salem and Highlands, which won a WPIAL title in 2020.

“Every time the basketball committee meets they’re talking about competitiveness and also travel within schools,” Sortino said. “They tried to come up with sections that met both of those areas.”

North Catholic moves from Section 1 to Section 2 and joins Lincoln Park in a grouping with Beaver County schools Ambridge, Beaver, Blackhawk, Central Valley and Hopewell. However, defending WPIAL 4A champion Quaker Valley and runner-up Montour leave Section 2 for 4.

The top four teams from each section will qualify for the WPIAL playoffs.

Among the other notable decisions by the basketball committee:

• The WPIAL placed the Penn Hills and Kiski Area girls in the same Class 5A section despite lingering issues between the schools from last winter. Penn Hills accused Kiski Area fans of making racial taunts at a middle school volleyball game in March, that led Penn Hills teams to refused to play Kiski Area during spring seasons.

Kiski Area later asked the WPIAL to keep the schools separate next school year, but the WPIAL didn’t grant that wish Monday. The two schools joins Franklin Regional, Gateway, Indiana, Plum and Woodland Hills in Sections 1-5A.

“It was discussed,” Sortino said. “We looked at it and that’s the sections we came up with. We told them that we would take a look at it. That’s what we came back with. We’re going to expect that all of the teams in that section play each other.”

• The Fox Chapel and North Hills boys ended up in separate Class 5A sections after finishing as WPIAL finalists in 6A last season. Fox Chapel joins Section 2 centered in northeastern Allegheny County. North Hills joins Section 4, mostly with opponents from the western side of the county.

• The New Castle boys join Section 1-6A a year after finishing as the WPIAL and PIAA runner-up in 5A.

• The North Catholic girls return to Class 4A after winning the WPIAL 3A title and join Section 1.

Chris Harlan is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Chris by email at charlan@triblive.com or via Twitter ,

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