County teams find new homes with basketball realignment

More than a dozen Westmoreland schools will drop in classification this year

Wed Jun 15, 2022 - 1:23PM

Sean Meyers Sean Meyers
The Penn-Trafford boys drop to Class 5A and will join local teams Greater Latrobe, Franklin Regional and Kiski Area in Section 3. (Photo by www.westernpasports.com)The Penn-Trafford boys drop to Class 5A and will join local teams Greater Latrobe, Franklin Regional and Kiski Area in Section 3. (Photo by www.westernpasports.com)

Last Updated: Fri Jun 17, 2022 - 9:27AM

The WPIAL released its basketball realignment for the 2022-23 and 23-24 seasons on Monday, and a plethora of Westmoreland County teams will be on the move. As opposed to a drastic shift that could’ve potentially addressed issues between public and private schools, the board kept the status quo, simply forming classifications and sections based on enrollment size and geography.

Regardless, changes will be commonplace throughout Westmoreland County, as more than a dozen area schools dropped in classification from the previous cycle.

On the boys side, Hempfield Area and Norwin are the only county teams that will compete in Class 6A, as they’ll share Section 2 with Baldwin, Canon-McMillan, Mount Lebanon, and Upper St Clair. Previously, Penn-Trafford and Greensburg Salem (which voluntarily played up) were also in the same 6A section with the Spartans and Knights, as well as Pittsburgh Central Catholic and Fox Chapel Area, both of which also moved elsewhere.

The Warriors drop to 5A, and will join a section that features plenty of local flavor. Section 3 includes county schools Franklin Regional, Greater Latrobe, and Kiski Area, as well as Gateway and McKeesport Area. Previously, that section also included Penn Hills and Woodland Hills.

Struggling to adjust to the 6A landscape, Greensburg Salem drops to 4A, competing in Section 1, alongside Freeport Area, Hampton, Highlands, Indiana Area, and Knoch. Two other county teams – Belle Vernon Area and Southmoreland - reside in 4A Section 3, but Yough and Mount Pleasant Area both dropped down after spending the past cycle in that same section. Now, the Leopards and Scotties will be matched up against Albert Gallatin, Elizabeth Forward, Laurel Highlands, and Uniontown Area.

Class 3A has the most Westmoreland representation, as six county teams are spread between two sections. In Section 3, Burrell, Derry Area, Ligonier Valley, and Valley will contend with Apollo-Ridge, Deer Lakes, and Shady Side Academy. The Buccaneers and Trojans both dropped from 4A Section 1, as did the Lancers. The Rams, Vikings, and Bulldogs all were previously in the section, while South Allegheny, Steel Valley, and East Allegheny moved elsewhere. In Section 4, Mount Pleasant Area and Yough remain together, and are joined by Brownsville Area, Charleroi, McGuffey, Washington, and Waynesburg Central.

Greensburg Central Catholic and Jeannette remain in Class 2A Section 3, as do Clairton and Serra Catholic. However, Leechburg, Riverview, and Springdale join the section, replacing the departed Propel Braddock Hills and Winchester Thurston.

Lastly, Monessen drops from Class 2A, as the Greyhounds will now play in 1A Section 2, alongside California Area, Geibel Catholic, Jefferson-Morgan, Mapletown, and West Greene.

On the girls side, Norwin and Hempfield Area remain in 6A, although they will both reside in Section 1 after playing in separate sections previously. However, Penn-Trafford, which previously played with Norwin, will drop down to 5A. The Spartans and Knights will play with Butler Area, North Allegheny, Pine-Richland, and Seneca Valley.

In 5A, Franklin Regional and Kiski Area reside together in Section 1, along with Gateway, Indiana Area, Penn Hills, Plum, and Woodland Hills. Meanwhile, Section 3 includes Greater Latrobe and Penn-Trafford, as well as Albert Gallatin, Connellsville Area, McKeesport Area, Oakland Catholic, and Thomas Jefferson. Greensburg Salem, which previously played in 5A, will drop down one classification.

Instead, the Golden Lions will slot into 4A Section 1, joining fellow Westmoreland squads Derry Area and Valley, as well as Freeport Area, Highlands, Knoch, and North Catholic. Previously, the section included Burrell, but the Buccaneers dropped to 3A. Meanwhile, Belle Vernon Area and Southmoreland remain in Class 4A Section 3, but Ligonier Valley, Mount Pleasant Area, and Yough all dropped down. Instead, the rest of the section will be comprised by Elizabeth Forward, Laurel Highlands, Ringgold, Uniontown Area, and West Mifflin.

The Rams and Vikings will stay together, as they relocate to Class 3A Section 3, joining Burrell, Apollo-Ridge, Deer Lakes, and Shady Side Academy. Yough, meanwhile, goes to Section 4, competing with Brownsville Area, Charleroi, McGuffey, South Park, and Waynesburg Central.

Greensburg Central Catholic remains in Class 2A, but the Centurions shift from Section 4 to Section 3. The Centurions will be alongside Clairton, the Ellis School, Serra Catholic, Springdale, Steel Valley, and Winchester Thurston. Meanwhile, Jeannette drops to 1A after previously sharing a section with GCC.

The Jayhawks now slot into Class 1A Section 3, playing with WPIAL newcomer Hillel Academy, as well as Leechburg, Riverview, and St Joseph. Meanwhile, Monessen remains in Section 2, as do Avella, Geibel Catholic, Jefferson-Morgan, Mapletown, and West Greene.