The boys basketball docket for tonight is filled with quality games likely to impact teams postseason chances. Here, at the Varsity Letters, predicting outcomes for basketball games is not common practice but with so many intriguing matchups, figured we'd give it a try and see how well it goes.
Canon-McMillan (9-5) at Upper St. Clair (11-2)
The Big Macs have won six straight, including a confidence-building win over previously unbeaten McKeesport. USC is on a four-game win streak. This game features two of the WPIAL's best coaches in USC's Danny Holzer and C-M's Rick Bell but the edge goes to Panthers, who are playing at home.
Upper St. Clair by four.
Moon (8-4) at Peters Township (10-3)
Moon, led by Xavier recruit Brian Walsh, is one of the WPIAL's most talented teams and at 4-1, the Tigers stand atop rugged Section 4-AAAA. Moon, however, has been inconsistent. Peters Township is the surprise of the WPIAL and junior Nick Wilcox has developed into a reliable scorer. The Indians have lost three of five. Make it four of six.
Moon by 10.
South Fayette (8-3) at Bishop Canevin (4-8)
Don't let the record deceive, Bishop Canevin played a rugged non-section schedule. The Crusaders are always a tough draw. South Fayette, with two freshmen starters, has not lost to a team that plays below the Quad-A level. It's time to recognize the Lions as one of the most consistent basketball programs in the southern part of the WPIAL.
South Fayette by 15.
Washington (11-3) at Monessen (10-4)
First place is on the line at Monessen as these two heavyweights tangle (make sure to read my game story in Saturday's O-R). The Prexies hit a rough, two-day stretch at the Upper St. Clair tournament and, like South Fayette, have not lost to a team below Quad-A. Monessen has won 10 of 11 behind the play Tim Tyree and Terrance Stepoli. This isn't Washington's best team – the Prexies do not have a true point guard or a reliable go-to guy, but something about this game reminds me of a Ric Flair saying. "To be the man, you've got to beat the man." In Section 5, Washington is the man.
Washington by 3.