Valentine’s Day is this Thursday. I received my gift last month when my sweetheart bought me new front tires for my car so I can get around on the area roads to cover sports events.
It may not seem romantic to some, but it let me know that I was loved.
This week may be all about romance, but since it is the last week of the regular season, there will be no love lost on the basketball courts as teams battle to earn berths in conference title games set for Saturday.
In the WestPAC, defending champion Berlin Brothersvalley girls are returning to the title game. The Mountaineers, who represent the South, will face Portage or Conemaugh Township from the North. The Mustangs need a victory tonight at North Star in order to advance to their first WestPAC championship game.
On the boys side in the WestPAC, Conemaugh Township has earned the opportunity to defend its crown, representing the North. In the South, Tuesday’s game between rivals Shade and Shanksville-Stonycreek at the Vikings’ gym will determine the winner of the section and the Indians’ opponent on Saturday.
The WestPAC games are set for Saturday at the Pitt-Johnstown Sports Center.
In the Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference, the girls from Westmont Hilltop (Section 2) and Bishop Guilfoyle (Section 1) have punched their tickets for Saturday’s championship set for 6 p.m. at Richland.
Neither spot has been nailed down yet by the LHAC boys.
Bishop McCort and Greater Johnstown are tied for the top spot in Section 2 and are slated to play on Wednesday on the Trojans court with the winner taking the spot. The Crimson Crushers downed Johnstown earlier this season at home.
In Section 1, despite a Saturday loss to Bishop Guilfoyle, Bishop Carroll still controls its chances, but the Huskies face a tough task, hosting Penn Cambria on Wednesday.
Defending champions in the LHAC are the Forest Hills girls and the Johnstown boys.
In the Heritage, the Blairsville girls have clinched the top spot. For the boys, Northern Cambria must defeat Homer-Center on Tuesday to earn a chance to tie with the Wildcats for the title.
Upcoming playoffs: The district 5 and 6 basketball playoffs open next week.
The cutoff date for District 6 was Friday and brackets should be out early this week. In District 5, the cutoff is Saturday and the seedings meeting is set for Sunday.
Fifteen and counting: Thus far this season there have been 15 1,000-point scorers from the area with two more on the horizon today.
Senior Elizabeth Chobany of Ferndale is six shy of the mark as the Yellow Jackets host Conemaugh Valley tonight. Richland junior Kyle Flick needs 16 more to reach the milestone as the Rams head to Davidsville to face Conemaugh Valley tonight.
Cory Isenberg is a sports writer for The Tribune-Democrat.