The Times’ 10 Best Basketball Teams in the Beaver Valley: Week of January 3

Each week, the Beaver County Times athletic staff will rank the top 10 boys and girls basketball teams in our coverage area. These rankings do not indicate the best team in the region. (Programs in the higher classifications will almost always have the upper hand over those in the lower classifications.) Instead, they rank the teams that we think, pound for pound, have the best chances of winning a WPIAL and PIAA championship. The Times Top 10 will be updated every Monday.

Men’s Basketball Top 10: Week of January 3

Rank, Team, Classification, Record

1. OLSH (2A), 5-0

2. Quaker Valley (4A), 5-0

3. Town of Ellwood (3A), 7-2

4. Lincoln Park (4A), 4-2

5. Aliquippa (3A), 4-3

6. Black hawk (4A), 5-3

7. West Allegheny (5A), 5-3

8. Castor Falls (3A), 3-3

9. Cornell (1A), 4-4

10. Beaver Zone (4A), 4-4

The scoop: While a few Beaver Valley boys’ teams seem to have a solid chance of winning a WPIAL and PIAA title this winter, no team has a better chance than OLSH. The reigning Class 2A state champions begin a 45-game winning streak in the New Year, a mark just 12 games away from tying the all-time WPIAL record, set by Uniontown from 1963 to 1965 and tied by Washington from 1983 to 1985.. The Chargers have a firm grip on Class 2A, but Quaker Valley has arguably been WPIAL’s most impressive basketball team so far this season, placing them in second place. The Quakers’ big win over Class 4A foe Lincoln Park on December 23 is ultimately why we have them ahead of Ellwood City – the defending WPIAL Class 3A champion – who also started the season strong. . After Lincoln Park in the # 4 spot, there is little separation between the # 5 through # 10 teams based on their current CVs. Expect that to change with every team playing in key section matches this week.

Top 10 Women’s Basketball: Week of January 3

Rank, Team, Classification, Record

1. Rochester (1A), 4-2

2. Blackhawk (4A), 7-0

3. Moon (5A), 8-0

4. Beaver Zone (4A), 5-2

5.OLSH (2A), 4-3

6. South side (2A), 6-2

7. Central Valley (4A), 3-2

8. Allegheny West (5A), 5-3

9. Lincoln Park (5A), 4-1

10. Cornell (1A), 5-2

The scoop: As stated above, this list is not a power rating. While Rochester has suffered two losses this season, they both found themselves up against Class 4A opponents: Blackhawk and Beaver Area. Pound for pound, no women’s basketball team is more dominant in its own rankings right now than Rochester. The Rams have yet to face a WPIAL Class A opponent. Instead, they’ve made their way through a busy schedule without a conference, a streak in which they clinched a victory over Neshannock – the PIAA Class 2A finalist last year. Rochester is a proven product, having won the last three WPIAL Class 1A titles. Blackhawk and Moon, on the other hand, are a pair of teams that appear to be on their way back to the top. Neither the Cougars nor the Tigers started the year as a lock to run a deep run, but solid play in the backcourt paired with solid practice kept both teams rolling early in section play. Beaver Area appears to be a threat again in Class 4A, even with almost entirely new starting formation. Fifth-placed OLSH already have three losses but, like Rochester, they’ve all faced off against higher-ranked teams. South Side – after a strong 6-2 start – leads the No.6-10 team group.