Taylor Burda-Abby Rosman-Paige Housley

Forest Hills’ Taylor Burda (center) pulls down a rebound between Somerset’s Abby Rosman (left) and Paige Housley during a Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference game on Jan. 30, 2020, in Sidman.

Love will be in the air with Valentine’s Day approaching on Friday, but this also serves as championship weekend in scholastic athletics.  

While the Heritage Conference already crowned its champions on the hardwood Friday, the Laurel Highlands Athletic Conference and WestPAC will hand out their hardware this weekend. Plus, district wrestling titles are on the line in District 5 and 6 on Saturday. 

Conference and district gold are at the top of every athlete and coach’s wishlist before the season starts. On Friday and Saturday, those goals will be realized for area athletes. 

Below is a list of key games/contests to keep your eye on. 

Monday

Girls basketball-Forest Hills at Cambria Heights: The top two teams in the LHAC battle in what could be a preview of Saturday’s conference title game. According to the LHAC tiebreaker, Forest Hills (21-0, 17-0 LHAC) has already clinched the No. 1 seed in Thursday’s semifinals by way of its 2-0 record against third-place Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic. Either way, the Highlanders (19-1, 15-1) have won 12 straight games and want to avenge their 66-54 loss from Jan. 3 in Sidman.

Girls basketball-Bishop Guilfoyle at Bishop McCort: The Crimson Crushers (12-9, 11-6) have won four straight games since Mount St. Mary’s recruit Bella Hunt returned from her ACL rehab. In the District 6 standings, Bishop Guilfoyle would be the No. 3 seed while Bishop McCort is slated to be the No. 6 seed, thus meeting in a possible quarterfinal. Bishop Guilfoyle (14-5, 12-4) won the two previous contests 47-40 on Dec. 26 and 63-48 on Jan. 3. 

Tuesday

Boys and girls basketball-Portage at Windber: The girls kick off the doubleheader at 6 p.m. Portage (17-3, 10-0 WestPAC North) prevailed 57-45 back on Jan. 20 over Windber (16-4, 9-1). The Mustangs could wrap up the top spot in the North with a win over Conemaugh Valley on Monday. 

A spot in the WestPAC semifinals will be on the line in the nightcap. Windber (14-6, 8-2) defeated  Portage (16-4, 7-3) 66-58 in overtime on Jan. 21.

Wednesday

Boys basketball-Westmont Hilltop at Richland: Seeding in the LHAC semifinals could be on the line in this matchup. Richland (14-6, 11-6) gave Westmont Hilltop (16-4, 12-4) its first loss back on Jan. 3 by a 62-55 score. Richland could grab the No. 3 seed with a win and if Westmont loses to

Bishop Carroll. 

WestPAC basketball semifinals: In the boys bracket, North No. 1 seed North Star (19-2, 11-0) will host Berlin Brothersvalley (19-1, 10-1). South top-seed Shade (21-1, 11-1) will entertain either Portage or Windber. 

On the girls side, Shanksville-Stonycreek has already earned the top seed in the South. The Vikings will host Portage or Windber. South No. 2 seed Shade will travel to either Portage or Windber.

Thursday

LHAC basketball semifinals: Bishop Guilfoyle clinched the top seed in the boys bracket. Greater Johnstown is the No. 2 seed. On the girls side, Forest Hills (1) and Cambria Heights (2) will host. 

Friday

WestPAC basketball championships: There will be a new champion on the boys side, as Conemaugh Township prevailed last year. The Windber girls will look to add another title at Pitt-Johnstown.

Saturday

District 5 and 6 wrestling championships: Gold medals will be at stake when the tournaments conclude. For the first time, Richland will host the District 5 tournament. Altoona is the home to the District 6 finals. 

LHAC basketball championships: Central Cambria is set to host the twinbill. Bishop Guilfoyle won last year’s boys title over Richland in overtime. 

Bishop Carroll claimed the girls title as the No. 4 seed. The Huskies knocked off Forest Hills and Penn Cambria.  

Jake Oswalt is a copy editor for The Tribune-Democrat. Follow him on Twitter @TheWizOfOz11 

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