Ten WPIAL basketball teams entered 2024 with unbeaten records.

Just over two weeks into the new year, that number has dwindled to four.

With many teams now at the midway point of section play, it’s a good time to take a closer look at the teams that still have their unbeaten seasons intact and assess what their chances are of remaining that way by the time the regular season comes to a close.

Uniontown boys

Record: 13-0 (4-0 in Class 4A Section 3)

Coach: Rob Kezmarsky

Starting five: Notorious Grooms, 6-0, Jr., G; Jeremiah Hager, 6-5, Sr., G-F; Calvin Winfrey, 6-1, Jr., G; K’Adrian McLee, 6-5, Sr., F; Jamire Braxton, 6-4, Sr., F.

Top scorer: Braxton, 19.8 ppg.

The skinny: No WPIAL team scores like Uniontown, which averages a district-best 76.6 points per game. The lengthy Red Raiders have won all but one of their games by double-digits and feature a potent trio of scorers in Braxton, Grooms (17.9 ppg) and Winfrey (15.2 ppg). Kezmarsky’s squad won a tournament in Florida over the holidays and also owns wins against Thomas Jefferson, Aliquippa and Belle Vernon. This is an experienced group, as four starters returned from last season’s team that reached the WPIAL quarterfinals and PIAA semifinals. Uniontown’s last WPIAL championship came in 2002.

An anonymous opposing coach says: “They play together and they have good team chemistry. They share the ball. They’re quick, and they can shoot well. And they play pretty good defense, too. Winfrey and Grooms are two top players, but the other three are very good. And they have nice size, too.”

Upcoming schedule: at Southmoreland (Monday); South Allegheny (Tuesday); Albert Gallatin (Jan. 26); Baldwin at North Hills (Jan. 27).

Odds of finishing regular season unbeaten: 50%. Next week will be a big challenge for Uniontown, which is scheduled to play four games in six days. Section foe Southmoreland (12-1) and non-section opponents South Allegheny (9-4) and Baldwin (10-3) should all provide the Red Raiders with stiff challenges.

Peters Township girls

Record: 15-0 (6-0 in Class 6A Section 2)

Coach: Steve Limberiou

Starting five: Bri Morreale, 5-6, So., G; Natalie Wetzel, 6-3, Jr., F; Gemma Walker, 5-10, Sr., G; Melanah Khalil, 5-8, Sr., F; Daniela Radulovich, 6-3, Jr., F.

Top scorer: Wetzel, 16.3 ppg.

The skinny: Four years after Makenna Marisa led Peters Township to an unbeaten season and WPIAL and PIAA titles, the Indians are unbeaten deep into the season once again with a whole new roster and coach. It’s hard to believe this is a team that lost nine of 10 games at one point last season. The Indians, who won a tournament in South Carolina last month, have a pair of future Division I players in Wetzel (Pitt is among the schools to offer) and Walker (a Saint Francis recruit). Walker averages 15.6 points a game. Wetzel pairs with Radulovich to give the Indians an enormous frontcourt. Defensively, the Indians surrender only 41.3 points a game, down from 51.7 last season.

An anonymous opposing coach says: “It’s not just their height, but talent with their height. And they are well-rounded. They have someone shooting 50% from 3 in Morreale. Walker gets to the hoop at will. The one 6-3 kid (Wetzel) plays like a guard. And then the other 6-3 kid (Radulovich) is a good rebounder. Teams are lucky to have two of those things, and they have four. And they all know their roles. No one tries to do too much.”

Upcoming schedule: Bethel Park (Friday); at Baldwin (Tuesday); Upper St. Clair (Jan. 26).

Odds of finishing regular season unbeaten: 70%. Five of Peters Township’s past six games have been decided by 10 points or less, so the Indians have been tested frequently as of late. Chartiers Valley fought Peters Township to the wire a week ago before falling, 53-49. Those teams meet again at Peters Township on Feb. 6 in what could be the Indians’ biggest remaining test.

Freshman guard Kaylee DeAngelo is averaging 11.9 points per game for an Oakland Catholic team that is 15-0. (Pam Panchak/Pittsburgh Union Progress)

Oakland Catholic girls

Record: 15-0 (6-0 in Class 5A Section 3)

Coach: Eddie Benton

Starting five: London Creach, 5-8, Jr., F; Kaylee DeAngelo, 5-6, Fr., G; Raygen Hintemeyer, 5-4, Sr., G; Josie Fontana, 6-2, So., F; Mia LeDonne, 5-9, Fr., G-F.

Top scorer: Creach, 16.1 ppg.

The skinny: Oakland Catholic graduated four starters from last season’s team that won 25 games yet finds itself unbeaten midway through January. Go figure. The Eagles have soared, as they sport an average margin of victory of 29 points. They were given their toughest fight to date Monday against McKeesport but pulled away late to grab a 58-49 win. Creach, the lone returning starter who has several Division I offers, has been terrific. The sharpshooting DeAngelo (11.9 ppg) and athletic, physical LeDonne (13 ppg) might just be the best two freshmen in the WPIAL, while Fontana (10 ppg) can be a handful down low. The Eagles lost in the WPIAL final last season and have not won a district title since 2006.

An anonymous opposing coach says: “Their speed and athleticism (stand out). But on top of that, they’re not just fast and athletic, but they have the finesse. They go to the hoop very strong and they can finish. And it’s their discipline with their athleticism. I think [Benton] does a phenomenal job of using their athleticism to change their style of play. And those freshmen don’t act like freshmen.”

Upcoming schedule: Latrobe (Thursday); at Connellsville (Monday); Albert Gallatin (Jan. 25).

Odds of finishing regular season unbeaten: 60%. While you never know when a big upset might creep up, the final two games will likely have the most say as to whether or not the Eagles take an unbeaten record into the postseason. The Eagles travel to McKeesport on Feb. 8 and host Class 4A power North Catholic two days later.

Lincoln Park girls

Record: 13-0 (4-0 in Class 5A Section 4)

Coach: Ryan Kacsur

Starting five: J’La Kizart, 5-9, Sr., G; Sincere Conley, 5-4, Sr., G; Sarah Scott, 5-11, Sr., F; Maddie Syka, 5-8, Sr., G.; Abbi Jannuzi, 5-4, Sr., G or Bella Ruminer, 5-5, Sr., G.

Top scorer: Kizart, 18.5 ppg.

The skinny: While underclassmen fuel the other two girls unbeaten teams, Lincoln Park is loaded with experience. All five starters returned from last season and all are seniors. Kizart and Syka (17.5 ppg) are one of the top scoring duos in the WPIAL, and the Leopards have two additional double-digit scorers in Scott (10.7 ppg) and Jannuzi (10.6 ppg). Jannuzi has drilled 26 3-pointers. The Leopards have won their games by an average of 29 points. This program is in just its 10th season and a season ago qualified for the playoffs on merit for the first time (they also made it during the COVID season in which every team was eligible).

An anonymous opposing coach says: “They were playing us man and we kept scoring, but then they switched to a 3-2 zone. And then we started having a hard time hitting shots. They’re athletic, they’re strong and I think they have a lot of experience. They’re physical. Syka is always tough, but they have a bunch of players that can score, and that makes them tough.”

Upcoming schedule: Mars at Moon (Saturday); at Quaker Valley (Monday); at Trinity (Tuesday); at West Allegheny (Jan. 25).

Odds of finishing regular season unbeaten: 25%. Lincoln Park recently beat South Fayette by one point and Moon by two, and must play both teams again. In addition, the Leopards have two remaining games against Section 4 co-leader Trinity, which is 11-2 and beat the Leopards by 12 and 10 points in two meetings last season.

Brad is a sports writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at beverett@unionprogress.com.

Brad Everett

Brad is a sports writer at the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, but he's currently on strike. Email him at beverett@unionprogress.com.