The winter sports season begins with a flurry — along with possible snow flurries — this weekend.

Basketball tournament action for both boys and girls teams highlights the opening of play in Pennsylvania with most of our local high school teams in action. (Complete previews of all local basketball and wrestling teams will be published in The Herald in the near future.)

The Grove City Kiser Tipoff tourney is always a biggie, featuring both boys and girls teams in action. Today the event kicks off with the following schedule: 3:30 - Lakeview girls, featuring Sheena Aden (who should become the all-time leading scorer In Mercer County history this year, barring injury) vs. Mohawk; 5 - Kennedy Catholic boys vs. Loudoun Valley, Va.; 6:30 - Grove City girls vs. Mercer; 8 - Grove City boys vs. Our Lady of Sacred Heart.

The Jamestown tournament takes on a new name as a memorial to David Veverka, local soldier who died while serving our country in Iraq. The schedule shows Jamestown vs. Tidioute Community Charter School at 6, followed by Wilmington vs. Warren County Christian School.

The annual Rick Fragle Tipoff girls event at Sharon High school features a different set-up than usual. Today the slate shows: 7 - Reynolds vs. St. Mary’s; 8:30 - Sharon vs. Summitt Academy. On Saturday the schedule is: 4:30 p.m., Kennedy Catholic vs. Summitt; 7:30 - Sharon vs. Reynolds.

Other tournaments featuring local teams which begin tonight are:

BOYS

ä Lakeview — 6:30, Linesville vs. Seneca; 8:30, Lakeview vs. Cranberry.

ä New Castle — 6:30, Altoona vs. Perry Traditional Academy; 8, Sharon vs. New Castle.

ä Saegertown — 6, Hickory vs. North East; 7:30, Commodore Perry vs. Saegertown.

ä Cambridge Springs — 6, Northwestern vs. Laurel; 7:30. Greenville vs. Cambridge Springs.

ä Cochranton — 6, Sharpsville vs. Maplewood; 7:30, Cochranton vs. Iroquois

ä Meadville — 7, George Junior Republic vs. Titusville; 8, Meadville vs. Steel Valley

GIRLS

ä Ellwood City — 6, Farrell vs. Laurel; 7:30, Ellwood City vs. South Side Beaver.

ä Kittanning — 5, Hickory vs. Ford City; 8, Kittanning vs. Moniteau.

ä Slippery Rock — 4, Wilmington vs. Mars; 5:30, Slippery Rock vs. Clarion Area. (On Saturday, Neshannock will replace Mars).

There are also some regular season contests slated. In boys play today, Mercer is at Allegheney-Clarion Valley while Brookfield is at Jospeh Badger. On Saturday, Mercer will travel to Conneaut Valley. Meanwhile, because of the football playoffs, West Middlesex boys basketball games for the early going have been canceled including Neshannock Tournament (today/Saturday) and next week against George Junior and Hickory.

On the girls side tonight, Commodore Perry treks to Linesville, while Jamestown visits Greenville. On Saturday, Brookfield visits Sharpsville for a 2 p.m. contest where Blue Darlings’ Kasey Gardner (996 points) is expected to go over the 1,000-point plateau for her career, and West Middlesex is at Linesville for an afternoon affair.

Wrestling also kicks off on Saturday with local teams in three tournaments: Commodore Perry is at Blairsville, Greenville at the Philipsburg Osceola Mountaineer Tourney, and Sharpsville at the Rocky Grove Tourney.

But the big wrestling event on Saturday is a meeting of two nationally ranked teams when Bald Eagle Area visits Reynolds for a 2 p.m. (jayvees starting time) clash. A full house is expected for the event.



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