Rivalry games are a tricky commodity to predict. Especially when so much is at stake for both teams.
That's the case facing the North Allegheny High boys lacrosse team as the Tigers -- the No. 1 team in Western Pennsylvania according to Laxpower.com -- faces border rival Pine-Richland at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday. Going into last week's games, the Rams were Laxpower.com's No. 2 team.
North Allegheny is 10-1 overall, with their only loss coming against Hudson, which currently is 9-0 overall and is the No. 3 ranked team in Ohio. North Alleghen y is 5-0 in Division 1, Section 2. The Rams are right behind the Tigers at 9-2 overall and are 3-1 in section play. The Rams' only section loss was a heartbreaking 10-9 triple-overtime loss to visiting Seneca Valley on April 2. The game will be the final section game for both teams, and it likely will go a long way to determining the WPIAL tournament seedings. And, unlike other lacrosse sections, this will be the only time the two rivals meet during the regular season.
The Tigers step out of section to play Sewickley Academy at the Panthers' Nichols Field at 4:30 p.m. Monday. Sewickley is a young team and is just 1-3 in Division 1, Section 1. But after meeting out-of-state foes Thomas Worthington and University of Detroit-Jesuit over the weekend, the Panthers play the Tigers on Monday and then travel to Oakland for what should be a meaningful game on Wednesday against Central Catholic. The Panthers are 3-8 overall and 1-3 against section rivals. Their 7-2 victory this past Wednesday against Bethel Park put them in a fourth-place tie with the Vikings. Both teams are 1-3. With the first three places in the section sewn up, Wednesday's game will determine which team makes the playoffs. On paper, the Vikings likely will be favored as they are 6-6 overall.