The Altoona Area High School girls showdown with Oakland Catholic will take place in Hollidaysburg, while the Hollidaysburg and Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic girls will be two-thirds of a tripleheader at the Altoona Area High School Fieldhouse when the PIAA basketball tournament gets under way this week.
The PIAA announced the play-in and first-round pairings, sites and times on its website Sunday afternoon.
The District 6 Class AAAA champion for the second straight year, Altoona's first-round clash with District 7 runner-up Oakland Catholic will be the first game of a twinbill at the Hollidaysburg Area Senior High School on Friday. Tipoff is scheduled for 6 p.m.
That game between traditional state powers is one of the most competitive-looking first round contests. Oakland Catholic defeated the Lady Lions in Pittsburgh earlier this season and knocked Altoona out of the state tournament last year to avenge a loss last regular season.
The Altoona/Oakland Catholic game will be followed by the Class A boys encounter between District 6 champion Northern Cambria and VisionQuest of District 10. Two other area Class A boys squads will be in action a little farther from home the same evening: Bishop Guilfoyle Catholic travels to the Williamsport area to take on District 4 champion Sullivan County at Montoursville Area High School at 7:30, while runner-up Bishop Carroll plays District 9 second-place team Johnsonburg at 6:30 at Clarion University.
The District 6 champion Hollidaysburg and Guilfoyle girls open the playoffs the following afternoon. The Lady Tigers open the three-game set against Elizabeth Forward at 3 p.m. - the WPIAL's fifth-place team was supposed to take part in a play-in game on Tuesday to determine Hollidaysburg's opponent, but District 8 didn't enter a second school into the Class AAA tournament.
The Lady Marauders will take the court at 4:30, looking to take the first step toward a fifth state final appearance in six years. BG's first-round opponent is Saegertown, a tradition heavyweight from just south of Erie.
State College will be in the nightcap at the fieldhouse for a Class AAAA boys game at 6 p.m.
Bellwood-Antis' boys also will be in action. The Blue Devils, who finished runner-up to Bishop McCort for the District 6 Class AA championship, face District 5 champion Conemaugh Township at Pitt-Johnstown at 4:30 p.m.
Three other area teams could be playing over the weekend, but they'll have to win play-in road games on Tuesday to get that opportunity.
In Class AAA girls, Tyrone travels to Beaver Falls to meet Blackhawk, while the Tussey Mountain girls and Chestnut Ridge boys are in Class AA games at Greensburg Central Catholic and Quaker Valley, respectively. All of those games are scheduled for 7 p.m.