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High school basketball teams tip off seasons Friday

| Friday, Dec. 7, 2012, 12:01 a.m.
Mia Woytovich and the Charleroi girls basketball team will tip off the season by hosting their own tournament tonight. Rich Downer photo

Change.

That word could best describe what some of the area's basketball teams will offer to their fans going into tonight's opening of the 2012-13 seasons.

Charleroi's girls' basketball team will open the season by hosting a two-day tournament tonight.

The Lady Cougars go into the season with a new coach for the first time in nine years as former assistant Joe Grodz takes over for Nick Mahalko, who resigned. Charleroi will have several players back with staring experience, so Grodz won't be starting from scratch.

Charleroi will meet Perry Academy in the 8 p.m. nightcap after Belle Vernon Area battles Carmichaels in the first game at 6:30 p.m.

On the boys' side, one constant for Monessen will be veteran coach Joe Salvino, who is entering his 29th season at the helm.

However, the big change for the Greyhounds is that for the first time in recent memory, Salvino will put a lineup of five new faces on the floor as all five starters from last year's team that reached the WPIAL Class AA championship game are gone.

Monessen, which dropped into Class A, will face a tough test as the Greyhounds play Chartiers Valley in the opening round of the Upper St. Clair Tip-Off Tournament. The game starts at 6 p.m.

Ringgold's boys, which will feature a lineup of no player taller than 6-0, is home with Charleroi in a non-section matchup of local teams. The game starts at 7:30 p.m.

Also tipping off in a 7:30 game will be Frazier at home with Geibel.

The rest of today's action comes in the form of tournament play.

On the boys' side, Belle Vernon Area meets host Hempfield at 6:30 p.m. in the Hempfield Tournament, Yough meets Valley at 5 p.m. in the Springdale Tournament and Elizabeth Forward takes on Southmoreland in a 3 p.m. contest in the Brownsville Tournament.

In girls' openers, Ringgold plays Quaker Valley at 6 p.m. in the Fort Cherry Tournament, Monessen goes up against West Mifflin at 6 p.m. in the McKeesport Tournament, Elizabeth Forward faces Derry at 6 p.m. and Yough meets Southmoreland at 7:30 p.m. in the Southmoreland Tournament and Bentworth plays South Fayette at 6 p.m. in the Avella Tournament.

California's girls open the season Saturday with a noon contest at Trinity Christian.

Some teams will wait to open their seasons.

On Monday, Bentworth is at Mapletown in a 7 p.m. boys contest.

Also on Monday, Frazier's girls open their season with a non-section game at home against Bentworth (7:30 p.m.).

On Tuesday, California opens at Chartiers-Houston in a 7:30 p.m. boys game.

Jeff Oliver is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2666 or joliver@tribweb.com.

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