The Dribbler: It's a case of naming his poison

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Besides picking winners, The Dribbler has had one chief goal over the years -- maintaining his anonymity.

A lot of readers think they know who The Dribbler is, but they're more than likely always wrong. Still, The Dribbler feels he must often resort to wearing disguises, just in case someone is able to connect the dots and figure out his real name.

The past two weeks, he has sported a beard. He thought this was fool-proof, but that was until he crossed paths with one successful WPIAL coach at a game.

"How's it going, Dribbler? I almost didn't recognize you with the beard," said the coach.

This alarmed The Dribbler and crammed his cranium with many questions. How did this coach know? Whom has he told? How many others know this? Has he blown his cover for good?

Luckily for The Dribbler, that incident didn't really happen. As the Notorious B.I.G. once said, "It was all a dream."

The Dribbler's drive for a dream season of a winning percentage of better than 80 percent continued this past week. Through games Wednesday, he was 25-12 (.675) for the season.

Here is his take on this week's must-see games.

Top boys games

New Castle at North Allegheny, 8 p.m. today -- How's this for a stretch of games? In a five-day period, New Castle plays North Allegheny, Montour and Hampton. The Red Hurricane have blown away the prvious competition, beating each of their opponents by at least 16 points. Both teams play up-tempo, so expect this to be a track meet. The Dribbler thinks it will be a dead heat for three quarters, but the Red Hurricane will sprint to the win in the fourth. Winner: New Castle.

Upper St. Clair at Mt. Lebanon, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday -- As rivalries go, this is one of the biggest in the South Hills. These squads have both been trying to figure out their identities the first month of the season. Each team boasts an excellent backcourt. Upper St. Clair is better defensively, but Mt. Lebanon has won eight of the past nine meetings. Winner: Mt. Lebanon.

Hampton at New Castle, 7:30 p.m. Tuesday -- This potentially could be a WPIAL Class AAAA championship game preview. New Castle upended Hampton in the Class AAA final last season. Individually, Ryan Luther and New Castle's Shawn Anderson might be among the top five players in the area. New Castle has won 35 regular-season games in a row. Winner: New Castle.

Other top boys games

(Home team in all CAPS) Montour over SOUTH FAYETTE (7:30 p.m. today); GREENSBURG CENTRAL CATHOLIC over Serra Catholic (7:30 p.m. today); Beaver Falls over Lincoln Park (6:30 p.m. Saturday, Coaches vs. Cancer Clash of the Titans at Geneva); New Castle over Montour (8 p.m. Saturday, Coaches vs. Cancer Clash of the Titans at Geneva).

Top girls games

Seton-LaSalle at Bishop Canevin, 7:30 p.m. Monday -- This showdown has it all. Seton-LaSalle is ranked No. 1 in Class AA, Bishop Canevin No. 2. There will be Division I-bound players on both sides. Seton-LaSalle has one of the best offenses in the WPIAL. Bishop Canevin has one of the best defenses. The two-time defending WPIAL champion Rebels have defeated the Crusaders six consecutive times. Winner: Seton-LaSalle.

Vincentian Academy at North Catholic, 7:30 p.m. Monday -- The Dribbler can't remember the last time this wasn't a big game. One of these two has won the WPIAL Class A championship the past four seasons. Vincentian knocked off North Catholic in the final last season. The Royals sport a better record, but look for the Trojanettes to get the win. Winner: North Catholic.

Hopewell at Central Valley, 7:30 p.m. Monday -- Central Valley is undefeated and playing at home, but The Dribbler believes Hopewell has the edge in nearly every other category. Shatori Walker-Kimbrough has been on a tear for the Vikings, who have the look of a team that could successfully defend its WPIAL Class AAA title. Winner: Hopewell.

Other top girls games

(Home team in all CAPS) MT. LEBANON over Upper St. Clair (7:30 p.m. Monday); Deer Lakes over BURRELL (7:30 p.m. Monday); GREENSBURG CENTRAL CATHOLIC over Jeannette (7:30 p.m. Monday); CHARTIERS VALLEY over Fox Chapel (6 p.m. Tuesday).

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