Hempfield beats Norwin to move into 1st place tie
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Hempfield dug in and withstood a late Norwin charge for a 56-50 boys basketball victory on Friday night, moving into a three-way tie with the Knights and Kiski Area for the WPIAL Section 1-AAAA lead.
Kason Harrell scored 20 points, including 11 in a row during a key Hempfield run in the second quarter, and the Spartans (11-4, 5-2) built a double-digit lead before holding on for their third victory in a row and fourth in the past five games.
“You saw a together-team out there,” Hempfield coach Jim Nesser said. “We're playing together on offense and together on defense. But the key to this game was that we rebounded the ball very well. We really controlled the glass.”
Tyler Handlan added 12 points for Hempfield, including 10 in the second half, when the host Spartans converted 18 of 23 free-throw attempts.
The victory avenged a 48-45 loss at Norwin on Dec. 14, the start of a four-game winning streak for the Knights, who had led the section from the start of the schedule. Since then, however, Norwin has lost four of six games.
“We're fortunate to have started off 5-0 for a little bit of a cushion,” Norwin coach Lynn Washowich said. “Right now, we're not very pleased with our basketball team. We've got to put more mental focus into it.”
Matt Stewart's 23 points led Norwin (8-6, 5-2), but he was the only Knights player to reach double figures.
“He played another great game for us, but you can't just rely on one or two players,” Washowich said.
Hempfield rallied from a 14-11 deficit in the second quarter, when Harrell connected on three consecutive 3-pointers, giving the Spartans a 22-14 advantage. They led at halftime, 24-18.
Norwin mounted a late comeback after trailing by as many as 13 points and closed to within 50-46 on two free throws by Alex Haas with 41 seconds left. After Harrell hit two free throws for Hempfield, Curtis Perz's jumper with 16 seconds to go got Norwin within 52-48.
But Mike Nauman answered with a pair of free throws with 10 seconds remaining to give Hempfield another six-point advantage.
Harrell scored all but two of his 20 points in the first three quarters, doing most of his damage in the second quarter, scoring 12 points.
“Sometimes he needs to be a little more aggressive on offense,” Nesser said. “Overall, though, he played a great game. They made an adjustment on him in the second half, but we were just relentless on the rebounding end of it, and that was the key.”
Dave Mackall is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- WPIAL AAAA girls basketball preview: Reigning WPIAL champ Norwin hoping to lock down on defensive end
- Streak on the line for St. Joseph boys
- Youth movement takes next step for St. Joseph girls
- West Shamokin girls basketball eyes another playoff run with new coach
- Sewickley Academy girls embrace the unknown
- Soutmoreland girls basketball team primary goal: playoffs
- WPIAL AAAA boys basketball preview: Runners-up last season, North Allegheny hopes to take next step
- Riverview girls aim to build on memorable season
- New scenery for 1st-year Riverview boys basketball coach Sapotichne
- Monessen girls basketball eyes playoff return
- Plum boys basketball seeks section 3-peat