Norwin heads to girls playoffs as third-place team
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Norwin might be going into the girls basketball playoffs coming off a loss, but the Knights also are coming off three strong performances.
The Knights couldn't put together a comeback in their regular-season and Section 1-AAAA finale against Penn-Trafford, but Norwin kept the game close throughout in a 51-45 loss at home on Friday.
Madi Guffey scored 11 points, and Alayna Gribble had 10 to lead Norwin (12-10, 10-4), which missed out on a chance to pull into a second-place tie in the section with Penn-Trafford (18-4, 12-2). Maria Palarino led all scorers with 18 for P-T.
Though the loss ended a two-game winning streak for the Knights, Norwin will be much happier with Friday's outcome against P-T than it was after their first meeting, a 62-36 win for the Warriors.
“Overall, I loved the way the girls battled,” Norwin coach Brian Brozeski said. “P-T came out shooting red hot, and I appreciated the way we fought back. It would have been nice to win on the scoreboard, but we still played the way we want.”
The Knights trailed by eight after the opening quarter, but by halftime they had cut the lead to 27-22.
Norwin was bolstered by its largest home crowd of the year, as the upper level of bleachers had to be opened to make room for the crowd at the girls/boys doubleheader against P-T.
“We really appreciated all the fan support. It was nice for the girls to get to experience an environment like that,” Brozeski said. “It's something the girls will be able to remember, and I hope we continue getting that kind of support in the future.”
The third-place finish behind Hempfield and Penn-Trafford is an improvement by one place over last year, and with that, the Knights should be seeded higher than last year's No. 15 seed for this year's playoffs.
“It was a tough section this year. Everyone was improving through the whole year, and there was a lot of growth from the first half to the second half,” Brozeski said. “Each team brought something unique to prepare for.”
Ties for fourth place in three of the four sections, including both Latrobe and Albert Gallatin at 6-8 in Section 1, means a total of 19 teams will be in this year's Quad-A playoffs and that three preliminary round games will be played.
Norwin should avoid those three games by getting a seed better than No. 14, but it was unknown entering this week how or if it would affect the Knights' playoff schedule by moving first-round games to next week from this Friday or Saturday.
“If we play a team that does things we're used to seeing, I'd rather us get out there and play (on Friday or Saturday),” Brozeski said. “But if we have to play a team that we have to game plan for a little more, it might be good to have those extra days to prepare.
“I try not to worry about who we're facing until we know for sure. As soon as you take the time to try and figure it out, you get a surprise.”
The WPIAL playoff pairings were scheduled to be released on Tuesday night, after this edition's deadline. To see the full brackets, visit www.wpial.org.
Matt Grubba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5830 or email@example.com.
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.
- Gateway hires Freedman as boys basketball coach
- Newman thrilled to sign with Division I Cleveland State
- Plum girls basketball standout commits to St. Francis
- Steel Valley tabs Schifino as new boys basketball coach
- Henry Kuzma, architect of 1965 Midland Leopards, dead at 86