Perz scores game-high 33 to lift Norwin past Monessen
Two different opinions came out of Tuesday's nonsection game between Norwin and Monessen at the annual Mike Rettger Memorial Basketball Tournament at Franklin Regional.
Norwin outscored Monessen, 10-3, over the final four minutes to pull out a 68-63 victory in a game that featured mixed reviews from the coaches.
Norwin coach Lynn Washowich, while happy with the win, was not pleased with the way his team play defensively in the first half and offensively in the second half.
“The object is to win, and I was pleased with our composure down the stretch,” he said. “We were upset with their lack of willingness to play defense in the first half. They weren't doing the little things they were taught.”
Monessen coach Joe Salvino, however, saw some positives from his team's effort.
“I was proud that we never quit,” he said. “We had a chance to win but we let it go. We made a couple mistakes and missed a couple shots down the stretch.
“It was a better effort, in fact, the best effort of the season.”
Norwin (2-1) will play Franklin Regional at 7:30 p.m. Wednesday in the championship game, while Monessen (0-3) will meet Westinghouse at 6 p.m.
Norwin raced out to a 20-11 lead after one quarter and led 37-29 at halftime.
Norwin opened up a 44-31 lead early in the third quarter, but Monessen began to control the tempo and went on a 10-0 run to get back in the game.
Monessen and led 53-52 after three quarters thanks to the play of Lavalle Rush (16 points) and Javon Brown (16). They combined for 16 points in the third quarter.
“We got up 13 and then didn't get off a shot for six consecutive possessions,” Washowich said.
“We were out of control offensively. We need to slow things down.”
The fourth quarter turned into a battle between Norwin's Curtis Perz and Monessen's Clintell Gillaspie.
Perz, who finished with a game-high 33 points, scored 10 points in the final quarter. Perz scored the Knights' first eight points of the final quarter.
Gillaspie, who ended up with a team-high 22 points, had seven points in the quarter.
But it was a defensive change by Norwin, switching from a man-to-man to a 3-2 zone, that slowed down Monessen's offense.
“We just didn't make a couple outside shots,” Salvino said. “They took away our penetration.”