ShareThis Page

For Hempfield, a finishing kick

Paul Schofield
| Friday, Dec. 13, 2013, 10:24 p.m.
Norwin's Alexander Haas (24) battles Hempfield's Michael Nauman for the ball Friday, Dec. 13, 2013, at Hempfield High School.
Steph Chambers | Tribune-Review
Norwin's Alexander Haas (24) battles Hempfield's Michael Nauman for the ball Friday, Dec. 13, 2013, at Hempfield High School.

It was a case of one team finishing the job and the other not.

No. 5 Hempfield used a strong second half to pull away for a hard-fought, 58-49 victory against No. 10 Norwin at home Friday in the Section 1-AAAA opener for both teams.

The Spartans (2-1, 1-0) outscored the Knights, 35-24, in the second half, including 20-13 in the crucial fourth quarter.

“It was simple: They made their shots in the fourth quarter, and we didn't,” Norwin coach Lynn Washowich said. “We played the same way against Franklin Regional (on Wednesday), and if finish, we beat both teams.

“We missed a couple layups and a couple short jumpers, and they didn't miss from the line.”

Hempfield was 16 for 16 from the free throw line, including 12 for 12 in the fourth quarter.

First-year Hempfield coach Mark Marino learned quickly that nothing is easy in Section 1-AAAA.

He said getting the ball to Tony Pilato in the second half and capitalizing on Norwin's different defenses on Kason Harrell benefited them.

“We were able to get Tony more touches around the rim,” Marino said. “And we got some easy buckets when they tried to take away Kason.

“It was a team effort. Mike (Nauman) did a good job on Zach Bryan, their point guard. And I think you could tell Mike wore him down in the fourth quarter.”

Harrell led Hempfield with 19 points and eight rebounds. Pilato finished with 15 points and 10 rebounds, and Nauman had 13 points and five assists.

It was Harrell's bucket late in the third quarter that gave Hempfield the lead for good, 33-32. Pilato added two free throws, and Logan Hunter hit a 3-pointer for a 38-36 lead after three quarters.

Hempfield outscored Norwin, 8-2, to start the fourth quarter and grab a 46-38 lead.

Norwin (2-3, 0-1) got to within 48-45 on a 3-pointer by Steve Socrates, but the Spartans put the game away at the foul line.

“Norwin brought it,” Marino said. “We emphasized getting on their shooters. Kason took it personally in guarding their best shooter. We did a nice job closing out the game.”

Curtis Perz, Norwin's leading scorer, was held to eight points. Alexander Haas led the Knights with 12.

Harrell said Norwin played well, but his team was able to do the little things better in the second half.

“We played good defense and got the 50/50 balls better in the second half,” Harrell said. “We wanted this win after falling to Greensburg Central Catholic in our last game.”

Norwin used a 17-14 advantage in the second quarter to grab a 25-23 lead at halftime.

Harrell was held scoreless for the first 12 minutes of the game, and the Norwin student section was letting him know about it.

Paul Schofield is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using 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.