Norwin boys basketball team prepared to take next step in Maha’s 2nd season as coach
Friday, November 25, 2022 | 4:19 PM
A sleek, refurbished gym floor greeted the basketball teams at Norwin this year.
Staying with the theme, coach Lance Maha hopes his boys basketball team can have a similarly varnished look as he begins his second year as coach.
“We have some kids who have been around the program for a season and a summer,” Maha said. “They know the system and the terminology and know fundamentally how we want to play.”
The loss was the ninth in a row in the first round for the Knights dating to 2007-08, the last season they won a playoff game.
They have qualified for the playoffs just twice since 2015-16.
“We’re hoping to get back to the playoffs and be a factor when we get there,” Maha said. “That’s a fun time. Once you get in, everyone has a shot.”
A three-guard nucleus of seniors returns to get the Knights started.
Adam Bilinsky, an athletic, slashing scorer whose dunks can energize the lineup, is a Mercyhurst commit. Ryan Edwards and Justin Weaver join Bilinsky in the backcourt. Both are seasoned guards.
“Adam is one of the best players in the WPIAL,” Maha said. “Ryan is getting a lot of Division III looks. He is a coach’s player. We’re relying on those three to be leaders. We think we have better players this year.”
The 6-foot-3 Bilinsky averaged 17.5 points and 10.6 rebounds.
The two other starting spots were up for grabs, Maha said, although senior Trent Raspotnik spot-started last year.
A senior-heavy group also includes Cullen Rahuba, Collin Gunzberger, Louis Botti, Jake Murray, 6-5 Mike Mihalov and newcomers Dan Diven (6-5) and football standout Jackson Pons, who hasn’t played basketball since he was a freshman at Central Catholic.
Mihalov was not at 100% last year because of an injury.
“We have guys really competing in the gym, and that is a good thing,” Maha said. “Last year I probably played the fewest guys since I’ve been coaching. This year, I think we can go about 10 deep. They’re battling for (spots) four through nine.”
Senior forward Noah Vogel also is out for hoops but has been slowed by a leg injury from football.
Maha said several juniors also are in the mix to play, including Noah Wilson, Dylan McCullough and Alex Wiggins.
“Once we get that rotation in place, we need to win more than one way,” Maha said. “Last year, we relied so heavily on our 3-point shooting. We need to be able to grind, rebound and defend, find other ways to score.”
“There are some traditional programs there and some coaches with WPIAL championships,” Maha said. “No gimmes there. One good thing is that we don’t get into section play until January, so we can gain some experience over the first seven or eight games.”
Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .
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