Norwin Captures First Ever WPIAL Girls AAAA Gold

Saturday, February 28, 2015 | 9:36 PM

Norwin had never appeared in a WPIAL Championship Game until Saturday night, but the Knights played like seasoned champions at the Peterson Events Center, winning the school’s first girls basketball title in convincing fashion over Penn Hills 54-34.

The game was tied 11-11 after the first quarter, but Norwin started the second quarter with an 11-0 run which gave the Knights a 22-11 lead. Penn Hills added a quick 4-0 burst before halftime and it was a 7-point game at intermission.

The 3rd quarter started much the same as the second, as the Knights put up an 8-0 run and never looked back from there on the way to the 20-point win. Norwin’s defense was stifling throughout the game forcing 11 Penn Hills turnovers and holding the Indians to just 4 points in each of the second & third quarters.

Alayna Gribble, the 6-0 junior guard and the leading score for Norwin at 18.4PPG, paced the Kinights for the fourth straight playoff game, finishing with a game-high 21 points. Gribble hit 3-three pointers and pulled down 7 rebounds for Norwin. “I think we were a little nervous to start the game,” Gribble said, “But it feels great to be part of this win.” Senior Amanda Batey scored all 11 of her points in the second half. Senior Laura Buchanan added 8 points and 9 rebounds and junior Taylor Sabol was also strong with 7 points and 7 boards for the Knights.

Sophomore guard Desiree Oliver was the only Penn Hills player to reach double figures leading the Indians with 17 points and 7 rebounds. Sophomore Jade Ely, the Indians leading scored at over 17 points was held to just 4 points by the Norwin defense.

Ninth-seeded Penn Hills, which was making its first appearance in the championship game since winning the Quad-A title in 1995, finishes the WPIAL campaign at (16-9). The Indians will enter the PIAA Playoffs as the #2 seed and will face Obama Academy the champions from the Pittsburgh City League in the first round.

Norwin, the #3 seed, improved to (21-4) and enters the state playoffs as the top team from District 7. The Knights will play the #5 team from the WPIAL Pine-Richland in the first round. The victory for Norwin made North Allegheny the #3 seed and Bethel Park the #4 seed representing the WPIAL in the Girls AAAA State Tournament.

Penn Hills Indians 11 – 4 – 4 – 15 = 34
Norwin Knights  11 – 11  – 18 -14 = 54


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