Norwin leaned on the same traits is has all season to advance in the WPIAL Class 6A girls basketball playoffs: defense and depth.
The fourth-seeded Knights made it a challenge for Pine-Richland to drive the lane and contained the Rams, all while playing a nine-deep bench to defeat Pine-Richland, 48-29, in a first-round game Tuesday night at Plum.
“We wanted to play a sound defensive game and minimize what they wanted to do,” Norwin coach Brian Brozeski said. “We wanted to take their penetration away.”
Norwin (12-9) advances to play No. 5 Mt. Lebanon (12-11) in the quarterfinals Friday at a time and site to be determined.
Emily Brozeski scored a game-high 16 points and Megan Polczynski added 15, including three 3-pointers, the last of which gave the Knights a 44-26 lead with 5:34 to play.
Norwin led 35-26 heading to the fourth quarter but held the Rams to three points in the final frame.
Brozeski coached Norwin to WPIAL titles in 2015 and ‘16 and knows how important the first postseason win can be.
“We had a lot of girls who were seeing their first (playoff) experience,” Brozeski said. “No matter how much you play (during the season), the play gets amped up in the WPIAL playoffs.”
Taylor Brenner led Pine-Richland (7-14) with 14 points.