Norwin notebook: Alex Thomas sparks streaking hockey team

Saturday, February 18, 2023 | 11:01 AM

The playoff-bound Norwin hockey team made it four wins in a row as the Knights batted away Indiana.

Alex Thomas had three goals and an assist, and Dom Cerilli scored twice in a 5-2 victory for the Knights (14-4-1) on Feb. 9.

Burmeister made 24 saves for Norwin, which welcomed Owen Burmeister back to the lineup (concussion).

In the previous game Feb. 2, Norwin survived Wheeling Catholic for a wild, 11-9 victory as Thomas had a night to remember. He erupted for a career-high eight goals and two assists, for 10 points, to carry the Knights.

The junior was leading PIHL in scoring with 60 points on 32 goals and 28 assists.

Basketball playoffs set

The WPIAL unveiled its basketball playoff pairings and the Norwin girls drew a favorable seeding.

The committee gave the Lady Knights the No. 3 seed and set them up with Baldwin in the quarterfinals of the nine-team bracket Feb. 23.

The Norwin boys, meantime, picked up the No. 8 seed in Class 6A and were scheduled to open against No. 1 New Castle on Feb. 24.

1,000 for Bilinsky

Norwin senior basketball player Adam Bilinsky scored his 1,000th career point in the Section 2-6A finale at Hempfield.

The Mercyhurst commit reached the milestone on a coast-to-coast layup with about five minutes to play in the second quarter against Hempfield.

After five offensive rebounds by Hempfield proved fruitless, Bilinsky ripped down a rebound, then drove the length of the floor and touched the ball off the glass.

He needed six points but scored 27 as the Knights eliminated the Spartans with a 56-47 victory.

Bilinsky is the first Norwin boys player to reach the milestone since Matt Palo in 2011.

Bilinsky started as a freshman but saw his sophomore season get shortened because of covid, and then he missed five games this season with an ankle injury.

Interest grows in Sullivan

North Huntingdon’s Cole Sullivan, a junior football standout at Central Catholic, has pulled in numerous major Division I scholarship offers, with an uptick coming in recent weeks.

A 6-foot-2, 200-pound linebacker and tight end, Sullivan has offers from Pitt, Penn State, West Virginia, Oklahoma, Notre Dame, Stanford, Maryland, Michigan, Northwestern, Indiana, Duke and Virginia Tech, Iowa State, Akron, Ohio, Syracuse, Cincinnati, Boston College and Kent State.

Last season, Sullivan had 117 tackles, two sacks, four pass breakups and a forced fumble.

Two more for Pons

Norwin junior Jackson Pons has football recruiting interest from the Ivy League.

Columbia and Penn extended an opportunity to the junior wide receiver and defensive back.

Ivy League schools do not offer athletic scholarships.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at


More High School Hockey

2-time PIHL girls division goals leader Madyson Kirsch of Freeport has busy summer ahead
PIHL girls division’s 3rd season highlighted by more teams, close games
Upper St. Clair classmates provide heroics in 3rd PIHL girls championship game
New coach plans to carry on ‘winning mentality’ with Franklin Regional hockey
Hampton girls hockey players spring into action