Pine-Richland girls prep for playoff test against Norwin

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Sunday, February 18, 2018 | 11:15 PM


In large part because of its ability to scratch out two tough section wins in its final three Section 1-6A contests, the Pine-Richland girls basketball team earned its place in the WPIAL Class 6A playoffs.

However, as the 13th seed out of 13 teams in the Class 6A bracket, the Rams (7-13, 4-6) had their work cut out for them as they took on a fourth-seeded Norwin (11-9, 8-2) squad that defeated them 64-33 on Dec. 28. The game was to be contested Tuesday, after deadline for this edition.

Coach Tom Reighard conceded their previous bout with the Knights was a tough one but also said his group has evolved since that meeting.

“At the end of the first quarter of that game, Norwin was winning 8-7. Then, we just had some mental lapses, and we just didn't have a good second quarter at all,” he said. “I think by the end of the half it was something like 40-16. We gave up 25-30 points in that second quarter.

“That was probably one of our worst quarters of the year. The kids see that, too, and by now, they realize that we're just a way different basketball team now than we were back then at the end of December.”

Since its game against Norwin, Pine-Richland racked up six of its seven wins on the year. But the team's improvement doesn't necessarily mean the players forgot the game against the Knights and how to best prepare for the rematch.

Reighard said the outcome of the game would come down to which team would impose its pace of play on the other.

“We were trying to find an identity for our group of kids during the season, and by the end of the year, we thought it was through our defense,” he said. “We're a good defensive team.”

Kevin Lohman is a freelance writer.

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