Westmoreland County basketball notes: Coaching reunion at Norwin tournament

Thursday, December 1, 2022 | 4:03 PM

Norwin will host a tip-off tournament to open boys basketball season Friday. The two-day event will be more like a reunion for three opposing coaches.

Norwin coach Lance Maha, Jeannette’s Adrian Batts and Dale Chapman of Steel Valley used to coach together at West Mifflin.

Batts and Chapman are Maha’s former assistants.

On Friday, Steel Valley will play Uniontown at 6 p.m., followed by Norwin and Jeannette at 7:30.

The consolation is set for 1 p.m. Saturday followed by the championship at 2:30.

“I’m looking forward to competing with them,” Maha said. “Great coaches, better people. They surely helped me a ton. I’m smart enough to know you need great assistants.

Maha coached West Mifflin for 20 years before making the move to Norwin.

Batts became Jeannette’s coach in 2009 after a stint as as assistant to Jim Nesser at Hempfield. When he left, Chapman took his position.

Chapman became head coach at Steel Valley in 2016.

Batts and Chapman are Steel Valley grads. Batts played against Maha when Maha played at West Mifflin. He also went against Norwin assistant Ed Marko, a South Allegheny alum.

Soccer presence

The Mt. Pleasant girls have goals — and goal scorers — this season.

And you can bet they’re tuned in to the World Cup.

Three key members of the Vikings soccer team are playing basketball and should have important roles as the team builds around senior Tiffany Zelmore, who averaged 21.4 points last season.

Senior Marissa Garn, a 6-foot forward, joins the Gesinski sisters, junior Riley and freshman Morgan, in the rotation.

Riley Gesinski is expected to run the point.

Morgan Gesinski led Mt. Pleasant with 33 goals. The Vikings made the WPIAL championship and the PIAA semifinals for the first time.

Tip-off time

There are plenty of options for local fans looking to catch some tip-off tournament action on opening night.

Hempfield will host its six-team tournament Friday and Saturday.

Opening matchups Friday are Connellsville-Franklin Regional (4:45 p.m.), Penn-Trafford-Greensburg Central Catholic (6:15) and Greensburg Salem-Hempfield (7:45).

Also Friday, the Yough boys will play Purchase Line in the Indiana tournament (5 p.m.); Latrobe plays Richland (6) in the Pitt-Johnstown tournament; shorthanded Belle Vernon will take on Thomas Jefferson (4:30) in the MVI Tournament; and Ligonier Valley and Derry will meet (7:15) at the United tournament.

On the girls’ side, Greensburg Salem will host a tournament with Greensburg Central Catholic and Ringgold (6 p.m.) and Mt. Pleasant-Greensburg Salem (7:30) the opening matchups.

Other local girls games Friday: Penn-Trafford-Baldwin (3) at the Baldwin tournament; Latrobe vs. Cambria Heights (6:30) in the River Valley Tournament; Norwin vs. Marion Center (3:30) in the Marion Center tournament; Franklin Regional vs. Allderdice (6:15) and Hempfield vs. Connellsville (7:45) at the Laurel Highlands tournament; and Belle Vernon vs. St. Joseph (5:30) at the Woodland Hills tournament.

On Saturday at the Laurel Highlands tournament, Hempfield will play Franklin Regional. Hempfield coach Tom Brush’s daughter, Angelina, plays point guard for Franklin Regional.

Rivalry lives

They don’t play in the same class or section any more, but Norwin and Penn-Trafford made sure their rivalry remained on the schedule.

The schools will play a girls-boys doubleheader Tuesday night in Harrison City.

The girls will tip off at 6 p.m., followed by the boys at 7:30.

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

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