Westmoreland County girls basketball notebook: Danielle Rosso steps up for Norwin

Wednesday, January 1, 2020 | 7:00 PM

Danielle Rosso was expected to be a key contributor for the Norwin girls basketball team, but not even coach Brian Brozeski expected this type of production from the 5-foot-8 junior combo guard.

With senior guards Olivia Gribble and Jayla Wehner forming a skilled scoring tandem, the Knights expected to build around them with a number of role players, Rosso among them.

Who knew Rosso would develop into a third scoring threat? She has been no picnic for opponents, either, who often have matchup problems when they play deep-benched Norwin.

Rosso is averaging 16 points for the Knights (6-2), who are ranked No. 3 in WPIAL Class 6A behind Bethel Park (8-0) and North Allegheny (6-0).

She had 20 points in a 65-59 victory over Seneca Valley and scored 17 in a rout of North Hills.

“Danielle brings a unique ability to create opportunities on both offense and defense,” Brozeski said. “It has been fun watching her grow and develop over the years, and I am excited to see what the future holds for Danielle.”

What has been the secret to her enhanced role?

We’re talking about …

“Practice,” Rosso said. “Our practices have been very competitive and productive due to the fact that we have a lot of good talent on our team. We continue to push each other every second. I also do a lot of workouts and training on my own and try to drive myself to be the best I can to help the team.”

Rosso plays AAU basketball for the Western PA Bruins.

Who has the hot hand?

Penn-Trafford coach John Giannikas doesn’t know which one of his players will have a big scoring night when the Warriors take the floor, but he knows he has options.

Senior Bella Long is a talented scorer, but the Slippery Rock commit has been getting plenty of help.

Long, sophomore Maura Suman and juniors Kenzie Powell and Allie Prady all have scored in double figures this season for Penn-Trafford (6-2), which has won four straight games.

“This offseason, we really worked on being able to score better,” Long said. “With everyone having the ability to score, it has opened up the floor because teams can’t just focus on one player.”

Long had a 29-point game, Prady scored 26, Suman put up 23 and 20 points and Powell recorded a 20-point night.

“You never know who is going to have a big game for us,” Giannikas said. “To have that many girls scoring in double figures is something we haven’t had here.”

Bray dominates

One performance stood out among the others last weekend during holiday tournament time.

McKeesport senior Jhayla Bray had one of the most impressive double-doubles you will see as she registered 32 points and 29 rebounds in a 75-62 loss to Penn-Trafford.

Senior skip day

A common theme among local girls teams this season is a low number of senior players.

Consider: of the 18 teams in Westmoreland County, eight have fewer than three senior players.

Mt. Pleasant and Burrell have no seniors, Franklin Regional and Latrobe have one apiece, and Penn-Trafford, Greensburg Salem, Yough and Kiski Area have two each.

Scotties rolling along

There were nine undefeated girls teams in the WPIAL at the start of the week, and Southmoreland had the best record of them all.

The Scotties are 9-0 (3-0 Section 3-4A) as they get set to host Ringgold (3-6, 0-3) — and former Hempfield coach Lindsy Muchnock — on Thursday night.

Southmoreland, ranked No. 4 in Class 4A, is tied for the fourth-best points-against average in the WPIAL at 30.0 ppg.

Section play returns

Thursday marks the resumption of section play after the holiday break.

A local game of interest is No. 2 North Allegheny (6-0, 3-0) at No. 3 Norwin (6-2, 3-0) in Section 1-6A in a rematch of last year’s WPIAL semifinal that was won by North Allegheny, 37-36.

Others are Hempfield (4-3, 1-2) at No. 5 Mt. Lebanon (7-2, 2-1) in Section 2-6A and Penn-Trafford (6-2, 2-1) at Oakland Catholic (6-2, 2-1) in Section 3-5A.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at bbeckner@tribweb.com or via Twitter .

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