Westmoreland County girls basketball notebook: Despite loss, Norwin has strong resume

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Wednesday, January 25, 2023 | 11:01 AM


Top-ranked Norwin finally was tripped up by a Class 6A team this week when the Lady Knights lost to No. 2 Upper St. Clair, 56-45, on the road.

But they might deserve to be cut some slack. They have had quite a schedule.

If some of the opponents sound familiar, it is because they made headlines by winning championships last season.

Norwin has beaten four of the six WPIAL champions from a year ago. Its wins came against Class 6A champion Mt. Lebanon (50-23), 5A winner South Fayette (43-40), 4A champ Blackhawk (59-49) and 3A title-winner North Catholic (61-45).

Norwin fell into an early hole Monday against Upper St. Clair. It trailed by 21 in the third quarter and, despite a 20-point fourth, could not rally all the way back.

Norwin’s other loss is to Class 5A No. 3 McKeesport, which was No. 1 when the game was played.

GCC No. 1

Greensburg Central Catholic vaulted into the No. 1 spot in the TribLive Class 2A state rankings.

The Centurions (15-2) have won seven in a row, and their losses are to 3A Seton La Salle and 4A Elizabeth Forward.

Freedom had been No. 1 in the WPIAL, but GCC likely will take that spot after the Bulldogs dropped back-to-back games to Blackhawk and Shenango.

Freedom dropped to No. 5 in the state rankings.

The others in the top five are Redbank Valley (2), Marian Catholic (3) and Faith Christian (4).

Shootout at Seton Hill

Three of the seven showcase games at this weekend’s Shootout at Seton Hill are girls games.

On Sunday, Greensburg Salem will take on Franklin Regional — Golden Lions’ coach Rick Klimchock’s former team — at 1:30 p.m. to tip off a five-game schedule that day.

At 3 p.m., Indiana will face Trinity in a matchup of Class 5A teams, and McKeesport will face Greensburg Central Catholic at 4:30.

McKeesport is No. 3 in Class 5A, and GCC is No. 2 in 2A.

The boys matchups for Saturday are Franklin Regional vs. Belle Vernon at 6 p.m. and Geibel vs. Greensburg Central Catholic at 7:30.

Sunday’s boys games are Norwin vs. Latrobe at 6 p.m. and Greensburg Salem vs. Jeannette at 7:30.

Follow the leader

A glance at the Westmoreland County scoring leaders shows Mt. Pleasant’s Tiffany Zelmore (29 points per game) with a significant lead over second-place Olivia Pepple of Penn-Trafford, Elle Snyder of Latrobe and Kaitlyn Mankins of Greensburg Salem, all at 16 ppg.

Erica Gribble of Greensburg Central Catholic was next at 15 a game.

Zelmore, the only senior in that group, has surpassed 1,400 career points.

Layup lines

Gribble had 10 assists in Monday’s win at Steel Valley. … Greensburg Central Catholic has the largest average winning margin of all local teams at 23.4. The Centurions have 77- and 87-point games this season. … Greensburg Salem (32.2), Norwin (33.8), GCC (34.6), Yough (36.3) and Monessen (36.8) are holding teams under 40 points a game.

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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