Westmoreland County girls basketball notebook: Norwin takes tune-up trip

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Wednesday, December 18, 2019 | 5:29 PM


Norwin used a pre-holiday trip south to work out some early kinks in its game.

Not that the girls basketball team has many.

The Lady Knights (3-2) played in the She Got Game Classic last weekend in Springfield, Va., and came home with a 1-1 record.

After handling Frederick Douglass (Md.), 64-17, in their first game Saturday, the Knights suffered a 75-67 setback against Staten Island Academy (N.Y.) on Sunday.

Senior guard Olivia Gribble led Norwin in both games, with 16 and 27 points, respectively.

Norwin is ranked No. 4 by the TribLive High School Sports Network in WPIAL Class 6A.

“The trip was a positive experience,” Norwin coach Brian Brozeski said. “We were able to grow as a team both on and off the court. On the court, we had a chance to see different skill sets and playing styles. Off the court, the girls were able to build their relationships with one another and we were able to enrich our minds during our tour of the national monuments and landmarks of Washington D.C.”

Brozeski said the trip was possible because of the team’s booster club.

“We, as a team, appreciate the time and efforts that the parent boosters invest to make playing high school basketball at Norwin a first-class experience,” Brozeski said.

Quite a gesture

Hempfield senior basketball player Sarah Liberatore wanted to surprise two of her AAU teammates and, as an extension, help out a friend of theirs who is battling cancer.

Liberatore had her teammates purchase T-shirts to raise money for Lexi Ribstein, a Mt. Lebanon junior who has been diagnosed with Hodgkins Lymphoma.

Hempfield wore the shirts, emblazoned with the word “Fight” in purple letters across the chest, on Monday night during warmups before the Spartans played the visiting Blue Devils.

Ribstein is not a basketball player, but juniors Morgan Palmer and senior Patrice Smith are, and they were surprised to see the shirts, which Liberatore said produced more than $400 for the Ribstein family.

Liberatore, Palmer and Smith play for the Drill 4 Skill AUU program.

Scotties ranked

Surging Southmoreland found its way into the Trib rankings this week. The Scotties (5-0), who had a 25.8 point-per-game defensive average to start the week, are No. 4 in WPIAL Class 4A.

Southmoreland has a young team, with a freshman and two sophomores in the starting five.

The Scotties scored an impressive win Tuesday, 47-40, over No. 5 McKeesport (3-2).

Mankins perfect

Greensburg Salem sophomore Abby Mankins looks like she can be one of the WPIAL’s top free throw shooters. Look no farther than a recent game against Burrell for proof. Mankins made 16 of 16 foul shots as the Golden Lions won, 63-46. She finished with a career-high 28 points.

Mankins has made 21 straight free throws. She is 49 of 60 for the season (82%).

Golden Lions coach Rick Klimchock knows something about good free throw shooters. His daughter, Laura, once made 18 of 18 in a game, and was 29-for-34 another time, which is a PIAA record. Klimchock’s son, Chris, another former Greensburg Salem standout, shot close to 85% from the line for his career.

Shooting touch

Latrobe junior guard Rachel Ridilla has shown a knack for scoring, reaching double figures numerous times this season, largely due to her touch from the perimeter.

In a 70-41 victory over Ringgold, Ridilla scored a season-best 26 points and connected on seven 3-pointers for the Wildcats.

WCCA event?

The Westmoreland County Coaches Association is considering putting together a girls shootout event for next season. The boys have a summer and in-season showcase that features a number of county teams.

The association is waiting for the WPIAL realignment before it goes forward with planning the event.

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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