Westmoreland girls basketball notebook: Sizing up the Norwin-North Allegheny rematch

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Wednesday, January 26, 2022 | 4:29 PM


Odds do not favor an offensive extravaganza when North Allegheny and Norwin meet again Thursday night in North Huntingdon.

It’s a good a bet to expect the opposite. These are teams that usually come away with dirt under their finger nails.

No. 1 North Allegheny (15-0, 9-0) won the first clash with No. 4 Norwin (11-4, 8-1) on a Jazmine Timmerson buzzer-beating 3-pointer, 46-43.

The junior Pitt commit capped a fourth-quarter comeback — and a 13-0 run to close the game — as the Tigers stayed atop Section 1-6A.

Junior Mia Tuman forced a steal and drove in for the tying layup with 21 seconds remaining.

Timmerson made a steal and was fouled with 2.6 seconds. The Tigers inbounded, and Timmerson narrowly clipped the final buzzer with a 3. She finished with 22 points.

Norwin has the best points-allowed average in Class 6A at 33.7. But the Tigers, who have won 25 straight games dating to last season, are allowing only 39.3.

Norwin has another skilled team that plays hard on defense and is rounded off by its size, but coach Brian Brozeski knows that is only going to take the Knights so far against the defending WPIAL and PIAA champions.

“Teams aren’t going to be as shocked with our size as they were maybe the first time,” Brozeski said. “We have to make sure we’re getting better and evolving as a defense as well as the other team.”

North Allegheny and Norwin are the only 6A teams that have clinched playoff spots.

Southmoreland-BVA, part 2

Belle Vernon is responsible for Southmoreland’s only section loss this season.

Now the Scotties (12-2, 6-1) get a chance to even the score with the Leopards (12-3, 7-1). The teams will play Thursday night at Southmoreland in their second Section 3-4A meeting of the season.

Southmoreland is back ahead of the Leopards in the Trib rankings, at No. 2, while Belle Vernon checks in at No. 5.

When Belle Vernon won the first matchup, 52-40, over then-No. 1 Southmoreland, junior Viva Kreis made five 3-pointers and scored 18. The Leopards used a box-and-1 defense on IUP commit Gracie Spadaro and limited her to five points.

Shootout at Seton Hill

The Shootout at Seton Hill, a five-game showcase of area teams, returns Sunday.

There will be two girls games, the first featuring a rematch between Franklin Regional (5-9) and 2A No. 3 Greensburg Central Catholic (10-2) at 1 p.m. in the first game of the day.

At 4, 5A Indiana (10-3) will take on 4A No. 2 Southmoreland (12-2).

All-day tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for students.

GCC beat Franklin Regional at the Penn-Trafford Holiday Classic, 45-35.

Indiana has a win over 5A No. 5 Latrobe, 53-50.

Boys games at the event are Homer-Center vs. Franklin Regional at 2:30, Latrobe vs. Greensburg Central Catholic at 6 and Geibel vs. Jeannette at 7:30.

Zelmore on point

Mt. Pleasant junior forward Tiffany Zelmore continues to be one of the top scorers in the WPIAL. In fact, she was leading all Westmoreland girls scorers at 23 points per game, but was limited to 14 and 10 against Southmoreland and West Mifflin.

Still, the forward who is showing more versatility this season, is up to 804 career points, which has her on pace to become the ninth girl at Mt. Pleasant to score 1,000 or more.

She would become the first Lady Vikings’ player since Alexa Szelong in 2015 to reach the milestone.

“It’s a role she has excelled in,” Mt. Pleasant coach Scott Giacobbi said of the 5-foot-10 Zelmore’s go-to scoring role. “She has really worked to prove her game.”

Monessen on a roll

With six straight wins, Monessen (11-3, 4-1) is one of the hottest teams in Class A. The Greyhounds, led by former Jeannette coach Janine Vertacnik, are allowing just 31.8 points a game.

Senior Mercedes Majors leads the Greyhounds with a 21-point average.

The team’s next big showdown will be at home against No. 2 West Greene on Monday.

West Greene (13-3, 5-0) leads Section 2 by a game over Monessen. West Greene won the first meeting, 71-44.

Streak broken

Ligonier Valley finally broke through. The Lady Rams picked up their first win as a WPIAL member program, toppling Valley last week, 69-32.

The victory also snapped a 29-game losing streak dating back to the 2019-20 season, when the team played in the District 6 Heritage Conference.

The team’s last win before last Friday was a 38-21 victory over Northern Cambria on Feb. 5, 2020.

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

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