Westmoreland high school notebook: Penn-Trafford, Norwin girls to square off

Sunday, January 17, 2021 | 5:17 PM

Covid-19 can muck up schedules, but it can’t take away rivalries.

Penn-Trafford moved up a notch to Class 6A this season in girls basketball, and the Warriors’ eyes immediately went to a familiar team on their schedule.

The move in classification reunited Penn-Trafford with Norwin, and the Section 1 teams will meet for the first time this season Monday night in Harrison City.

Penn-Trafford and fourth-ranked Norwin are both 4-0. Both are allowing less than 40 points per game.

GS basketball shut down

Greensburg Salem boys basketball shut down because of covid-19 exposure late last week. The team will have to sit out for 14 days and can return to practice Jan. 27.

The Golden Lions’ first game is set for Jan. 30 vs. Jeannette.

The girls program also is on pause, until Jan. 19.

Jeannette’s Birch healing

Jeannette freshman Brad Birch turned heads with a sensational first season as the Jayhawks quarterback. But Birch has basketball skills, too. He just hasn’t been able to show them yet.

He still is nursing a foot injury he suffered in the WPIAL Class A football championship against Clairton.

Birch was in a walking boot — he walked to the game — when Jeannette opened the basketball season last week against Greensburg Central Catholic.

A solid AAU player for Hangtime Hoops, Birch said he is about three weeks from shedding the boot. He has been undergoing physical therapy.

He was supposed to be out six weeks, so he is ahead of schedule for a return.

Giansante offered

It has been quiet on the recruiting front for Norwin senior lineman Anthony Giansante, who has been trying to hook more Division I offers since he had to decommit from Western Kentucky.

He has two new suitors on the NCAA D-I FCS circuit. Western Carolina of the Southern Conference and Central Connecticut State offered the 6-foot-4, 295-pounder a full scholarship Friday.

He had a dozen offers by the end of November.


C.J. Waldier, the senior two-way football standout at Yough, made his college decision. The productive and dependable wide receiver and defensive back will play at Edinboro of the Pennsylvania State Athletic Conference.

He chose the Fighting Scots over a number of D-I preferred walk-on and D-II offers.

Waldier had 117 receptions for 1,597 yards and 14 TDs over the last two seasons.

• Fairmont State is the college football destination of Belle Vernon senior lineman Anthony Evans, who gave a verbal commitment to the D-II program.

Evans, a 6-2, 270-pounder, played offensive guard and defensive tackle for Belle Vernon, which averaged 306.8 rushing yards and 39.6 points last season. The Leopards went 6-2, reaching the WPIAL Class 4A semifinals.

• Franklin Regional senior Maria Brush committed to continue her basketball career at Seton Hill. Brush is a 5-6 point guard who also can play shooting guard.

• Hempfield senior Demetrius Murphy (5-11, 215) will further his football career at Muskingum, a D-III school in the Ohio Athletic Conference. Murphy is a running back and defensive back whose high school career was slowed some by injuries.

• Norwin senior football player Connor Chrisman has an offer to plat at IUP.

• Franklin Regional senior Michael Wareham, who helped the Panthers win their first WPIAL title in the fall, signed to play at Gannon.

• Greensburg Salem senior Madison Cassidy will continue her swimming career at Saint Vincent. Cassidy qualified for the PIAA finals last year in the medley relay, along with teammates Erica Steele, Abigail Sharp and Marissa Sharp.

She also swims the 100-yard breaststroke and additional relays.

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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