Westmoreland high school notebook: Norwin’s Bilinsky gets 1 more game

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Saturday, April 10, 2021 | 6:24 PM


Norwin senior Ty Bilinsky was selected for the Roundball Classic, the year-end all-star basketball event. But he doesn’t just plan to show up and sit on the bench as an honorary pick.

He is going to play.

Organizers initially invited Bilinsky thinking he simply would be recognized. Bilinsky, a 5-foot-10 guard, missed most of his senior season as he dealt with a host of health issues. He had a stroke and was diagnosed with a blood disorder and an enlarged spleen.

But he recently was cleared to return to action, which means he is back in play as a college recruit. The Roundball will be his last high school game, not his final game overall.

“I have been lifting and practicing,” he said. “I knew I wanted to play again. It was rough being out.”

The Roundball will be May 13, 14 and 15 at Geneva College in Beaver Falls.

Bilinsky has been getting weekly shots to treat his condition. The enlarged spleen was a cause for concern because doctors did not want him to encounter contact. But Bilinsky said the spleen is not as enlarged as first thought, so it appears safe to proceed.

“Things are back to normal, it seems like,” he said.

Bilinsky was a 16-point-per-game scorer as a junior.

Roundball picks

Bilinsky will suit up for the Class 6A Gold team, which will play a team of 5A senior all-stars on Saturday night of the event.

There will be eight games: two Thursday and Friday, and four Saturday.

A number of other Westmoreland County players also were selected. They include Hempfield’s Christian Zilli and Michael Hosni (6A), Cade Cavanaugh of Greensburg Salem (6A), Jayden Walker of Norwin (6A), Josh Kapcin and Chase Vecchio of Penn-Trafford (6A), Luke Kimmich and Kadyn Hannah of Franklin Regional (5A), Frankie Newill and Ryan Sickenberger of Latrobe (5A), Toby Cline, Keith Rockmore and Hunter Schmidt of Jeannette (2A), Sam Jones and Ryan Bushey of Derry (4A), Jonas King and Nate Kubasky of Mt. Pleasant (4A), Gamal Marballie of Yough (4A), Jake Haney of Belle Vernon (4A) and Christian McGowan of Greensburg Central Catholic (2A).

Girls picks from the area are: Maria Brush of Franklin Regional (6A), Emma Hoffner of Hempfield (6A), Danielle Rosso and Mara Polczynski of Norwin (6A), Kenzie Powell and Allie Prady of Penn-Trafford (6A) and Taylor Rodriguez of Belle Vernon (4A).

The boys’ schedule has Class A vs. Class 2A at 6:30 p.m. May 13, followed by Class A (Silver) vs. Class 3A at 8:30; Class 6A (Silver)/City League vs. Class 5A, 8:30 p.m. May 14; Class 4A (Gold) vs. District 10, 5 p.m. May 15; and Class 6A (Gold) vs. Class 5A (Gold) 7 p.m. May 15.

Girls games include Class 2A/City League vs. Class 3A/A 6:30 May 14; District 10 vs. Class 4A at 1 p.m. May 15, with Class 6A vs. Class 5A to follow at 3.

Coaching searches

Hempfield is going through the interview process to fill its football coach vacancy. Athletic director Brandon Rapp said the district’s next voting meeting is April 19.

Rich Bowen resigned as coach in February after nine seasons.

• Franklin Regional has a candidate in mind to be its next girls volleyball coach. There also is a voting meeting scheduled in that district for April 19.

In January, Mike Feorene stepped down after eight seasons. The Panthers won the WPIAL Class 3A title last fall. They also finished second in the state.

Kapcin to La Roche

Senior Josh Kapcin, a basketball standout at Penn-Trafford, will continue his playing career at La Roche. Initially, Kapcin talked about going to Penn State and hanging up his high tops. But La Roche showed interest late in the season, and Kapcin liked the Red Hawks’ program.

Kapcin averaged 15.7 points this season to help the Warriors reach the WPIAL Class 6A quarterfinals.

Hoop it up

One of the nation’s largest girls basketball AAU tournaments is returning to the region.

The Western PA Bruins Spring Tip-Off Tournament will be April 16-18 at All-American Field House in Monroeville.

Girls in grades 4-11 will compete in the seventh year of the event. It was canceled last year because of the pandemic.

Director John Tate said 225 teams from 11 states and Washington, D.C., are signed up.

In 2019, the tip-off featured six McDonald’s All-American players.

The event had 34 teams in 2012, grew to 110 in ’15 before reaching the wall-to-wall numbers it has today.

Double agent

Hempfield has a promising quarterback candidate in sophomore Jake Phillips, but he isn’t just proficient at football.

Phillips also is a talented lacrosse player. He netted six goals for the Spartans in an 8-6 win at Freeport in the season opener.

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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