Westmoreland high school notebook: Norwin’s Bilinsky to get Roundball invite

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Sunday, February 28, 2021 | 4:30 PM


The Roundball Classic is returning in full force this spring.

Organizer Allen Deep said the all-star basketball event will be played May 13-15 at Geneva.

Rosters are far from finished, but Deep knows one player he will invite to the event. He said Norwin senior guard Ty Bilinsky will be selected, even though the senior guard missed most of this season after having a stroke and being diagnosed with a blood disorder.

“He deserves to be there,” Deep said. “I have already reached out to (Norwin coach) Buddy (Valinsky) about it. We’d love to have Ty. In the past, we have had kids with injuries or whatever make the roster. We let them be a part of the games in some way.”

A seven-game schedule, featuring more than 200 players, was wiped out last April.

“We couldn’t shelve it this year,” Deep said. “We were going to find a way to get it done all along. Once the WPIAL decided to play and finish the season and go on with playoffs, that decided it for us.”

Games will be played over three days instead of two and more matchups could be added, Deep said, as details are ironed out over the coming months. Teams will practice at staggered times over two days.

There will not be a banquet.

“Some kids might play two games. We’ll see,” Deep said.

Seniors from five districts will be selected: the WPIAL, City League and Districts 6, 9 and 10.

As far as attendance, Deep said the state’s 10% capacity limitation likely will be in effect, unless something changes.

“(The event) was going to happen whether we had a crowd or not,” Deep said. “The majority of our crowds are family and friends as it is, so that will be mostly the same. Geneva holds 3,000, so we’re looking at 300 people.”

Deep hopes to get invitations to players by the middle of April.

Hoop it up

In total, 32 basketball teams from Westmoreland County learned their WPIAL playoff draws last week. There are 230 teams entered in the tournament.

Preliminary rounds were played Saturday and will continue Monday, while first-round games will begin Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday.

The quarterfinals are set for Friday, Saturday and March 8, and the semifinals will be March 9, 10 and 11.

The WPIAL finals will be March 12, 13 and 15 at high school sites to be determined. Ten schools have submitted bids to host championship games, including Norwin.

Only WPIAL champions will advance to the PIAA playoffs.

Deja vu?

Class 2A No. 2 seed Greensburg Central Catholic (13-3) will open the postseason on the road because its gym is too small to host playoff games.

It is reminiscent of the fall when the same thing happened to GCC in the soccer playoffs.

The Centurions could not host because they have a grass field and WPIAL playoff games are played on turf. GCC soccer teams played a number of games at nearby Norwin on the way to boys and girls WPIAL titles. They both finished as PIAA runners-up.

The situation took a slight turn Sunday when the WPIAL revealed GCC will play at Serra Catholic at 6 p.m. Wednesday in the first round. Serra Catholic is the No. 18 seed but gets back-to-back home games. It also hosted Carmichaels in the preliminary round Saturday.

GCC athletic director Dan Mahoney said the WPIAL did not look at a neutral site because Serra Catholic’s gym can handle the 10% capacity set by the league for spectators.

Gyms must be able to hold 700 or more to host. GCC holds 625.

GCC coach Christian Hyland said the site decision was not a surprise.

“We have to play well regardless of where the game is,” Hyland said.

Recruiting

With an offer from Lehigh in hand, Greensburg Salem junior football player Billy McChesney added an Ivy League offer last week from Penn.

The Ivy League gives academic money, not athletic scholarships.

The 6-foot-2, 265-pound McChesney is a lineman for the Golden Lions.

• Penn-Trafford running back/defensive back Cade Yacamelli, another junior prospect, added an offer from Air Force.

• Yough senior soccer player Nicole Croushore will continue her playing career at Penn State Behrend.

• Chatham will be the college destination for Hempfield senior Josh Winkowski, who made a verbal commitment to play for the Cougars’ lacrosse team.

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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