Westmoreland high school notebook: PIHL Class A final could feature 2 local teams

Sunday, March 12, 2023 | 3:52 PM

One Westmoreland County team is guaranteed a spot in the PIHL Class A championship. But there could be two.

Blue No. 3 seed Norwin (17-4) will take on No. 1 seed Fox Chapel (19-2) at 7 p.m. Wednesday in one semifinal, with Blue No. 2 Greensburg Salem (18-3) and Gold No. 4 Kiski Area (17-5) to follow at 9. Both games will be played at Robert Morris Island Sports Center in Neville Township.

The Penguins Cup championship is set for 8:45 p.m. March 20 at Lemieux Sports Complex in Cranberry.

Norwin is the defending champion and will face Fox Chapel in the semis for the second year in a row.

The Knights edged the Foxes in overtime last year, 5-4, to advance to the final for the first time in 38 years. They won their first title with a 5-0 win over McDowell in the final.

The Knights won back-to-back, one-goal games to reach the semis this year: 6-5 over West Allegheny, and 4-3 (OT) over McDowell.

Greensburg Salem advanced to the semifinals for the first time with a 6-3 victory against Shaler. The Golden Lions finished second in the Blue Division behind Fox Chapel, and Norwin was third.

Greensburg Salem and Norwin split their two-game division series.

Kiski Area upset Gold top seed North Hills, 3-2, to reach its first semifinal.

Three other schools from Westmoreland have captured Penguin Cups, and they all won consecutive titles. They are: Franklin Regional (2016, ‘17), Latrobe (2008, ‘09, ‘10, ‘13), and Greensburg Central Catholic (1992, ‘93, ‘96).

Norwin and Franklin Regional won Class A titles. The others were all in 2A.

A third local team will play in the Class 2A semifinals. Latrobe (12-7) was bumped into the final four after Bishop McCort was whistled for using an ineligible player in a 2-1 quarterfinal win over Latrobe in overtime.

The Wildcats will take on South Fayette (16-3) at 9 p.m. Tuesday at RMU as they chase a fifth Penguins Cup.

State hoops sites

Three local girls basketball teams remain in the PIAA playoffs. Their games sites for the second round were announced Sunday.

In Class 6A, Norwin (22-4) will play Lebanon (27-2), the fifth-place team from District 3, at 5:30 p.m. at Bald Eagle High School in Bellefonte.

In Class 2A, Greensburg Central Catholic (22-5) has District 10 runner-up Maplewood (21-5) at 7:30 Tuesday at Slippery Rock University.

On Wednesday, Penn-Trafford (18-9) will take on a familiar opponent, McKeesport (22-4), at 7:30 p.m. at Norwin in Class 5A.

The 6A and 2A semifinals are Friday, while the 5A semis are Saturday.

Roundball approaching

The event that wraps a bow around high school basketball season is about two months away.

The Roundball Classic all-star games, for the top senior players in the WPIAL and surrounding districts, will be May 18, 19 and 20 at Geneva’s Metheny Fieldhouse.

Event director Allen Deep said rosters are in the works and will be announced soon.

There are a number of boys and girls games, both preliminary and premier level, all three days.

Robbins coaching

Former Penn-Trafford lacrosse player John Robbins has joined the coaching ranks.

Robbins is now an assistant with the Hickory, a Class 3A school in Hermitage.

The Hornets compete in District 10, Region 3.


Norwin football standout Jackson Pons picked up an offer from Lafayette, a Patriot League school.

Pons, a junior wide receiver and defensive back, has offers from multiple conferences, including the Ivy League, Mid-American and others.

Southmoreland senior Max Sokol will continue his hockey career at West Virginia.

The Mountaineers are an American Collegiate Hockey Association Division II program.

Sokol also was the Scotties’ No. 1 golfer last fall.

• It was a two-for-one deal for the Thiel women’s lacrosse program.

Greensburg Salem seniors Makayla Flock and Cassie Kaufman signed to play at the Division III school in Greenville.

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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