Westmoreland PIAA basketball playoff capsules for games of March 15
Thursday, March 14, 2019 | 6:30 PM
Nazareth Prep (21-3) vs. Monessen (17-9)
6 p.m. Friday at Keystone Oaks
Winner plays: Winner of Vincentian Academy (18-8)/Cornell (21-5) on Monday in semifinals
Coaches: Nehemiah Brazil, Nazareth Prep; Dan Bosnic, Monessen
Players to watch: Tre Harvey, Sr., F, Nazareth Prep; Dishon Howell, Sr., G, Monessen
Points score/allowed per game: Nazareth Prep, 67.1/51.5; Monessen, 70.8/53.5
About Nazareth Prep: Every step the Saints take in the postseason is another layer of school history. The third-year WPIAL program celebrated its first district title two weeks ago and is chasing the school’s first state championship. Senior Hassan Ismaeli scored 18 points to lead four double-figure scorers as Nazareth Prep downed Shade, 67-61, in the second round at Hempfield. … The Saints won the game of runs with a second-half surge sparked by a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from Jaden Gales to close the third quarter. They had to fight back after giving up a 10-point lead in the first quarter, working to close out on Shade’s 3-point shooters. … The Saints have multiple scoring threats, including the rangy Harvey and 6-foot-6 junior center Jabriel Johnson.
About Monessen: Freshman Devin Whitlock came up big again for the Greyhounds as he carries his breakthrough season into the state bracket. He drove the lane and banked in a short floater with 13.4 seconds remaining to give Monessen a 63-62 victory over Bishop Carroll in a second-round thriller at Greensburg Salem. … Whitlock had 24 points in the victory, while Howell, who is recovering from a wrist injury, had nine if his 15 in the fourth quarter. … Monessen, which lost in the WPIAL semifinals to Vincentian, could see the Royals again if both teams made the state Final Four. … The Greyhounds lost to Kennedy Catholic, 73-59, in the 2017 PIAA semifinals at Slippery Rock. Kennedy Catholic now is one of the top 6A teams.
Norwin (23-2) vs. Peters Township (27-0)
8 p.m. Friday at Keystone Oaks
Winner plays: Winner of Abington (22-4)/Upper Dublin (24-4) on Monday in semifinals.
Coaches: Brian Brozeski, Norwin; Bert Kendall, Peters Township
Players to watch: Abby Best, Sr., G, Norwin; Makenna Marisa, Sr., G, Peters Township
Points scored/allowed per game: Norwin, 57.5/38.1; Peters Township, 66.3/36.8
About Norwin: Norwin showed no ill effects from a three-hour bus ride to Mechanicsburg in a 68-58 win over District 11 champion Northampton in the second round at Cumberland Valley. After a close first half, Norwin opened the third quarter with a 9-0 run to take command. Senior Emily Brozeski had a team-high 17 points in another balanced scoring effort from the Knights that saw junior Olivia Gribble net 13 points, senior Jess Kolesar 12 and sophomore Danielle Rosso 10. The Knights’ quickness, defense and rebounding again made the difference. … Norwin last made the state semifinals in Class AAAA in 2015 when it lost to Cumberland Valley, 56-40, at Altoona. … In 2016, Norwin, like Peters Township this year, entered the PIAA quarterfinal round 27-0, but lost to North Allegheny, 50-43, at Penn Hills. … Norwin won back-to-back WPIAL titles during that stretch.
About Peters Township: The first-time WPIAL-champion remained perfect as it moved a step closer to a potential first state title. Peters Township defeated Bethel Park for the fourth time this season with a 62-44 win in the state second round at Canon-McMillan. … The Indians are No. 25 in the USA Today national rankings. … The Indians are a seasoned group led by Marisa, a Penn State recruit and the 59th-ranked player in the Class of 2019 by ESPN. She had 18 points in the last win over Bethel Park, and junior Mackenzie Lehman scored 14, freshman Journey Thompson chipped in 13 and sophomore Jordan Bisignani added 10 for the Indians, whose last loss came in the PIAA first round last season against Bethel Park. … Peters and Norwin played in the final game of the regular season last year. Peters won, 56-55, in North Huntingdon. … Two years ago, Norwin capped the regular season with a 53-50 win over the Indians on the road.
Bill Beckner Jr. is a Tribune-Review Staff Writer. You can contact Bill by email at email@example.com or via Twitter .
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