Westmoreland PIAA basketball playoff capsules: Games for Monday, March 20, 2023

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Sunday, March 19, 2023 | 3:30 PM


PIAA girls basketball playoffs

Class 6A

Semifinals

Norwin (24-4) vs. Cedar Cliff (29-0)

7 p.m. Monday, Altoona High School

District-place: Norwin 7-3; Cedar Cliff 3-1

Winner plays: Winner of Archbishop Carroll (14-11)/Cardinal O’Hara (23-5) in championship at 6 p.m. Friday at Giant Center, Hershey

Coaches: Brian Brozeski, Norwin; Scott Weyant, Cedar Cliff

Players to watch: Ava Kobus, Norwin; Alexis Buie, Cedar Cliff

Layup lines: Norwin bounced rival North Allegheny from the state tournament with a convincing 50-30 victory in the quarterfinals to reach its first state semifinal since 2015 — second overall. The ’15 Knights, who won the first of back-to-back WPIAL titles, lost to Cumberland Valley, 56-40, in the semis at Altoona. Norwin never has reached the state final. Against North Allegheny, sophomore Kendall Berger scored a game-high 18 points, junior Kobus added 12 and junior Lauren Palangio had 10 points and 12 rebounds. Norwin has not allowed more than 43 points in 10 straight games. It has not given up 50 more since late January, and that occurred just twice, against North Allegheny and Upper St. Clair. The Knights’ defensive average is 33.2. They already defeated two District 3 teams in Lebanon (57-43, second round) and Central Dauphin (34-19, first round). … Cedar Cliff returns to the semifinals for a second straight season after a 39-22 win over WPIAL runner-up Upper St. Clair at Altoona. Alexis Buie and Olivia Jones, both 6-foot-2, each posted double-doubles with 10 points and 11 rebounds apiece. The first-time District 3 champions also got 10 points from guard Sydney Weyant. Jones, a 5-foot-10 freshman combo guard, has a Division I offer from Monmouth. Buie, a Central Dauphin transfer, also is getting high-level college attention. Weyant is a Susquehanna commit. Taylor Ferraro is a Penn soccer recruit. Jones, Weyant, Buie, Ferraro and coach Weyant were all Mid-Penn Keystone Division All-Stars. Cedar Cliff lost to eventual champion Plymouth Whitemarsh in the semis last year, 48-35. Coach Weyant has 293 career wins.

Class 2A

Semifinals

Greensburg Central Catholic (24-5) vs. Kennedy Catholic (24-4)

6 p.m. Monday, North Allegheny High School, McCandless

District-place: Greensburg Central Catholic 7-5; Kennedy Catholic 10-1

Winner plays: Winner of Montrose (23-4)/Homer-Center (23-7) in championship at noon Thursday at Giant Center, Hershey

Coaches: Chris Skatell, Greensburg Central Catholic; Justin Magestro, Kennedy Catholic

Players to watch: Erica Gribble, Greensburg Central Catholic; Layke Fields, Kennedy Catholic

Layup lines: With a convincing 53-35 win over WPIAL champion Shenango in the quarterfinals, Greensburg Central Catholic returned to the state final four for the first time since 2006. Gribble, a freshman, scored 19 points, junior Avery Davis added 18 and junior Mya Morgan had 11 as GCC jumped out to a 22-2 lead after the first quarter and never looked back. GCC came a long way from a WPIAL quarterfinal loss to Burgettstown. It has five straight wins since and has won eight of nine. Gribble averages 16.9 points, Davis 16.6 and Davis 10.3. GCC also made the PIAA semis in 2005 and ’04 but has not broken through to the finals since 1997, when that team won the state title. The ’06 team lost to Westmont Hilltop, 49-46, in the semis to finish 30-2. GCC girls’ all-time leading scorer, Ashley Henderson, was a junior on that team. A former assistant, Skatell is 42-10 in two years leading the program. He coached Kennedy Catholic’s Izzy Bianco in AAU with the Western PA Bruins. … Kennedy Catholic, riding a 22-game winning streak, is back in the state semis after advancing in Class A last year. It fell to Northcumberland Christian, 66-54, in the state final. This year’s team took care of Bishop McCort, 61-48, in a quarterfinal Friday at Norwin. The performance of the night went to Golden Eagles sophomore forward Fields, who made all 15 of her field goals, believed to be a PIAA record, and finished with 30 points and 12 rebounds. Bella Magestro provided 12 assists in the victory. Fields averages 19.1 points, 10.8 rebounds and 2.6 blocks. Magestro, a freshman, is a 12.4-point scorer and also provides 3.9 rebounds and 3.9 assists. Kennedy Catholic, which started the season 0-3, averages 64.1 points and 31.5 rebounds a game. State wins for Kennedy Catholic include 77-20 over Brentwood and 56-39 over Burgettstown. GCC also played those teams in the postseason.

Bill Beckner Jr. is a TribLive reporter covering local sports in Westmoreland County. He can be reached at bbeckner@triblive.com.

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