Williams leads GCC to impressive win against Norwin

Saturday, December 18, 2021 | 5:42 PM

Brevan Willliams can dunk. Anybody who has followed Greensburg Central Catholic boys basketball knows that.

But the senior swingman — or is it wing man? — has added to his arsenal.

That was evidenced by his three swished 3-pointers Saturday in the opening game of the 3rd Westmoreland County Coaches Association Showcase at Jeannette.

GCC thumped Class 6A Norwin, 68-45, and Williams scored from all over the place.

“I played (AAU) for Wildcats (Select), and they had me on the wing,” Williams said. “I was shooting 3s for them, and it sort of carried over. I can play the wing.”

GCC’s length affords the 6-foot-4 Williams, the reining Trib Westmoreland player of the year, a chance to play away from the basket. That option makes the team that much more effective and could cause grief for opponents of the returning WPIAL 2A runners-up.

Williams scored a game-high 24 points, senior Ryan Appleby added 16 and senior Dylan Parsons chipped in 11 to power the Centurions to an impressive victory.

GCC, the No. 2-ranked team in Class 2A, moved to 3-1.

“Brevan has added to his game,” GCC coach Christian Hyland said. “A lot of what we do depends on matchups. He and Ryan are interchangeable. We played pretty well. This was one of the better 32-minute performances we’ve had since I’ve been here.”

GCC did not play Friday night because the school was closed because of nationwide TikTok threats. The Centurions were supposed to play Sewickley Academy but instead had the night off.

Norwin (3-2), meantime, was coming off a 55-53 loss to Mt. Lebanon on Friday. While new coach Lance Maha is not one to make excuses, he admitted the Knights were fatigued.

Maha didn’t have anything to do with this year’s schedule, but he will do his best to eliminate back-to-backs in the future; especially Friday-Saturday games.

“We were exhausted,” Maha said. “That was our fifth game in eight days. We played a top-5 (Class 6A) team last night. GCC played well and exposed our weakness today. They made shots. We had no time to prepare for them.”

Senior guard Michael Fleming led Norwin with 17 points, but he was the only Knights player in double figures.

Appleby guarded Norwin standout junior Adam Bilinsky and helped to limit him to eight points.

After a back-and-forth first quarter, Williams and Appleby were difference-makers in the second when GCC began twist a close game in its favor.

Williams keyed an 11-0 run with a 3 and a turn-around jumper, and Appleby scored six of the team’s final eight points of the quarter to give GCC a 34-22 lead at the half.

“This game shows how good of a team we are beating up on a 6A team,” Williams said.

Methodically, the Centurions peeled away even more in the second half.

Williams tipped in a miss, Appleby made a floater in the lane and sophomore guard Tyree Turner converted an and-1 to push the margin to 44-26.

Williams took a lob pass and scored, and Parsons swiped an inbounds pass for a layup to give GCC a 57-30 lead early in the fourth.

Another 3 from Williams stretched the advantage to 30.

“Our defense was pretty solid,” Hyland said. “Ryan did a great job on one of the better players in the county (Bilinsky). He has really blossomed on both ends. I think our guys were anxious to play today.”

The teams missed just two free throws, going a combined 19 for 21. Norwin was 6 for 6.

“We don’t have a lot of size and they just killed us on the boards,” Maha said. “We’re trying to develop depth.

“We took some positives out of the week. We beat a good City League team Obama Academy (55-41) and Peters Township (54-48), and we took Mt. Lebanon down to the wire. But there is no rearview mirror. We’re back at it next week at the Moon Christmas tournament. No easy games.”

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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