Boys Basketball - Norwin vs Penn-Trafford
Norwin Boys Hold Off Penn-Trafford 48-45 to Earn Playoff Spot
If you heard a loud rumbling noise along Route 30 shortly before 9 o'clock on Friday night, don't be alarmed. It was just the Norwin boys basketball team and fans celebrating earning a spot the WPIAL playoffs after a five year hiatus.
The Knights took a 9-point lead into the final quarter and held off a hard-charging Penn-Trafford team in the final seconds to win 48-45 over their long time rival on Friday, February 11, at Norwin High School in North Huntingdon.
Norwin jumped out front quickly as 3-pointers were falling through the net for Michael Fleming and Ty Stecko. Each had a pair of 3s as the Knights led 16-9 after one quarter.
Norwin extended their lead to 12 midway through the second quarter before Penn-Trafford started to close the gap. The Warriors only trailed by 5 when the teams headed to their locker rooms for halftime.
The Warriors clawed their way back in the third quarter, tying the game at 29 with 5 minutes left in the quarter. But the quarter belonged to Norwin's Adam Bilinsky, who put up 10 of his team's 13 points to take a 40-31 lead to the final quarter.
Penn-Trafford held the Knights scoreless from the field the rest of the game, and the Warriors fought back to take a 43-42 lead with 2:45 remaining. Penn-Trafford put the Knights' Justin Weaver on the free throw line at the 2:27 mark, where he made a pair to put Norwin back on top 44-43. Norwin regained possession and ran the clock down to the final 35 seconds before the Warriors fouled Fleming, who drained a pair to up the lead to 46-43. Norwin was shooting n the double bonus, but they had team fouls to give, and they used them to disrupt the Warriors' momentum over the final seconds. Conlan Greene hit a close-range jump shot with 6 seconds remaining to bring the Warriors to within one, and Adam Bilinsky was fouled with 3.1 on the clock. Bilinsky calmly made both shots, and the Warriors ensuing hail Mary shot fell short, giving Norwin a 48-45 victory to celebrate with their fans at midcourt.
Adam Bilinsky led Norwin with 16 points, Michael Fleming added 11, and Justin Weaver 10. Norwin was 8-of-10 from the charity stripe in the fourth quarter to seal the win. Conlan Greene was high scorer for the Warriors with 16 and Noah Wright was good for 12.
Norwin (8-10, 4-6) joins Penn-Trafford and Hempfield with identical conference play records in Class 6A Section 3, earning all three teams a spot in the playoffs. The Knights will finish up the regular season with a non-conference game at Franklin Regional on Monday 2/14. Penn-Trafford (8-12, 4-6) will host Woodland Hills in a non-conference game on Monday to finish their regular season.
Watch this link for a full gallery of action photos available for purchase or sharing the day after the game.
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