Boys Basketball - Norwin vs Hempfield
Norwin Survives Late Hempfield Comeback for 47-46 Win
When Norwin and Hempfield boys met on the basketball court on Tuesday, January 17, the outcome of the game was literally on the line. The free throw line, that is.
Norwin held off a second-half Hempfield comeback, in a game where both teams struggled to make free throws down the stretch, and the Knights prevailed 47-46 in the first of two regular season meetings for the Class 6A Section 3 rivals, this one at Norwin High School.
Norwin scored first and never trailed in the game, although the game was tied several times early on. A close opening quarter saw Norwin come out on top 9-8 heading to the second.
After the game was tied at 11 early in the second quarter, Norwin went on a mini-run. The Knights opened an 18-11 lead before Hempfield's Aaron Woodley scored a field goal to stop the bleeding at the 2:35 mark. A Justin Weaver field goal ahead of the second quarter buzzer sent the Knights into the locker room with a 25-16 halftime lead.
Hempfield closed the gap to 5 points at 25-20 within the first 90 seconds of the third quarter. But Norwin built the margin back up to 9 points at 35-26 as the third quarter wound down. A Norwin foul with .3 seconds to play sent Hempfield's Caden Biondi to the line where he connected on two free throws to make it 35-28 with one quarter to play.
Norwin scored to bump their lead back to 9 before Hempfield slowly closed in on the Knights as the 4th quarter progressed. Norwin's lead teetered back-and-forth between 4 and 6 points as the game wound down to the final minutes. When Harry Sowers scored in the paint and was fouled, converting the and-one, the Spartans trailed by only two at 44-42 with 2:04 to play.
Both teams made multiple trips to the foul line in the final minutes and free throws were a deciding factor in the game. Norwin was up 47-44 with 1:06 on the clock, and had multiple opportunities to add several more, but free throw attempts missed their mark and Hempfield found themselves in a one possession game. The Knights fouled Sowers with 24.1 on the clock, and he drained two shots to make it 47-46.
Hempfield regained possession and looked like they might win it at the line, as Biondi was fouled with 3.1 seconds remaining. But both of his free throws were off the mark, and Norwin rebounded to run out the clock and win a squeaker 47-46.
Norwin shot 4-of-13 from the foul line in the fourth quarter, while Hempfield went 8-of-15 in the final frame.
Harry Sowers led all scorers with 17 points, and Caden Biondi contributed 10 to Hempfield's total. Norwin was led by Ryan Edwards with 10, while Collin Gunzburger and Justin Weaver had 8. The Knights played without top scorer Adam Bilinsky who is sidelined with an injury.
Norwin (8-5, 2-3) will host Plum in a non-conference game on 1/20. Hempfield (5-9, 1-4) will be home for a non-conference game with Butler on 1/20.
Watch this link for a full gallery of action photos available for purchase or sharing the day after the game.
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