Norwin Knocks Off Top-Ranked North Allegheny, 44-43

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Junior Jayla Wehner banked in a runner from the paint with 6.3 seconds remaining to lift No. 4 Norwin to a 44-43 win over top-ranked North Allegheny on Tuesday night.  The Tigers still had a chance to win following the Wehner basket, but senior Jessica Kolesar’s steal in the waning seconds secured the Section 1-6A victory for the host Knights. The outcome snapped a 17-game winning streak for North Allegheny and a five-game winning streak for the Tigers in the head-to-head series.

Despite a 5-2 lead for Norwin in the opening minutes, North Allegheny held the advantage for the vast majority of the first half. Paced by a 17-point night by sophomore Lizzy Groetsch, the Tigers swelled the lead by as much as nine points in the second quarter at 23-14. North Allegheny senior Rachel Martindale also touched double figures with 12 points, including three 3-pointers.

Norwin used a 7-0 run to trim the deficit before intermission and trailed 25-21 at the half.

Junior Olivia Gribble helped Norwin stay within striking distance of North Allegheny in the first half with four 3-pointers. Gribble added two more treys in the second half to finish with a game-high 18 points.

Tied 31-31 late in the third quarter, Norwin grabbed the lead on a layup by senior Emily Brozeski for 33-31 advantage to close out the period. The Knights expanded the lead to 36-31 on a Wehner 3-pointer in the opening seconds of the fourth quarter. Brozeski totaled 11 points in the contest, Wehner finished with nine.

North Allegheny rallied back with a 10-3 run to take a 41-39 lead, capped on a 3-pointer by senior Brynn Serbin with just under two minutes remaining.

In a seesaw fourth quarter, Norwin immediately regained the lead on a 3-pointer by senior Abigail Best for a 42-41 advantage. The Tigers wasted little time in responding, setting up junior Katarina Balouris for a layup which leapfrogged NA into the lead, 43-42, with 1:10 left to play. The teams exchanged possessions in the final minute before Wehner banked in the game-winning shot with 6.3 seconds remaining to lift Norwin to a 44-43 win.

Following Tuesday’s outcome, North Allegheny and Norwin now sit in a tie for first place in Section 1-6A with identical records of 10-1 in the section and 17-1 overall. The Tigers look to rebound from their first defeat of the season with a home game on Thursday night against Pine-Richland.