Norwin Lady Knights Triumph Over Hempfield In Championship Form
The #4 MSA ranked Norwin Lady Knights performed like a championship caliber club in their showdown with #8 ranked Hempfield Lady Spartans. It was senior night at Hempfield but a junior would steal the show as Alayna Gribble was just too much to handle.
This game was close in the first quarter though the Knights stormed out to a 7-0 lead. Hempfield would battle back with a 7-0 run of their own to tie the game at 9 all. From there the Knights would take a lead they would not relinquish the rest of the evening. At the end of the first quarter Norwin held two point lead at 18-16 of which Gribble had 9.
Early in the second quarter fouls hampered Hempfield as senior Lexi Irwin picked up her third foul and had to spend a majority of the quarter on the sideline. The Knights would go on an 8-0 run to take a double digit lead 30-19. The Spartans were unable to overcome the double digit deficit throughout the remainder of the contest.
Early in the third quarter fouls would again play a role in the Spartan game plan as senior Leah Knizner found herself in foul trouble collecting her fourth before 3 minutes had rolled off the clock. Neither her nor Irwin would foul out. Knizner lead all Spartans with 22 points while Irwin also posted double digits with 11. With the two senior Spartans playing conservatively throughout the remainder of the contest and Norwin shooting the lights out, there was little chance of a Spartan comeback. A valiant effort was made as junior Spartan Aubree Halusic connected on three second half shots from beyond the arc. She finished the contest with 17 points.
However Norwin was just too good all around as they had four players post double digits and eight players in all on the score sheet. Seniors Laura Buchanan and Delaney Arbore each posted 12 points while fellow senior Amanda Batey tallied 10 points. The story of the night however was the dominant performance by Norwin junior Alayna Gribble who shined in every aspect of the game as she imposed her will. She led all scorers with 27 points 16 of which were in the first half. For her efforts she was named the Quad A Conference Player of the Game.
Hempfield falls to 13-7 overall and 7-4 in section play. The Spartans have secured a spot in the WPIAL playoffs and will conclude their section schedule Thursday at Latrobe. The Knights improve to 17-3 overall and 10-1 in section play. They will take their shot against the #1 ranked and section leading Penn Trafford Warriors this Friday where a win would give them a share of the Section 1 crown.