Norwin girls to face Mt. Lebanon for 4th consecutive postseason
There weren’t many surprises at the WPIAL basketball pairings meeting Tuesday at the Green Tree Doubletree.
About the only suspense was where the WPIAL committee would seed Norwin and North Allegheny in Class 6A.
Both teams finished Section 1 play with 13-1 records, and North Allegheny is the reigning champion. So the committee rewarded undefeated Peters Township (22-0), the only unbeaten squad in the class and a team that lost to NA by 31 in last season’s title game, the No. 1 seed.
North Allegheny (21-1) was seeded No. 2, Norwin (20-1) was No. 3 and Bethel Park (20-2) was No. 4.
The seeding did not surprise Norwin basketball coach Brian Brozeski.
“We’re just excited to be in the tournament,” Brozeski said. “What we have to do is focus on us, and in order to get where we want to go, we have to improve every day. Our independent goal is to get better every day at practice. We have to keep finding ways to advance in the tournament.”
Norwin drew a familiar foe in the opening round, which is Feb. 22 at a site to be determined. The Knights face No. 6 Mt. Lebanon (12-10).
They have met five times the past three seasons with Mt. Lebanon winning the past three games, including in the past two postseasons. This is the fourth consecutive season they will meet in the playoffs.
Norwin won both meetings in 2015-16: in the WPIAL quarterfinals and in the PIAA first round. Mt. Lebanon won the quarterfinal-round matchup in 2016-17 and the regular-season and quarterfinal-round games last season.
Mt. Lebanon coach Dori Oldaker said she wasn’t surprised her team would face Norwin.
“We’ve played in the past, and we’re familiar with their program,” Oldaker said.
Broseski said he wants to talk to Oldaker about making this an annual event.
“It’s going to be a great challenge,” Brozeski said. “I’m sure both sides will be looking forward to it. She’s wonderful coach and has a great team. We have to make sure we take the appropriate attack in the next few weeks of preparation and try to come out on top.”
In Class 5A, Franklin Regional (16-6) drew a No. 5 seed and Penn-Trafford (13-9) a No. 8.
The Panthers will face No. 12 South Fayette (13-9) at 8 p.m. on Tuesday at Keystone Oaks, and the Warriors tangle with No. 9 Trinity (11-11) at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday at Mt. Lebanon.
Franklin Regional coach Anthony Kobus said he was glad the team was in the tournament.
“We have a tough matchup,” said Kobus, who expected everyone to be ready for the game. “The section is very tough, and we’re looking forward to it. We’re right where we need to be.”
Franklin Regional has dropped two of its past three games.
Greensburg Salem (12-10) received a No. 10 seed in Class 4A and will face No. 7 McKeesport (12-8) at 6:30 p.m. on Monday at Fox Chapel.
Second-year coach Rick Klimchock said he’s excited to be back in the playoffs.
“You’re going to see two teams that will play very hard,” Klimchock said. “McKeesport is very athletic, and we’re coming off our best game of the season at Apollo-Ridge. It’s going to be fun.”
Belle Vernon (14-8), seeded No. 9, will face Keystone Oaks (13-8) at 6:30 p.m. on Monday at Peters Township.
Southmoreland (17-5), seeded No. 6, is making its first trip to the playoffs since 2008. The Scotties will face No. 11 Apollo-Ridge (15-7) at 6:30 p.m. on Monday at Norwin.
Greensburg Central Catholic (19-3) received a No. 3 seed in Class A behind No. 1 West Greene (20-2) and No. 2 Rochester (16-6).
The Centurions will face the winner of Tuesday’s game between Mapletown (12-10) and Quigley (12-10) on Feb. 22.
Paul Schofield is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Paul at [email protected] or via Twitter @Schofield_Trib.