Palangio powers Knights to WPIAL championship

The Norwin senior registered a double-double as the Knights topped North Allegheny Friday night

Fri Mar 01, 2024 - 10:22PM

Sean Meyers Sean Meyers
Norwin's Lauren Palangio helped the Knights bring home a WPIAL title for the first time since 2016. (Photo by Ed Thompson)Norwin's Lauren Palangio helped the Knights bring home a WPIAL title for the first time since 2016. (Photo by Ed Thompson)

Last Updated: Sat Mar 02, 2024 - 2:41AM

Although Norwin swept North Allegheny during the regular season, the Knights needed to beat the Tigers for a third time to achieve one of their biggest goals. Senior Lauren Palangio made sure the Knights did just that, as she was dominant in leading Norwin to a 56-41 victory against NA to claim the WPIAL Class 6A Championship at the Petersen Events Center on Friday night.

As a result, the top-seeded Knights captured their third WPIAL Championship, and the first since going-back-to-back in 2015 and 2016. The No. 3 seed Tigers, conversely, were denied their sixth district crown, a run of dominance that began with their first title in 2017.

Palangio, a Holy Family commit, scored a dozen points, snagged 15 rebounds, dished out three assists, added two steals, and amassed five blocks. She was one of three Norwin players who scored in double figures, as Ava Christopher netted a game-high 16 points, and Kendall Berger posted 10 points.


Palangio’s contributions were desperately needed for Norwin (21-3) in the first quarter, as the Knights fell into a 6-0 deficit in the first three minutes. Lydia Betz led the hot start for North Allegheny, scoring eight points in the frame. However, Palangio scored five points for Norwin, which rallied to deadlock the score at the end of the quarter.

In the second quarter, Norwin shifted the game in its favor, outscoring NA 16-6. Christopher, a sophomore, and Bella Furno were catalysts during that surge, combining to score 10 points in the stanza. Meanwhile, the Knights displayed their trademark defense on the other end of the floor, limiting the Tigers to just 3-of-11 shooting in the quarter, including 0-for-5 from behind the arc.

While Palangio continued to dominate the glass and protect the rim into the third, Berger got untracked offensively, scoring six points in the quarter, which pushed the Norwin advantage to 13 heading into the final frame.

The Tigers (22-3) never trimmed into the Norwin lead the rest of the way, as the Knights were nearly perfect at the foul line, hitting 16-of-18 attempts.

Betz paced NA with 13 points, while Caroline Henderson added 11 points.

Both teams will enter the PIAA postseason next Friday.