GCC, Norwin girls come up short in PIAA semis

The Centurions faltered in the second half while the Knights lost a heartbreaker in OT

Tue Mar 21, 2023 - 12:12AM

Westmoreland Sports Network Westmoreland Sports Network

Last Updated: Tue Mar 21, 2023 - 2:44AM

Kennedy Catholic 56 Greensburg Central Catholic 44 (Class 2A Semifinal)

After playing on nearly even terms for the first half, Greensburg Central Catholic failed to slow down Kennedy Catholic in the second half on Monday, as the Golden Eagles claimed a 56-44 win in the PIAA Class 2A semifinals at North Allegheny High School.

While the Centurions’ campaign ends at 24-6, Kennedy Catholic (25-4) advances to the state championship game against District 6 Champion Homer-Center at the GIANT Center in Hershey at Noon Thursday.

Kennedy Catholic held a 24-21 edge at the half, but the District 10 champions outpaced GCC 32-23 after the intermission.

The biggest component in that success for Kennedy Catholic was sophomore Layke Fields, who scored a game-high 22 points, including 10 in the third quarter.

In the final quarter, fellow sophomore Monique Vincent knocked down eight consecutive foul shots for Kennedy Catholic, as she netted 13 points in the contest.

Junior Mya Morgan paced the Centurions with 20 points, while freshman Erica Gribble contributed 14 points, including 13 in the second half.

While the Centurions were denied the opportunity to play for their second PIAA crown, with the first coming in 1997, the Golden Eagles aim to write a different ending following their loss in the state title game last year.

Cedar Cliff 55 Norwin 47, OT (Class 6A Semifinal)

Lauren Palangio’s foul shot in the final minute of regulation pulled Norwin even and forced overtime, but the Knights were held scoreless in the extra period, falling to unblemished Cedar Cliff 55-47 in the PIAA Class 6A semifinals at Altoona Area High School on Monday.

Norwin, which finishes the season with a mark of 24-5, was denied its first trip to the state championship game. Conversely, District 3 Champion Cedar Cliff will battle District 12’s Archbishop Carroll for the state title at the GIANT Center in Hershey at 6 p.m. on Friday.

In overtime, Taylor Ferraro stroked a 3-pointer that put the Colts in the lead, and their defense never relinquished that advantage in sealing the outcome.

The first half of the contest was back and forth, as Cedar Cliff (30-0) jumped out to a 14-7 lead after the opening quarter. The Knights responded, though, outpacing the Colts 15-6 in the second quarter to carry a narrow lead into the locker room.

The seesaw affair continued in the second half, as the Knights gained a one-point lead with less than 1:30 left on a basket by Kendall Berger. Cedar Cliff regained the advantage in the final minute on a hoop by Kathryn Samson, but Palangio deadlocked the game with less than 40 seconds left on the clock.

Palangio anchored the attack for the Knights, scoring a game-best 20 points, while Berger posted 11 points. Conversely, Olivia Jones scored 19 points, including 10 in the third frame, to lead the Colts. Alexis Buie chipped in with a dozen points, and Ferraro provided 10 points for Cedar Cliff.