WPIAL 6A Girls Championship Preview: Norwin vs. North Allegheny

The Knights swept the Tigers in a pair of games during the regular season

Fri Mar 01, 2024 - 9:11AM

Sean Meyers Sean Meyers

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

WPIAL Class 6A Girls Championship – Friday 7 p.m. Petersen Events Center

No. 3 North Allegheny Tigers (22-2) vs No. 1 Norwin Knights (20-3)



About the Tigers: North Allegheny knocked off second seed Peters Township 43-30 in the semifinals on Monday at Mount Lebanon High School. The Tigers outscored the Indians in every quarter, including 12-6 in the fourth to seal the triumph. NA senior Lydia Betz was the only player in double figures in the contest, as she poured in 21 points, while Grace Heliger and Kellie McConnell added eight and seven points, respectively. The Tigers edged No. 6 Upper St. Clair 44-41 in the quarterfinals to commence the playoffs. McConnell, of the famed basketball family, is committed to Duquesne University, while Betz is a Goldey-Beacom College pledge. Head coach Spencer Stefko eclipsed 400 career wins earlier this year, and he's guided two different programs to a total of seven WPIAL titles. The Tigers have posted winning streaks of six and eight games earlier this campaign, and they are currently riding another eight-game surge. NA has outscored the competition by an average of 54.3 – 41.2 this season.

About the Knights: Norwin jumped out to a 10-0 lead and claimed a wire-to-wire 63-47 victory against No. 5 Chartiers Valley in the semifinals at Peters Township High School on Monday. Ava Christopher led the charge in the first half for the top-seeded Knights, as she tallied 11 of her 14 points before intermission to stake Norwin to a 24-17 advantage. Kendall Berger helped seal the outcome with a strong second half, scoring 18 of her game-high 22 points, while Lauren Palangio added 10 points for Norwin. In the quarterfinals, the Knights notched a mercy-rule victory against No. 8 Seneca Valley 58-20. On the season, Palangio, a Holy Family University commit, leads the team in both scoring and rebound. Berger, a junior, also averages double figures in scoring, while senior Ava Kobus, committed to Allegheny College, is a viable third option. Senior Bailey Snowberger and sophomore Ava Christopher have also been mainstays in the starting lineup. Coach Brian Brozeski is in his 13th season on the sideline for Norwin. The Knights have not lost to a WPIAL opponent this season, as their three losses have come by a combined seven points against Spring-Ford, Kennedy Catholic, and Wheeling Park. Norwin, which is on an 11-game winning streak, has outpaced its adversaries by an average of 54.7 – 36.4 this season.

About the Matchup: With the rivals both residing in Class 6A Section 1, the Knights and Tigers have already met twice this season, with Norwin prevailing both times. The Knights opened the section ledger with a 47-42 win at NA, and Norwin claimed a 20-point home win approximately three weeks later. Last year, the teams split their four meetings, with NA winning in the WPIAL playoffs, and Norwin prevailing in the PIAA postseason. North Allegheny has claimed five WPIAL titles, including last season, all since 2017. Norwin captured back-to-back district crowns in 2015 and 16, with the latter coming at the expense of the Tigers.