Norwood, Penncrest break 37-year district dry spell

By Josh Verlin

Facing down a double-digit deficit to Upper Merion in the third quarter of the District 1 5A championship game, Penncrest was left with one option in hopes of a comeback: give Tyler Norwood the ball, and let him do his thing.

And on the biggest stage of his young career, the Lions’ junior delivered.

Tyler Norwood (above) had 26 points as Penncrest won its first district title since 1980. (Photo: Mark Jordan/CoBL)

Norwood connected on a quartet of 3-pointers over the closing 16 minutes, each one seemingly from a foot further than the one before it, as Penncrest captured its first district title since 1980 with a 39-37 win over Upper Merion at Villanova’s Pavilion on Saturday afternoon.

The super-confident 5-foot-10 guard finished with 26 points, good for two-thirds of his team’s scoring total, including 18 of Penncrest’s 24 in the second half.

“Unbelievable, first championship in 37 years,” he said afterwards. “I give a lot of credit to coach [Mike Doyle] he keeps us in it, plays he calls, I mean, he’s one of the best coaches I’ve ever had, I give a lot of credit to him.”

“It’s probably the greatest basketball moment of my life,” said Doyle, a Philadelphia University (then Textile) alum who spent 10 years as an assistant under Phil Martelli and has also had coaching stops at Arcadia and two other high schools. “Twenty-five years coaching, playing for Herb [Magee], coaching with Phil, this was unbelievable.”

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(Webmaster’s note: The Upper Merion vs Penncrest Championship game was our Game-of-the-Week and can be heard on our Archives link on the left hand side of the page.)