Girls' Basketball: Pressure keys rout for Bishop Canevin

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The onslaught came quick -- and it was lethal.

The Bishop Canevin girls blitzed Burrell in the first quarter, grabbed an 18-point lead and went on to defeat Burrell, 55-19, in a WPIAL Class AA semifinal Tuesday night at Moon.

Carly Forse had 23 points and senior guard Erin Waskowiak, a Duquesne University recruit, scored 22 to lead Bishop Canevin (21-4). Jaila Manga had five points for Burrell (22-3). The win puts Bishop Canevin into the title game for the second year in a row against rival Seton-LaSalle.

Against Burrell, it was clear from the outset Bishop Canevin was on another level. Burrell struggled against Bishop Canevin's presses and turned the ball over 10 times in the first quarter. Burrell got only four shots in the first quarter while Bishop Canevin made 10 of 15.

"We were pretty well-prepared for what they were going to do offensively," Bishop Canevin coach Tim Joyce said. "I think what gives teams problems with our press is we do so many different things out of it. It makes you hesitate for a second."

Burrell tied the score, 2-2, but did not score again until early in the second quarter. By that time, Bishop Canevin had gone on a 22-0 run to take a 24-2 lead.

"I think we're pretty versatile," Joyce said. "Our first playoff game, Erin had 31 points. Our second one Celina DiPietro had 26. Tonight, Carly Forse had 20-some."

Bishop Canevin can concentrate on Seton-LaSalle. The two play in the same section and Seton-LaSalle defeated Bishop Canevin a year ago in the title game.

"Our girls like playing them," Joyce said. "Our girls work hard and they've come to realize that it's fun playing at this point of the year. I don't know if they realized it when they were freshmen but they've come to realize it now."

Other semifinal

Seton-LaSalle earned a fifth consecutive trip to the title game by defeating Jeannette, 73-38, at North Hills.

The Rebels, the two-time defending WPIAL champions, stretched their winning streak against WPIAL teams to 66. The previous time Seton-LaSalle lost to a WPIAL team was to Vincentian Dec. 28, 2010.

Jeannette (17-7) featured Ciara Gregory, the WPIAL's leading scorer the past two seasons who had 86 points in the first two playoff games. But Seton-LaSalle (24-1) featured a balanced attack, and balance easily won his one.

Gregory scored 27 points, including three 3-pointers. She took 25 shots and was the only Jeannette player in double figures. The rest of the team combined for 11 points. Gregory's 27 points gave her 2,111 for her career, and she moved past five players and into 25th place on the WPIAL/City League all-time scoring list.

Seton-LaSalle, meanwhile, had three players in double figures. Natalie Piaggesi led with 17. Nicolete Newman added 14 and Naje Gibson 10.

"Balance has been our M.O. all year," Seton-LaSalle coach John Ashaolu said. "We've been very balanced all year. No one on our team is averaging 20 a game. Our high scorer is averaging 14."

Seton-LaSalle took an 11-point lead after the first quarter as Piaggesi scored 12 points. The Rebels increased their advantage to 26 points at halftime.

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Joe Koch of Tri-State Sports & News Service contributed to this report.


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