Carly Forse scored 17 points, and Celina DiPietro and freshman Gina Vallacorsa each added 10 point as Bishop Canevin made the most of a patient offensive approach to defeat Seton-LaSalle, 41-36, in a PIAA Class AA girls basketball semifinal Tuesday night at Chartiers Valley High School. The victory was the Crusaders' second in a row against their Section 4 rivals. In the WPIAL Class AA championship March 1, the Crusaders edged the Rebels, 56-47. Seton-LaSalle won both regular-season meetings.
"I feel real happy right now," Bishop Canevin coach Tim Joyce said. "This [victory] wasn't a fluke."
The Crusaders improved to 26-4 and will meet York Catholic (28-1) in the Class AA championship at noon Friday at the Giant Center in Hershey, Pa. Seton-LaSalle finished 27-3.
Four players scored eight points apiece for Seton-LaSalle: Cassidy Walsh, Angelea Heintz, Naje Gibson and Natalie Piaggesi.
Through the first three and a half quarters, neither team enjoyed a lead of greater than six points.
But after the Rebels' Cassidy Walsh tied the score with a free throw with 5:04 left, the Crusaders were patient on offense, and Forse dominated with five big points and a crucial rebound on a missed shot by Gibson with less than 30 seconds left and the Crusaders holding a 39-36 lead.
"We wanted to keep the game in the 30s, and the kids did exactly what we wanted," Joyce said.
The amazing fact was that the Crusaders were able to keep the game close after Erin Waskowiak committed her third personal foul with 59 seconds left in the first quarter. The call so incensed Joyce that he was assessed a technical foul.
That forced Alaina McGuire into the game, and she was steady on the point.
"She's done that all year for us," Joyce said. "We don't expect her to be [Waskowiak]. We want her to defend and not turn the ball over."
• Cumberland Valley 54, Chartiers Valley 39: The Eagles (26-4) jumped to a 15-point halftime lead and beat the Colts (22-8) in a PIAA semifinal at Altoona.
Cumberland Valley, the fifth-place finisher in District 3, will play District 1 champion Spring-Ford in the title game at 6 p.m. Friday night at Giant Center.
The Eagles didn't commit a turnover or get whistled for a foul in the first quarter as they jumped to a 17-9 lead.
The Colts were able to score just three points in the second quarter and went into halftime down, 27-12. They never got within single digits in the second half.
Kassidy O'Keefe led the Colts with 21 points, scoring 15 of the team's 17 fourth-quarter points.
• Vincentian 45, Bishop Guilfoyle 40: The Royals (29-1) blew a 12-point fourth quarter lead but were able to notch the final six points to win its PIAA semifinal at Indiana High School.
Vincentian will play Tri-Valley (26-3) of District 1 in the PIAA final at noon Friday at Giant Center.
The Royals led by nine at halftime and increased the margin to 39-27 by the end of the third quarter.
But Bishop Guilfoyle (27-3) started the fourth quarter on a 13-0 run to take the lead in the fourth quarter.
With Vincentian needing a basket, freshman Torrieanna Cash scored the team's only field goal on a layup with 2:35 to play to give the Royals the lead against, 41-40.
"I just saw the lane," said Cash, who finished with seven points. "That's one of the reasons they gave [the ball] to me. I like to attack.
"When I got there, I just put it in the right square. We didn't really want a quick shot at that point, but, if we saw it, we were supposed to take it. I just took it."
The Royals got two free throws each from Brenna Wise and Abbey Bartoszewicz to seal the win.
Wise finished with 16 points and 14 rebounds, while Bartoszewicz scored 14 points and grabbed 10 boards.
Halee Adams led Bishop Guilfoyle with 16 points.
First Published March 20, 2013 4:00 AM