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Slump dooms Charleroi

| Monday, Feb. 18, 2013, 12:31 a.m.
Charleroi's #4 Eric Johnson puts up two against Bishop Canevin's #33 Jake Seligman,#22 A.J. Puchany, and #24 Brennan Cahill, at WPIAL Class AA 1st round playoff at Peters Township High School. Final Bishop Canevin 59, Charleroi 52. Jim Ference | The Valley Indepndent
Charleroi's #23 Jim Diaz drives past Bishop Canevin's #33 Jake Seligman, at WPIAL Class AA 1st round playoffs at Peters Township High School. Final Bishop Canevin 59, Charleroi 52. Jim Ference | The Valley Indepndent

Charleroi's Class AA preliminary round defeat to Bishop Canevin featured several runs.

Down 3-0, the Crusaders went on a 10-0 run minutes into the contest.

The Cougars countered with 10-2 run later in the opening quarter to take a 13-12 lead.

Not to be outdone, Bishop Canevin went on a 13-2 run that overlapped the end of the first quarter into the second to take a 25-15 advantage.

Charleroi (14-7) was able to cut its deficit to 31-26 at the half, but the Crusaders went on what the deciding run in the third quarter, outscoring Charleroi 16-6 in the frame and holding on to win, 59-52.

“The game was a run of spurts and theirs was a little longer than ours,” Charleroi coach Bill Wiltz said. “We got into a slump in the third quarter and couldn't recover. But the kids tried to recover and never quit.”

How much of a factor was Bishop Canevin's 2-3 zone?

“We had seen them on four films and they were in that each time so we expected it,” Wiltz said. “They packed it in and we had to hit some shots and we did that early, but we missed them later.”

Down 49-32 early in the fourth quarter, the Cougars went on a furious rally to cut the deficit to seven before running out of time.

“When we were down, it was a big hill to climb,” he said.

The run was sparked by a three-pointer from injured senior Jim Diaz.

The shot keyed a 14-4 run for Charleroi, but the Cougars were not able to get any closer than seven points the rest of the way.

Matt Indorante led Charleroi with 16 points while Eric Johnson scored 13 and Diaz, who played on a badly sprained ankle, added 10.

Mike Tambellini led Bishop Canevin with 19 points, while Jake Seliman added 17.

The Cougars only have two seniors in Diaz and Sheldon Linneman, and Wiltz said he will miss them but is excited about the future of his program.

“I can't say enough about them,” Wiltz said. “They work hard and are great kids that I would take home with me.

“But we have a bright future. We think we're going to be extremely good next year if we get a good offseason in. if we do that, we'll be tough to beat next year.”

The Crusaders (11-12) move on to face top-seeded Beaver Falls in the first round.

Bill Hughes is a freelance writer.

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