Burrell seeks payback in WPIAL Class AA semifinal
TribLIVE Sports Videos
Lengthy playoff runs could be the wave of the future for the Burrell girls basketball team, with a host of talented underclassmen returning next season and more coming up the ladder.
But this year's group doesn't want to talk about the potential for future opportunities to compete for WPIAL titles.
The theme around the Buccaneers: Why not this year?
“I remember when I was 8 years old and people were talking about our group coming up,” Burrell sophomore guard Sydney Bordonaro said. “People almost expected us to be good and to make a run like this. We're so excited. We can't wait to have a chance to play at Palumbo.”
No. 3 seed Burrell (22-2) will play No. 2 Bishop Canevin (20-4) at 6 p.m. Tuesday at Moon in its first WPIAL semifinal appearance since 1994.
A win vaults the Bucs into the Class AA championship game, slated for 5 p.m. Friday at Palumbo Center.
The winner of No. 5 Jeannette (17-6) and No. 1 Seton-La Salle (23-1) will be waiting.
Burrell lost twice to Bishop Canevin in the Crusaders' fall league. This one counts, though, and Burrell wants payback.
“The odds are in our favor this time,” Burrell coach Meghan Ziemianski said. “It's a much different situation. Our girls see it as any other game. They are relaxed and ready to go.
“There isn't that ‘what-if-we-lose' feeling.”
Burrell has been among the top defensive teams in the WPIAL for most of the season. The Bucs allow just 27.5 points per game.
They'll have to limit the production of Bishop Canevin standout guard Erin Waskowiak, who averages 16 points. A Duquesne recruit, she scored 31 in a first-round win over Neshannock.
“It was a close game, and it got real intense (in the fall league),” Bordonaro said. “They have some good guards, but we think we match up well with them.”
But Waskowiak is not alone. Guard Celina DiPietro connected on eight 3-pointers and scored 26 points in a 56-44 win over Mohawk in the quarterfinals. That win gave Tim Joyce his 200th career win.
While Burrell is new to this level of the playoffs, Bishop Canevin is not. Four starters returned from a team that reached the WPIAL final. The Crusaders lost to perennial power Seton-La Salle, 73-60, and would love another shot.
“It should be a good game,” Burrell junior guard Jaila Manga said. “We're trying not to let (the hype of playing in the semifinals) get to us.”
Manga has won a WPIAL championship in softball, so she knows the feeling of big-game pressure.
“You just have to play your game and see what happens,” Manga said.
Bill Beckner Jr. is the local sports editor of the Valley News Dispatch. Reach him at email@example.com.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com you agree to our Terms of Service.
We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.
While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.
We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers.
We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.
We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.
We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.
We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.
- Springdale girls seeking fresh start after 0-19 year
- Woodland Hills girls basketball team emphasizing attention to detail
- Connellsville girls ready to compete for playoffs spot
- WPIAL Class AAA boys basketball preview: Experienced lineup has Mars among title contenders
- WPIAL Class AAA girls basketball preview: South Fayette using title-game defeat as motivation
- New coach ready to get started with Gateway girls basketball
- Crop of young players bodes well for Springdale boys basketball team
- Woodland Hills’ plan starts to come together
- Franklin Regional boys basketball enters the season battle-tested
- Gateway boys basketball looking to get defensive
- Franklin Regional girls respond quickly to new coach