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No. 2 Bishop Canevin girls blasts Burrell

Jasmine Goldband | Tribune-Review
Burrell's Kelsey Oddis tries to keep her hands on the ball as Bishop Canevin's Gina Vallecorsa takes possession during their WPIAL Class AA semifinal Feb. 26, 2013, at Moon High School. Bishop Canevin beat Burrell, 55-19.

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Tuesday, Feb. 26, 2013, 10:30 p.m.

Burrell drove all the way to Moon, only to get throttled into orbit.

Making its first WPIAL Class AA semifinal appearance in girls basketball since 1994, No. 3 seed Burrell struggled to find its game and showed it's not quite ready to take the next step — at least not this year — in a 55-19 loss to No. 2 Bishop Canevin at Moon High School.

Bishop Canevin showed its playoff experience, looking cool and collected against a Burrell team whose best days might lie ahead.

Burrell (22-3), which sustained its first loss to a Class AA team all season, committed 11 first-quarter turnovers and, before a sparse Buccaneers crowd could settle into their seats, Bishop Canevin stormed to a 20-2 lead. Burrell trailed, 30-7, at halftime.

“We were nervous and did a lot of things that are uncharacteristic,” Burrell coach Meghan Ziemianski said. “It's not that our girls didn't try. Maybe we can take some momentum from this experience into states.”

The Crusaders (21-4) never let up, playing starters until the 1:08 mark of the fourth quarter to earn a return trip to the WPIAL finals.

“We read some things (in the newspaper) about Burrell playing well against us in the fall and them wanting to get to Palumbo and that motivated us,” Bishop Canevin coach Tim Joyce said. “It was bulletin board (material).”

Burrell came in with a WPIAL-best defensive average of 27.5 points per game, but Bishop Canevin had 28 points before halftime. Burrell allowed 65 points combined in its two previous playoff wins.

Senior 1,000-point scorers Carly Forse and Erin Waskowiak stood out for Bishop Canevin. Forse, a Point Park recruit, scored a game-high 23 points. Waskowiak, who is headed to Duquesne, added 22 as the Crusaders advanced to face No. 1 Seton-La Salle (24-1) in the championship game at 5 p.m. Friday at Palumbo Center.

It will be a rematch of last year's final, and Bishop Canevin will look to avenge a 73-60 loss.

Waskowiak hit four 3-pointers, all when the game was well in hand.

“When we played Burrell (in the fall), we didn't have (Waskowiak); she had a broken toe,” Joyce said. “Our girls are pretty versatile, and we have some seniors who have been here before.”

Joyce said his team's defense “makes teams hesitate,” and that seemed to be the case against Burrell, which appeared panicky, far from the way it's played all season. Burrell, which has qualified for the PIAA Class AA playoffs, managed just six field goals.

Burrell will lose just one senior, Jenna Ehrlich, who missed the season with an injury. It takes time to build playoff experience, and this season could serve as a springboard to the next.

Junior guard Jaila Manga led Burrell with five points and freshman forward Natalie Myers had four. The Bucs' leading scorer, sophomore Sydney Bordonaro (15 ppg), was held to one point.

“They're a good team, and we didn't show up,” Bordonaro said.

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