Seton, Ashaolu prep for state-playoff run
Bishop Canevin stunned the Seton-La Salle girls' basketball team in the WPIAL Class AA championship game, winning by a final score of 56-47.
Junior forward Johnie Olkosky finished with 26 points — including seven treys — to spark the Lady Crusaders.
The Lady Rebels, who won the previous two WPIAL Class AA crowns, have had a week to recover.
Seton-La Salle (24-2), the defending PIAA champion, begins its quest for the 2013 state title Saturday against Kane, the District 9 runner-up.
Kane lost to Brookville, 63-51, in the District 9 championship game.
“I'm not from Pittsburgh, so in the grand scheme of things I want to win the state (championship) more than the WPIAL,” John Ashaolu, Seton's first-year head coach, said. “That's always been our goal. We're going to try to achieve that goal.”
The Lady Rebels (24-2) led only once, at 2-0, against Bishop Canevin. The Seton girls trailed by 10 after the first quarter and by six at halftime.
Bishop Canevin built up a shocking 48-33 lead at the end of the third quarter, and went up by 17 on a Celina DiPietro field goal early in the fourth.
Senior guard Angela Heintz led the Lady Rebels on a 12-0 surge in the fourth quarter, which whittled the deficit to five with less than two minutes to go.
But Bishop Canevin held on to claim its first-ever WPIAL girls' basketball championship.
“Yeah, I think they were stunned,” Ashaolu said of his team. “They really wanted to win this game; they wanted to beat Canevin a third time. They expect to win every game.
“We got off to a bad start; (Bishop Canevin) got off to a great start. Our plan was to trap them more. We had our chances. We didn't come out and execute, and they hit their shots.”
Heintz, with 13 points in the second half, finished with 16, as did highly touted junior Naje Gibson.
Senior center Natalie Piaggesi netted eight points for the Lady Rebels.
Ray Fisher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5820 or firstname.lastname@example.org.