Seton-La Salle defense leads the way in PIAA second-round win over GCC
By Dave Mackall
Published: Tuesday, March 12, 2013, 10:54 p.m.
It was a 20-point outcome. Neither coach was happy. Yet defending PIAA Class AA girls basketball champion Seton-La Salle marches on.
Natalie Piaggesi scored 18 points and Naje Gibson added 15 to lead the Rebels to a 58-38 victory over Greensburg Central Catholic in a second-round game Tuesday night at Baldwin High School, advancing WPIAL runner-up Seton-La Salle to Friday's quarterfinals against Mohawk.
“We got a better test tonight than in our first-round game,” Seton-La Salle coach John Ashaolu said, referring to the Rebels' 67-16 rout of District 9 runner-up Kane last Friday. “They made it tough for us at times under the basket, but I don't think anyone played particularly well for us. I want a better performance at this time of the year. This is the state playoffs.”
Seton-La Salle (26-2), which lost to Bishop Canevin in the WPIAL championship game on March 1, built a 21-point halftime lead, taking advantage of a smothering, full-court press that forced GCC (18-8) into a string of turnovers.
The game was a rematch of Seton-La Salle's 66-53 victory over GCC in the WPIAL quarterfinals Feb. 22.
“They're a good team, but we're a good team, too,” first-year GCC coach Chris Kallock said.
“We've gotten better throughout the playoffs. I thought this game would be a lot closer. I thought it might be decided in the fourth quarter.”
The Centurions found a spark in the second half, outscoring Seton-La Salle, 28-27, but it was too late to overcome their huge deficit.
“We looked a little nervous in the first half,” Kallock said. “Too many turnovers against their press.”
Gibson scored three times in close for Seton-La Salle, turning steals off inbounds passes into easy baskets. It happened twice near the end of the second quarter.
“Those were huge baskets for them,” Kallock said. “We should have played smarter.”
After taking a 14-6 first-quarter lead, Seton-La Salle held GCC scoreless for the first 5:55 of the second quarter while rolling to a 31-10 halftime lead. GCC finished the quarter with just four free throws.
“We went into the locker room at halftime quite a bit surprised that we were 21 points down,” Kallock said.
The game started 25 minutes late when officials learned that the clock in the Baldwin gym was malfunctioning. Both games of a doubleheader were moved to an adjacent, smaller, auxiliary gym.
The second game featured Mt. Lebanon and Penn-Trafford in a second-round Class AAAA matchup.
As if things couldn't have become more bizarre, GCC — the home team — was hit with a technical foul to start the game for wearing road uniforms.
Senior Devon Larkin led the Centurions with nine points.
While Kallock was visibly bothered by the night, he praised GCC's players for their otherwise successful season.
“There's a lot of positives to come out of this,” he said. “We won 18 games with a new coach and three sophomores in the lineup. The girls kept it together all year. We're going to be tough next year.”
Dave Mackall is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
- Serra basketball coach Gibbons wins battle with cancer, returns to sideline
- Mid-Mon Valley basketball teams ready to tip off
- Alle-Kiski Valley basketball teams look for place among WPIAL’s best
- Valley girls basketball sees boom in roster numbers
- New Valley boys basketball coach Faulx seeking right mix
- Section 1-AAAA favorite Hempfield girls set sights on WPIAL title
- Blairsville girls, boys expected to lead pack in Heritage Conference
- Trio of junior captains return to lead Greensburg Central Catholic girls
- Greensburg Salem girls to have different look than last year’s team
- City League basketball preview: Westinghouse teams out to defend titles
- Class A boys basketball preview: Lincoln Park fell short of WPIAL, PIAA titles last year but again is favored