Burrell girls prepped to face Bishop Canevin again after falling in WPIAL semifinals
By Bill Beckner Jr.
Published: Thursday, March 14, 2013, 12:46 a.m.
The Burrell girls basketball team had its year-end banquet almost two weeks ago. Team members and their families enjoyed a meal before the customary speeches and applause. No harm done.
But an awkwardness seemed to cast a shadow over the group at Mogie's in Lower Burrell. People looked at each other thinking the same thing but not uttering the words.
This thing isn't over yet.
“I yelled at them for putting ‘Congratulations on a Great Season,' on the cake,” Burrell coach Meghan Ziemianski said with a laugh. “We all said our good-byes, but then said we'd see each other at practice the next day.”
Ziemianski didn't want words spelled in icing to affect her team's PIAA playoff run.
“That's me being my superstitious self,” she said. “I guess that's the hockey fan in me.”
Burrell has added a few more memories to its season since the banquet. It's won two state playoff games for the first time in school history and now has 24 wins, which ties the 1994 team for the school record.
But the same team that ended Burrell's WPIAL playoff run stands to do the same to its PIAA roll unless the Bucs (24-3) can find a way to defeat Bishop Canevin (24-4) in Friday's 6 p.m. quarterfinal-matchup at North Hills.
Talk about icing on the cake. Burrell hopes someone can splice some state-playoff highlights into the banquet film, particularly those from a win against Bishop Canevin.
The WPIAL champion Crusaders trounced Burrell, 55-19, in the WPIAL semifinals.
“This is what we wanted, but we still have to keep working hard,” Burrell sophomore point guard Sydney Bordonaro said. “We have to play hard for all 32 minutes, especially against a team like Bishop Canevin.”
Burrell knows the key to exacting revenge on the Crusaders could lie in the first couple minutes of Friday's game.
In their last meeting on Feb. 25 at Moon, Bishop Canevin took advantage of 11 first-quarter Burrell turnovers and fast-breaked its way to a 20-2 lead and then hit cruise control.
“That'll tell a lot,” Ziemianski said of the opening minutes. “That'll show which one of us shows up. It'll show where we are with our nerves.”
With only eight healthy players and no seniors in the starting lineup, Burrell practices are sometimes limited in terms of what the team can do. Two coaches often step in and will do so Thursday as the team prepares to face Bishop Canevin's 1-3-1 trap.
Ziemianski and her brother, assistant Zack, are both former Burrell point guards.
“We can still run a little,” Meghan said. “We're team Ziemianski. We bought (Pirates) Zoltan shirts and everything.
“We have to be able to handle (Bishop Canevin's) pressure better.”
Burrell has been relatively untested in its two PIAA wins: 65-46 over Bellwood-Antis and 45-18 over Sharpsville.
But Bishop Canevin will once again force Burrell to play virtually mistake-free basketball.
“We want to show them we're not the same team that lost to them,” Burrell junior forward Jessica Cercone said. “We didn't show up last time.”
Bishop Canevin has several outstanding players, including 1,000-point scorers Erin Waskowiak and Carly Forse. Waskowiak is a Duquesne recruit, while Forse is headed to Point Park.
Forse had 23 points and Waskowiak 22 against Burrell in the first meeting.
The Crusaders also have long bombers. Junior guard Johnie Olkosky hit seven 3-pointers in a 56-47 win over two-time defending champion Seton-La Salle in the WPIAL championship.
Senior guard Celina DiPietro connected on eight 3s and scored 26 points in a 56-44 win over Mohawk in the WPIAL quarterfinals.
Mohawk (19-7) has advanced to face Seton-La Salle (26-2) in the quarterfinals.
Burrell still has a better defensive average than the Crusaders, but not by much. The Bucs allow 28.9 points per game, Bishop Canevin 33.0. The 55 points Burrell allowed against the Crusaders was a season high.
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.
- Monessen falters late, 68-63
- High school roundup: Vincentian’s Wolf scores 46 in victory
- Perz scores game-high 33 to lift Norwin past Monessen
- Fourth quarter sinks Charleroi
- BVA drops opener, 72-56
- Connellsville pulls away in 3rd quarter to beat Baldwin
- Versatile Dedert leads Plum boys past Kiski Area
- Penn-Trafford boys learn from opening losses
- Norwin girls hold their own in season-opening tournament
- Penn-Trafford girls split opening games
- Franklin Regional girls win tournament crown