Seton-La Salle girls' basketball team to lose three to graduation
By Ray Fisher
Published: Wednesday, April 3, 2013, 9:00 p.m.
The Seton-La Salle girls' varsity basketball program will lose three key seniors to graduation this year.
Angela Heintz, Natalie Piaggesi and Katherine Hart were the only seniors on the 2012-13 varsity team, and each was an important contributor for the Lady Rebels.
Heintz is a 5-foot-10 guard, Piaggesi a 6-2 center, and Hart is a 6-foot forward.
Over the last four years, Seton-La Salle compiled a 106-13 overall record in varsity action, along with a 27-5 playoff mark. The Lady Rebels were 35-1 in section play.
After winning back-to-back WPIAL titles in 2011 and 2012, and a state championship last season, it was a tough sledding at the end of the 2012-13 campaign for the Seton-La Salle squad.
The Lady Rebels lost twice to section member Bishop Canevin in the postseason, after ringing up an eight-game winning streak against their arch-rivals.
What did first-year head coach John Ashaolu say to his senior trio following the team's disappointing loss to Bishop Canevin in the PIAA Class AA semifinals?
“We told them ‘you accomplished a lot, but you need to use this to help you get better at the next level,'” Ashaolu said.
“Use this to get better; that is what sports is all about.”
The Lady Rebels captured their fifth consecutive section title in 2012-13, then generated a 6-2 record in the postseason to end up 27-3 overall.
The local squad suffered postseason losses to Bishop Canevin in the WPIAL Class AA championship game, and in the PIAA semifinal round.
Four girls averaged double figures for the Lady Rebels this season, led by 6-foot junior guard/forward Naje Gibson's 13.0 points-per-game average.
Nicolete Newman, a 5-6 sophomore guard, scored at an 11.6 ppg clip, and was followed by Piaggesi, with a 11.4 ppg average, and 5-7 sophomore guard Cassidy Walsh, at 10.5 ppg.
Heintz was next with a 9.1 ppg average.
Newman finished as the team's leading scoring threat from 3-point territory, netting 60 treys on 156 attempts.
Heintz finished with 28 triples, Walsh hit for 20, and 5-4 sophomore guard Julie DeKlaven chipped in with 11.
Walsh, who missed several late-season games with an injury, was near-perfect at the foul line, converting 27 of 30 free throws and hitting on 90 percent of her attempts.
As a team, the Lady Rebels sank 300 foul shots in 466 attempts, averaging 64 percent from the charity stripe.
Heintz was credited with a team-high 173 assists, an average of 5.8 per game.
Newman was next in line with 65 assists, followed by 5-foot freshman guard Shaunay Edmonds with 57.
Four players finished with 100-plus rebounds, led by Gibson's 195, which included a team-best 86 offensive and 109 defensive caroms.
Piaggesi pulled down 127 rebounds, while Heintz and Hart had 109 and 106, respectively.
Gibson, the lone junior on the squad, paced the Seton girls in steals with 81, followed by Heintz (68), Newman (65), Edmonds (57), Walsh (47) and Piaggesi (38).
Piaggesi utilized her height advantage to block 48 opposing shots, to go along with her 13 deflections.
Gibson blocked 23 shots.
The Lady Rebels connected on 49 percent of their field-goal attempts during the 2012-13 season, hitting on 53 percent from two-point range and 35 percent from 3-point territory.
Along with the three seniors and one junior, there were seven sophomores on this year's team — Newman, Walsh, DeKlaven and Giavanna Facchiano, in the backcourt; Bridget Sigg and Alexia Facchiano, in the frontcourt; and Morgan Henderson, a 6-2 center.
Edmonds, guard/forward Madalena Psillidis and guard Julia Cipollone are the leading freshmen prospects.
Ray Fisher is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-388-5820 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
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