PIAA Class AA semifinal capsule: Burrell (28-1) vs. Seton-La Salle (25-4)
Burrell (28-1) vs. Seton-La Salle (25-4)
6 p.m. Tuesday
at North Allegheny
How they got here: PIAA playoffs — Burrell: defeated District 9 runner-up Clarion-Limestone, 55-27; defeated District 6 champ Bellwood-Antis, 34-29; defeated District 10 champ General McLane, 62-48; Seton-La Salle: defeated District 3 third-place Blairsville, 58-37; defeated WPIAL fourth-place Greensburg Central Catholic, 61-43; defeated WPIAL third-place Bishop Canevin, 65-44.
Keep an eye on: Burrell — Sydney Bordonaro (Jr., PG, Pepperdine recruit, 16.5 ppg), Natalie Myers (So., F, six double-doubles in playoffs, 13.2 ppg); Seton-La Salle — Yacine Diop (Sr., G, Pitt recruit, 16th-best guard in 2014 class according to ESPN.com, 14 ppg), Naje Gibson (Sr., 6-foot, G, Pitt recruit, 11th-best guard in 2014 class according to ESPN.com, 13 ppg).
Winner plays: Neumann-Goretti (28-0)/Dunmore (27-2) winner in PIAA championship, noon Friday at Giant Center, Hershey.
Layup lines: Just the third Alle-Kiski girls basketball team to make it this far in a season (Ford City lost in the semifinals in 1998; Deer Lakes won the state title in 1985), Burrell is one win from the PIAA title game in Hershey. But a sizeable rematch looms against the team that ended its WPIAL dream in the district finals. Burrell had 25 turnovers and fell behind early against Seton-La Salle before falling 55-34 in the WPIAL title game Feb. 28 at Palumbo Center. Burrell trailed 11-0 before its first basket and trailed by 20 points at halftime and after the third quarter. Not only could the Bucs not settle into an offense against a helter-skelter press, but they also never attempted a free throw. Bordonaro scored a team-high 14 points, with four 3-pointers. She had 11 in the second half. ... Seton-La Salle has been to the state semis four straight times. The WPIAL champion Rebels finished 30-0 two years ago and won the state championship. Some of the current standout players were freshmen and sophomores on that team, so again, experience is a factor in their favor. Seniors Yacine Diop and Naje Gibson and junior Cassidy Walsh have committed to Pitt. Diop, who transferred from Oak Hill Academy (Va.), scored 15 points and grabbed 14 rebounds, and Gibson scored 10 against Burrell. Sophomore 5-4 guard Shaunay Edmonds wreaked havoc on defense and scored 14 points in that game. ... Fast starts have been the key for the Rebels. They went up 16-0 on Bishop Canevin in the quarterfinals on the way to a 65-44 win. Burrell has struggled with slow starts but turned that around with a hot-shooting first half against General McLane, making 14 of its first 16 shots in a 62-48 third-round win. Burrell all-time leading scorer Bordonaro scored 14 points in the first quarter and 26 for the game, her playoff season high. Burrell made 18 of 19 free throws in that win. ... Rebels first-year coach Spencer Stefko was Bordonaro's AAU coach when she was in sixth grade.
— Bill Beckner Jr.