Pittsburgh Tribune-Review athletes of the week: North Allegheny's Joe Griffin, Bishop Canevin's Celina DiPietro
School: North Allegheny
Claim to fame: Griffin scored four goals and added one assist to lead the Tigers to a 6-2 victory Saturday in the Pennsylvania Class AAA championship game. Griffin, who had a natural hat trick in the second period, scored 19 goals and dished out six assists in 18 games this season.
“I've had high-scoring games in the past,” Griffin said. “But as far as goals that were needed like that in a close game … I can say that I've never had a game that great before.”
How important was it to have your best game in the biggest game of the season?
Honestly, it was huge really. The whole team had a great night overall. Everyone played great offensively and defensively. I was there to benefit from all the hard work.
What are your plans after high school?
I'm going to play hockey at Pitt.
Has the Pitt coaching staff told you what your role will be as a freshman?
They just really said that they were looking for forwards and they'll need me to fill a spot and help scoring. I definitely think I'm up for the task.
Besides playing at North Allegheny, do you play on amateur travel teams?
No, I did not this year. In the past I played for the Double-A Wildcats and the Triple-A Hornets.
What NHL player do you try to emulate on the ice?
I would say Sidney Crosby. Just the way he works hard on every shift on the offensive and defensive side. And I try to go hard to the net.
School: Bishop Canevin
Claim to fame: DiPietro matched teammate Carly Forse's team-high 18 points to help the Crusaders capture the PIAA Class AA championship Friday with a 45-38 win over York Catholic at Giant Center in Hershey. DiPietro also scored 10 points in Bishop Canevin's 56-47 win over Seton-La Salle in the PIAA semifinals at Chartiers Valley on March 19.
“She's meant everything to us,” coach Tim Joyce said. “She's an outstanding shooter, but she's really become a great defensive player. We put her on York's best player in the fourth quarter, and she shut her out.”
What did it mean to contribute so much in the state championship?
I couldn't be more happy with the way things turned out. We all worked so hard for things to go the way they did. Especially the seniors. It was good to go out that way.
What will you always remember from this season?
Definitely beating Seton-La Salle in the WPIALs because they have always been such a big rival. Whenever the final buzzer rang, I'll never forget that feeling.
Have you settled on a college yet?
I haven't decided where I'm going, but I'm definitely playing basketball. I'm looking at W&J, Point Park and Slippery Rock.
How will you prepare for college basketball?
I'm definitely going to work hard and get more shots up. I want to improve my defense.