Seton-La Salle girls gain revenge
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Seton-La Salle has no reason to apologize after its lopsided win.
"We wanted vengeance," said senior Jordan Dwyer after Friday's 74-29 victory over Jeannette in the WPIAL Class AA championship game, easing the Rebels' pain from title-game losses in 2010 and '09. "We had to do what we had to do."
This was a rematch of last year's title game, won by Jeannette, 39-36. As they returned to Palumbo Center, the memories returned for Seton-La Salle's players.
"We were in the same locker room," senior Emily Marecic said. "We pointed out where we cried. We said it's not going to happen again."
By halftime, Seton-La Salle (24-2) has surpassed its point total from last year's game. The Rebels used a 22-6 second-quarter edge to turn the title game into a blowout. The Rebels' depth was key. Dwyer, who started on the bench, scored 10 points in the second quarter, fueling a 16-0 run.
"As soon as I got in the game, I did everything I could to stay in the game," Dwyer said. "The emotions and everything were just so crazy. That was the best feeling ever."
With 4:20 left in the first quarter, Jeannette led, 7-4. Seton-La Salle scored 27 of the game's next 30 points. At halftime, Jeannette (15-9) trailed, 37-14.
"We weren't very patient with our offense," Jeannette coach Luann Mills said. "We didn't even get it started, because Seton-La Salle is very physical, and I guess we're just not used to that. They're too big for us."
Jeannette sophomore Ciara Gregory was held to eight points, well below her 20-point average that ranked her third in the WPIAL. A year ago, Gregory scored 14 points, including the game-winning points.
"She was our priority to stop," said Seton-La Salle coach Dennis Squeglia, who shadowed her with Maria Rotunda and Annie Kyne. "They were the same kids who watched (Bishop Canevin's Erin) Waskowiak last week and Tess (Zufall of Greensburg Central Catholic) the week before."
Seton-La Salle's Naje Gibson scored 16 points, one of five Rebels in double figures. Dwyer scored 13, Angela Heintz had 12, Emily Marecic had 11, and Amy O'Keefe added 10.
This was the second time in four playoff games that Seton-La Salle scored at least 70 points, and the 10th time this season. They've also topped 80 points four times, including a 113-point game in January that drew criticism when the Rebels won by 99 points.
"You see my depth," said Squeglia, in his first year coaching Seton-La Salle. "I would never try to embarrass anybody, but I'm not going to tell my kids they can't play hard."
This time, no one will complain.
Heintz and Marecic combined for 12 points in the third quarter, when Seton-La Salle held a 25-11 edge. With 1:45 left in the third quarter, Jeannette trailed, 60-22.
The clock ran continuously in the fourth, once the mercy rule was enacted.
"It's indescribable how it feels to win this year," O'Keefe said. "Losing the past two years, we definitely had a little motivation coming into this game."
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