A Perfect Season for Seton LaSalle as Rebels Win PIAA Class AA Girls Championships

Friday, March 23, 2012 | 2:25 PM

The Seton LaSalle Rebels made history by going perfect for the season with a 71-47 win over York Catholic in the Girls Class AA championship game at the Bryce Jordan Center. The Rebels pick up their second state title and first since 1984 in dominant fashion, leading by 20 points or more in the third quarter on the way to picking up the gold basketball and a 30-0 record. 

The Rebels placed four players in double figures, Angela Heintz led with 18 points, Nicolete Newman added 16 off the bench with four three pointers, Naje Gibson had a double-double with 15 points and 13 rebounds and Cassidy Walsh scored 11 and dished out 8 assists.

York Catholic scored the first five points of the game, Seton LaSalle answered with seven straight and the battle was on. Morgan Klunk scored on a layup with 6:54 left in the second to cut the Seton lead to 17-13, that would be the closest the Fighting Irish got the rest of the way. Heintz and Gibson took over the quarter as the Rebels went on a 10-0 run to lead 27-13. The defense was strong as well for the WPIAL champions, holding York Catholic to 5 of 24 from the field in the opening half.

Up by twelve, the Rebels ended all doubt with Heintz stealing the inbounds pass to open the third, the Duquesne University recruit drove the lane and scored, Gibson and Natalie Piagessi added buckets, the 6-0 run started the momentum for a 25 point quarter and a 56-34 lead after three. Newman was a major key off the bench, going four of six from behind the arc, two of the three's coming in the decisive third period. Seton LaSalle also forced 15 turnovers, seven in the second half.

Seton LaSalle shot 26 of 61 from the field for 42 percent, including 7 of 15 from behind the arc. The Rebels were 12 of 15 at the line.

The Rebels become the third WPIAL girls team to go undefeated thru an entire season, the others were Mount Alvernia in 1983 and Mount Lebanon in 2009. With the 71 points the Rebels matched their season average of 70 points per game.

York Catholic was making it's sixth championship appearance in seven seasons, however the Fighting Irish came up empty again, falling to Villa Maria in both 2009 and 2010. Morgan Klunk led the way with 12 points and five rebounds, Karli McFatrudge added 11 points.

The Fighting Irish finished 16 of 62 from the field, and 4 of 19 behind the arc. Senior Rachel Forjan needed just five points to reach one thousand for her career, she averaged 11.3 points coming into the title game. Forjan shot 1 of 17 from the field and 0-10 behind the stripe, including several forced shots late in the contest to try and hit the magic mark. The Fighting Irish were 11 of 15 from the line, ending their season at 29-4.

Score by Quarters:
Seton-LaSalle Rebels 14-17-25-15  = 71
York Catholic Fighting Irish  8-11-15-13  = 47


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