Bishop Canevin overcomes slow start to beat Geibel Catholic for 9th straight win

Friday, January 10, 2020 | 10:37 PM

Bishop Canevin shook off a slow start and held on to beat visiting Geibel Catholic, 60-53, to secure their hold on first place in Section 2-A Friday night.

The win was the ninth in a row for the Crusaders, who improved to 5-0 in section play and 10-2 overall.

Bishop Canevin jumped out to a 5-0 lead but could not add on as it took Geibel Catholic over five minutes to score its first points.

The Gators scored 12 of the final 14 points in the opening quarter and led 12-7 after one.

“They played zone a lot this year, so we were really prepared for a zone, and they came with a man and threw us off a little bit,” said second-year Bishop Canevin coach Gino Palmosina. “Once we recognized some of the matchups, we had a little bit of an advantage with some size.”

One of the matchups the Crusaders took advantage of was Dom Elliot against the field. The 6-foot-3 junior guard led the team with 22 points, including 17 in the second half when the Gators struggled to keep him from driving to the hoop.

“Dom’s game has really matured this year,” Palmosina said.

Elliot isn’t the only one growing up mentally.

Bishop Canevin starts two juniors and two sophomores, and Palmosina feels they are all maturing and figuring out how to finish games this season, a big part of their overall success.

“We’ve grown up,” he said. “Last year in these tight games, we kind of folded down the stretch in games. We talked about that a lot in that we have to close out games.”

Bishop Canevin trailed 24-23 at the half, but took control of the game with a 6-0 run early in the third quarter and never trailed again.

The outcome could have been solidified earlier, but the Crusaders really struggled from the free throw line, hitting only 14 of 29 shots.

Gators senior guard Cole Kendall single-handedly kept Geibel Catholic in the game. He scored 16 of his game-high 29 points in the second half with four 3-pointers in the final quarter, most from long range and with Crusaders draped in his face.

Geibel Catholic (2-3, 6-4) once again played without injured senior guard Enzo Fetsko, who is expected to return to the lineup next week.

Bishop Canevin closes out the first half of section play Tuesday with a trip to Avella. While all is good now for the Crusaders, Palmosina realized the second half won’t be easy with some tough road trips coming up.

“It’s been great,” he said. “We got to go to Geibel, got to go to Monessen and we got to go to West Greene in the second half. Those are going to be tough trips for us, but I think we’re ready.”

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