Defense Wins Girls AA Championship for Bishop Canevin

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Friday, February 26, 2016 | 8:13 PM


A couple of late regular season losses knock the team down to second place and a section title and top-seed also vanish. But as the #4-seed, the team gets hot and runs through the playoffs en-route to a WPIAL championship. Bishop Canevin fans are all too familiar with the above scenario as first the Crusaders girls volleyball team this fall, then the girls basketball team have followed the exact same path.

Friday, the basketball team captured a second Class AA girls title in four years with a dominating 53-33 victory over the 14th-seed Greensburg Central Catholic Centurions at the Petersen Events Center.

Bishop Canevin used a stifling defense to jump out to an 11-0 lead through a pair of Greensburg Central Catholic early time outs.

Crusaders head coach Tim Joyce admitted he was not surprised afterward. “Well that’s not unusual. Our offense has been stagnate so we have relied on our defense to force turnovers.”

And force they did, to the tune of 27 turnovers for the Centurions.  

If the start was impressive for BC, they led 18-9 after one quarter. The second quarter was a work of art. There were many GCC possessions in which the Centurions could not even muster a shot.  The Crusaders scored the first 17 points of the second quarter before the Centurions scored their first and only points of the quarter with only 15 seconds left in the half as Bishop Canevin led 35-11 at intermission.

The Crusaders went into stall mode in the third quarter as only eleven total points were score by both teams as BC led 41-16.

Greensburg Central Catholic finally came to life after Tim Joyce started going to his bench as the Centurions scored the final eleven points of the game.

Bishop Canevin had three scorers in double figure scoring led by senior Gina Vallecorsa. The California University of Pa recruit had 17 points, 11 rebounds and 7 steals. Sophomore Brionna Allen had 16 points and 10 rebounds while freshman Shamyjha Price chipped in 10 points.

Junior Brittany Stawovy was the only the Centurions player in double figure scoring with 12 points, seven of which came in the 17 point fourth quarter in which GCC doubled their scoring from the total of the first three quarters.

Greensburg Central Catholic falls to 17-10 after an amazing postseason run from the 14th-seed all the way to the finals when their Cinderella run ended. The Centurions will play the Consolation winner out of District 10 between Mercer and Cambridge Springs in the First Round of the PIAA Playoffs next Friday.

Bishop Canevin improves to 22-4 and will face the third place team from District 6, Central Cambria at a site to be determined on Friday in Round One of the state playoffs.

Score by Quarter:

Greensburg Central Catholic Centurions : 9 – 2 – 4 – 17 = 33
Bishop Canevin Crusaders : 18 – 17 – 6 – 12 = 53

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