No. 4 OLSH upsets 3-time defending champion Bishop Canevin in Class 2A semifinals

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Monday, February 25, 2019 | 9:33 PM


Our Lady of the Sacred Heart weathered the Bishop Canevin storm out of the gates, then came back off the canvas and delivered a knockout, bracket-busting punch to oust the top seed from the WPIAL Class 2A girls basketball playoffs.

Behind senior Ashley Norling’s 29 points, the No. 4-seeded Chargers held on to beat the Crusaders, 51-45, Monday night in a semifinal game at Peters Township.

The loss ends a three-year run as district champion for Bishop Canevin.

It looked like just another day at the office for the Crusaders early on as they jumped out to a 10-1 lead before the Chargers rallied for the final five points of the opening quarter.

Even though his team took an early hit, OLSH coach Don Eckerle was not concerned.

“I told them during the first timeout, ‘look, you’re doing everything you’re supposed to, we’re getting the shots we want, let’s just put them in, relax a little bit,’” he said.

The tide not only turned on the scoreboard, but Crusaders junior guard Diajha Allen picked up her third four before the quarter ended.

After a quiet first quarter, Norling picked it up early in the second quarter, scoring the first five points to give OLSH the lead for the first time.

The game went back-and-forth the rest of the half, with the Chargers leading 20-17 at halftime.

Early in the third quarter, Allen picked up her fourth foul and was on the bench until midway through the fourth quarter.

With Allen out, senior Shamyjha Price went to work on the offensive end for the Crusaders.

“Price is a heck of a player,” Eckerle said. “She made a lot of shots to keep them in the game.”

The game stayed tight, with OLSH holding a lead until midway through the fourth when the Chargers opened up their biggest lead of the game at seven points.

However, three straight turnovers by the nervous Chargers allowed the Crusaders to inch back in as they pulled to within two.

But a Norling coast-to-coast layup was soon followed by a fifth foul on Price, who fouled out with just over a minute left. She had 25 points.

In addition to Norling, OLSH was led by senior Maddie Hoff with 19 points, including a big 3-pointer early on that sparked the Chargers’ offense.

The loss was the first in the calendar year for Bishop Canevin and snaps a 14-game winning streak. The Crusaders fall to 21-3 overall and will wait a week and a half to re-start their season in the PIAA playoffs.

OLSH (20-4) carries a seven-game win streak into the WPIAL Class 2A title game Thursday at the Petersen Events Center against No. 2 Brentwood.

The Chargers will be in search of their first district girls basketball crown.

“We’ve been a pretty good team for a long time,” Eckerle said. “It’s nice getting over this little hump here since we’ve lost in the semifinals the last couple of times to teams that were much better than us. We came in here with the idea that we’re just going to come and play and see what happens.”

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