Trib HSSN Boys Basketball Player of the Week for March 28, 2022

Monday, March 28, 2022 | 6:08 PM

There are 220 miles on the trip from Hershey to Green Tree, a trek that lasts nearly four hours.

However, for the new PIAA Class A boys basketball champions, the trip could have lasted another four hours and none of the Bishop Canevin traveling party would have cared.

“It was just an awesome experience all around,” Bishop Canevin coach Gino Palmosina said. “I was just super happy for the entire Bishop Canevin community, especially our players.”

The Bishop Canevin success this season — a 25-4 record, ending the season with 18 straight wins, a second straight WPIAL title and the school’s first PIAA championship — was a total team effort.

Seniors Kevaughn Price and Jaden Gayles, juniors Shea Champine and A’Dante Berrian along with freshman Amari Evans all were leading scorers in one of the Crusaders’ eight district and state playoff victories.

In the state championship game against St. John Neumann, it was senior Kai Spears’ turn.

“Kai just did what Kai does. He was out there just hooping,” Palmosina said. “He hit a couple big-time shots in the third quarter that really extended our lead.”

Four Crusaders players scored in double figures at the Giant Center on Thursday with Spears leading the way with 16 points.

“He has confidence in himself,” Palmosina said. “I will mention, we had a shootaround the day of the game, and he got up so many shots, to the point where we had to tell him to stop because of how hard he was working in shootaround. He was just locked in ready to go.”

Palmosina believes Spears’ talents and versatility on offense are part of his success on the court.

“His skill set, he can really score the ball at all three levels,” he said.

But like most of the Crusaders, Spears can get it done on offense with the basketball in his hands or on the other side of the court on defense.

“He has always been a great offensive player. We really challenged him on the defensive end and he was a huge help on the boards his senior year,” Palmosina said.

While there is returning talent, there will be lots of shoes to fill next season for Bishop Canevin as Spears and nine of his teammates prepare to graduate.

Palmosina realizes their legacy is set in gold.

“They helped us win the first PIAA boys basketball championship team in school history,” he said. “It’s something special our guys will never forget.”

2022 Trib HSSN Players of the Week

Week 12 – Jake DiMichele, Our Lady of the Sacred Heart

Week 11 – Mike Wells, New Castle

Week 10 – Rodney Gallagher, Laurel Highlands

Week 9 – Brandin Cummings, Lincoln Park

Week 7 – Jackson Juzang, Winchester Thurston

Week 6 – Cadin Olsen, Armstrong

Week 5 – Markus Frank, Quaker Valley

Week 4 – Notorious Grooms, Uniontown

Week 3 – Tanner O’Grady, Upper St. Clair

Week 2 – Ben Mayhew, Propel Braddock Hills

Week 1 – Makhai Valentine, Steel Valley


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