WPIAL boys basketball team of the week — Week ending Dec. 21

Monday, December 23, 2019 | 7:40 PM

Gino Palmosina is in his second year as boys basketball coach at Bishop Canevin.

His first year began on a high note with a 4-1 start. It finished with a second-place finish, a 14-10 record and an early exit from the playoffs after a 59-40 Class A first-round loss to Leechburg.

“That loss has definitely driven us in the offseason,” Palmosina said. “Obviously, a first-round exit is not where we want to end our season. We have worked hard together all summer and it’s starting to pay off.”

Year 2 included two losses in the first three games. However, since falling to Class 4A powerhouse Quaker Valley, the Crusaders have ripped off four straight wins, including three in a row last week.

“Yes, we are on a little roll,” Palmosina said. “But we still have a long way to go to get where we want to be. The good thing is our guys understand that.”

Bishop Canevin started the week with a 40-point road victory over Mapletown. That set the stage for a first-place showdown with Monessen.

The Crusaders had a 13-point halftime lead wiped out when the Greyhounds outscored BC 21-8 in the third quarter.

Bishop Canevin ended up winning 44-38 as sophomore Kevaughn Price scored 20 and junior Dom Elliot added 16 points.

“Anytime you have a chance to take sole possession of first place, it’s a good feeling,” Palmosina said. “Our guys were excited. We have been in that position before where we had really good teams on the ropes but eventually ended up folding. So to finally put one away was a great feeling for us.”

The Crusaders’ victory also was historic as it snapped the Greyhounds’ 66-game section winning streak.

“Everybody is chasing Monessen in our section,” Palmosina said. “That streak is incredible. They deserve a ton of credit. To be the team that snapped their streak, it’s definitely an accomplishment.”

Price has become a leader as a sophomore while Elliot continues to overcome a slow start to the season with another big game Saturday. He scored 28 points to lead Bishop Canevin past Carlynton, 56-55.

Palmosina says those two aren’t the only key players that have led the Crusaders to the top of their section.

“You won’t see his name in the paper a lot, but our only senior and captain Nate Kirsch has been great as well,” Palmosina said. “Nevan Crossey and Jhamil Fife are our other starters and they have been tough as nails through this stretch as well. Jhamil handles a ton of ball pressure for us and Nevan has been our best shooter thus far.”

The current success the team is enjoying is nice, but Palmosina is trying to keep it in perspective and focus on the now.

“We are taking it day by day, one game at a time,” he said. “We have Imani Christian next and that’s our only focus right now.”

Previous Trib HSSN Teams of the Week:

Week 1 – South Allegheny Gladiators


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