Chargers, Crusaders punch tickets to PIAA
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart High School has followed Bishop Canevin into basketball history.
The OLSH boys became only the 10th team in 122 years of WPIAL basketball to win three straight championships as the number-one Chargers beat No. 2 Greensburg Central Catholic, 71-52, in the Class 2A title game Saturday.
They were playing in their fifth straight WPIAL title game.
In the second half, OLSH (21-0) broke open a close game, led by senior guard Dante Spadafora who poured in 25 points. Junior Jake DiMichele added 19. Brevan Williams was the high scorer for GCC with 18 points.
OLSH now heads to the PIAA quarterfinals on Sat. March 19, earning a bye and a home game against the winner of Wednesday’s game between the District 5 and 9 champions.
Class 1A Boys
Bishop Canevin beat Rochester 42-27 Friday night in the Class A championship game, entering the record books by winning their first WPIAL crown.
The top-seeded Crusaders (16-5) were led by KeVaughn Price’s 17 points and nine rebounds. The Rams’ leading scorer was J.D. Azulay.
The Crusaders were making their first title game appearance in 15 years, but the odds were longer for Rochester. Last year, they didn’t win a single game. The season before, they won one game. This time, first-year coach Sean Keaton took the Rams to the second seed. Rochester last won the title in 1983.
Bishop Canevin gets a bye in the first round of the PIAA tournament, awaiting their next opponent. They will play again on Fri. March 19 against the winner of Tuesday’s game between Berlin-Brothersvalley and Farrell.
Class 3A Girls
North Catholic’s four-year run as WPIAL champs ended Saturday with a defeat at the hands of Mohawk, 54-48. The Warriors (16-5) beat the Trojanettes (18-3) by stopping their late rally.
North Catholic was playing in the WPIAL final for the seventh consecutive season across three classifications. Mohawk defended their title, led by senior Paige Julian with 15 points and 10 rebounds. The Trojanettes were paced by sophomore Dacia Lewandowski with 16 points.
Class 2A Girls
Neshannock put an end to Serra Catholic’s perfect season with a 54-44 win in the Class 2A championship game Friday evening.
The No. 1 Lancers (17-2) defeated the Eagles (16-1) with a tight defense, holding off a second half rally. Megan Pallerino scored 19 points and Neleh Nogay had 14 points to help Neshannock take its second WPIAL in three seasons.
Nicole Pawlowski led Serra Catholic with 15 points. Chloe Honick scored nine.
Class 4A boys
North Catholic fell to Lincoln Park, 66-57 Monday night in the Class 4A WPIAL title game. Trojans star Andrew Ammerman led all scorers with 35 points but North Catholic (18-5) could not overcome the Leopards’ tight defense. The Trojans had been averaging 66 points per game.
This was the third straight season and the fourth time in five years that North Catholic and Lincoln Park (18-5) squared off in a WPIAL title game. North Catholic won two of the three previous championships, including last year in the 3A final.
(Photo credits: Bishop Canevin, OLSH high schools)