Canevin topples SLS; captures first girls’ WPIAL hoop title
Call them the streak stoppers. Call them champions as well.
By snapping an eight-game losing streak against their rival as well as halting a 66-game winning streak against district competition with their 56-47 win over Seton-La Salle, the Lady Crusaders of Bishop Canevin captured their first WPIAL girls’ basketball title in school history.
Johnie Olkosky led Canevin in toppling the tournament’s No. 1 seed. The junior forward dropped in 26 points. She buried seven 3-point field goals, including three in the first frame as the Crusaders cruised to an 18-8 lead.
Olkosky tied a WPIAL record with her performance. Kristen Bonner from Carlynton also pumped in seven, 3-pointers.
Though the Rebels narrowed the gap to 28-22 at intermission, Canevin opened up a 17-point advantage before settling into a 48-33 edge after three frames. In the stretch, Olkosky buried four more shots from beyond the arc.
SLS again rallied. The Rebels narrowed the margin to five points but could not capitalize when the Crusaders stumbled at the charity stripe.
Anglea Heintz scored six points during a 12-point run by the Rebels to close the margin to 50-45 with 1:36 remaining.
In addition to Olkosky, Carly Forse finished in double digits. The senior forward supplied 16 tallies.
Naje Gibson and Heintz equaled that output for the Rebels.
SLS (24-2), which had won back-to-back WPIAL championships before falling in this year’s final, commences defense of its Class AA state title March 8. The Rebels battle Kane (20-5), the No. 2 seed from District 9, in a first-round PIAA playoff game set for 6 p.m. Friday at North Allegheny.
Bishop Canevin (22-4) will face Westmont Hilltop at 6 p.m. March 8 at North Hills.