Canevin captures state championship

Published Mar 22, 2013 at 3:20 pm (Updated Mar 22, 2013 at 3:20 pm)

Bishop Canevin captured its first state championship in girls’ basketball when the Lady Crusaders defeated York Catholic, 45-38, in the PIAA Class AA title tilt at the Giant Center in Hershey.

Trailing by five points, 33-28, heading into the final frame, the Crusaders reeled off 13 unanswered points to take command of the contest. In fact, York did not score its first points of the quarter until Deanna Chesko sank a pair of free throws with a minute to play.

A three-point field goal—her fourth of the game—by Celina DiPietro ignited the Canevin uprising. Erin Waskowiak tied the game at 33 before DiPietro and Carly Forse expanded the margin. DiPietro and Forse each finished with 18 points.

“We just looked at each other on the court,” said Forse of the team’s three seniors, “and said this is our year. We need to step up and win it.

“We knew this was our last quarter of high school basketball,” explained Waskowiak. “We are going to win this. We just need to pick it up.”

DiPietro picked it up defensively. In the fourth quarter, Canevin head coach Tim Joyce switched assignments. He had DiPietro guard Morgan Clunk. The senior had scorched the Crusaders for 18 points. Clunk’s 3-point field goal staked the Fighting Irish to its biggest lead, 39-33, with 2:56 to play in the third quarter.

“We made that adjustment on defense and that was key,” said Joyce. “Celina did a great job.”

So did Alaina McGuire off the bench and Johnie Olkosky, who hit a critical 3-pointer for the Crusaders.

“When Olkosky hit that three that sparked us. That brought us back to life. And, Alaina provided us with a defensive spark,” said Joyce.

Offensively, Forse and DiPietro sparked the Crusaders in the first half. Forse scored 10 of her points in the first 16 minutes and DiPietro knocked down three triples but the game remained tied, 9-9, after one quarter and 21-21 at intermission.

The win capped 27-4 season for the Crusaders, who also were the WPIAL champions. They are only the second team in school history—not including when Canevin participated in the Catholic League—to claim a state title. The softball team won a state championship in 1990.

“This means a lot,” said Joyce. “I am so happy for the kids.”

The players are equally delighted for their mentor, who has been at the helm for 11 seasons.

“It’s an unbelievable feeling,” said Waskowiak, who with Olkosky led the team with seven rebounds each. “To win a state championship your senior year. I’m so glad for this team, especially for our coach. He means the world to us.”

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