PITTSBURGH — On Thursday night at the Petersen Events Center, Bishop Canevin ran away from a battling Union squad to close out its second-straight WPIAL Class 1A Title by a score of 58-45.
After heading into the half leading by just five points, the Crusaders pulled away in the second frame behind strong late-game performances by junior guard Shea Champine as well as freshman Amari Evans.
Champine secured the victory with an excellent 8-for-10 mark from the free-throw line in the second half, and finished his night with a team-high 15 points.
“I knew he [Champine] was going to respond at some point in the year and have a big, big game for us,” said Bishop Canevin head coach Gino Palmosina. “Tonight, we needed him more than ever, and the game got tight, and he hit a big-time three to quiet their side down and get the lead back to 8. Down the stretch, he was phenomenal from the free-throw line. He got to the lane, didn’t take too many contested shots, and just finished the job for us. Super proud of him.”
Behind Champine, the young Evans followed with ten points and seven rebounds, while senior KeVaughn Price added nine points and four boards.
“It was a great feeling being able to win two championships back to back,” Price said after the win. “It’s just amazing.”
Bishop Canevin takes home the WPIAL Class 1A Championship, winning 58-45 over Union. pic.twitter.com/lprSyQgmkj
— George Michalowski (@MichalowskiCBB) March 3, 2022
The Crusaders weathered a 9-0 run by the Scotties early in the fourth quarter and never looked back, coming out on top and winning the title.
For Union, junior Matt Stanley delivered a 16-point performance to lead the Scotties. His brother Mark Stanley also had a strong game, following with 12 points on 6-for-13 shooting. Junior wing Peyton Lombardo also added eight points, knocking down two of his five three-point attempts and both of his free throws in the match.
“You’ve got to tip your hat to the Stanley Brothers and obviously Coach Stanley,” Palmosina added. “It was a 14-point game, and he [Matt] was hitting shots deep left and right to get it to eight, to get it to seven, and we were just fortunate enough to take care of the ball and get to the free-throw line and never let it get closer than that.”
As a team, Bishop Canevin shot 47% from the field in the championship victory. The Crusaders also knocked down 27 of their 33 free-throw attempts, an impressive 82% mark that sealed the deal.
“It’s been a long journey,” Palmosina added. “We played a very tough schedule to get to this point, we took some lumps early in the season, and we weren’t really too worried about our record. At that point, we thought, play the best in our area and it would pay off down the road. It paid off obviously, we won our second WPIAL title in a row, and I am just proud of our guys.”