PITTSBURGH — On Saturday afternoon, Bishop Canevin took home its second WPIAL championship of the weekend, as the girls team ran past Aquinas Academy by a score of 59-40 at the Petersen Events Center.
It was a game of runs in the first of five championship matchups of the day, as Bishop Canevin built its lead late in the second quarter with a 10-2 run, and shortly after, started the second half on a 9-2 run.
The crusaders ran away with the victory in the second half behind four players with 13 points each, and came out on top as the class 1A champions with wins over the No. 2, 3, and 4 seeds en route to the championship.
“We knew that even if we are not the high seed, it didn’t really matter who we were going to play,” Bishop Canevin head coach Maddie Bazelak said after the win. “Our motto all year has been ‘only us.’ That was kind of our biggest focus is that no matter who we played, we were going to play our game and we were going to play together and we were going to come out and be prepared. Again, just having that confidence that we can win any game. We played a pretty tough out-of-conference schedule, and I think that helped us a lot to build that confidence that it doesn’t matter who the team is, if they’re a bigger team, a stronger team, they have all star players. We are a team that any day that we have six, seven, eight girls that can step up and make an impact in our game. Every game it might be someone different, and that’s what makes us a great team.”
The Crusaders looked to four of their players in this victory, as Rachel Boehm, Josie Bochicchio, Mackenzie Huet, and Ashley Lippold each scored 13 points. Huet and Lippold, the team’s two starting guards, combined to hit 12 of their 15 shots in the win, with Huet going 6 for 7 and Lippold going 6 for 8. Lippold also grabbed a team-high ten rebounds and dished out a team-high seven assists in her double-double effort.
“It just shows that we are a team, and we have confidence that if I pass the ball to my teammate, that they know that they are going to be strong with the ball and they are going to be able to score,” Bazelak said. “Like I said, any day, it’s every single player. Ashley Lippold, Josie Bochicchio, they’re all great players. If Ashley is going to score and they take Ashley away, then Josie is going to step up, Amber is going to step up. They trust one another that if I am not on tonight, I know my teammates are going to step up and score the ball for us.”
For Aquinas, senior forward Emelia Kartsonas and Elizabeth Russell combined for 28, scoring 14 apiece in the loss. Kartsonas also grabbed eight rebounds, with six coming on offense. Isabella Hite and Elizabeth Hardy followed with six points each, combining to go 6 for 18 from the field.
This championship victory comes just two days after the Bishop Canevin boys took home the class 1A title on the boy’s side, and is the fifth championship for the school in the last seven years.
“Having the boys win this year, winning that single A,” Bazelak added. “It just shows that these girls and all of the students at Bishop Canevin, we are not a huge school, but they all are dedicated and they work hard. They play a fall sport, a winter sport, a spring sport. So they come in and they work for each other and that dedication and that hard work shows off.”