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WPIAL

Our Lady of Sacred Heart defeats Fort Cherry, 60-36, in WPIAL Class 2A Boys Championship

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Pittsburgh — Our Lady of Sacred Heart continues to run things in WPIAL Class 2A basketball, as the Chargers captured their fourth straight title with a 60-36 victory over Fort Cherry on Saturday afternoon at the Petersen Events Center.

OLSH has now won 63 consecutive games and with four consecutive WPIAL championships, OLSH has turned into one of the premier programs in Western Pennsylvania. OLSH is only the second school in WPIAL history to win four straight titles. It’s something that head coach Mike Rodriguez doesn’t take for granted.

“This has been building from the guys that were here four years ago,” Rodriguez said. “They started it. (People) forget, we lost our first two appearances here and then won the next four. It’s not lost upon us that this is a huge, huge accomplishment. It’s always special when you get here. For many people, it’s bigger than the state championship.”

Jake DiMichele had a standout performance with 29 points, going10-of-22 from the field and 9-of-11 from the foul line. Dawson Summer also scored double-digits with 15 points.

All DiMichele knows is winning, as he was a freshman when OLSH started its streak of four straight WPIAL titles.

“I think I’m the first player to start and win four WPIAL championships,” DiMichele said. “It’s kind of hit me in a different way right now, realizing all the hard work that I put in since I was younger. That four years flew by real quick and I’m just happy that I got four golds to go with it.”

DiMichele and Summer were a handful for Fort Cherry all game. And while he meant no disrespect, Fort Cherry head coach Euguene Briggs said DiMichele and Summer were so difficult to defend because of their teammates.

“There’s things we can do, and we have done all season long where we shut down some really good players, but you make an effort to shut them down, there’s other guys that make you pay,” Briggs said. “The good as they are, and they are very good players, they’re playing on a team that lets them have a lot. I mean, the double teams are awfully hard to do when the teammates make you pay every time. So, when you’re playing on a good team, it’s makes good players even better.”

 

OLSH made 22-of-50 shots from the field and was 2-of-13 from behind the arc, while Fort Cherry was 14-of-47 and 4-of-22 on three-point attempts. Turnovers and getting beat down low were the main issues for Fort Cherry, as they turned the ball over 15 times and OLSH scored 20 points off the turnovers. In the paint, OLSH out-scored Fort Cherry, 38-18. The Chargers also had 13 points off second chances.

DiMichele’s 15 points in the first half charged OLSH to a 29-16 lead at halftime. DiMichele was 5-of-11 from the field and 5-of-5 at the foul line. OLSH led 17-10 at the end of the first quarter and then went on an 8-0 run in the second quarter to enhance its lead to 13 points at the 5:42 mark.

Dylan Rogers nailed a three-pointer to cut OLSH’s lead to 31-22 with 4:35 remaining in the third quarter. However, Fort Cherry couldn’t make a run, and OLSH got its lead back up to double-digits and led 41-26 at the end of the quarter.

OLSH continued to control the pace of the game, as Fort Cherry had a difficult time containing DiMichele and Dawson Summer. They both just dominated, especially down the stretch when Fort Cherry attempted to make a comeback. OLSH out-scored Fort Cherry 19-10 in the fourth quarter and secured a 24-point win.

Sandy Schall, Coldwell Banker
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