HOLLIDAYSBURG - Bishop Canevin is one of the state's better Class AA girls basketball programs, and filled the bill as a good late-season test for Hollidaysburg's Lady Tigers, who had a void on their schedule Friday night.
The Lady Crusaders made the two-hour trip from the Pittsburgh area to Hollidaysburg after the Lady Tigers' originally-scheduled date with Villa Maria of District 10 was cancelled.
Canevin proved to be a troublesome guest, controlling Hollidaysburg defensively from start to finish in posting a 43-33 victory in a game played at the Hollidaysburg Area Senior High School gymnasium.
Mirror photo by Gary M. Baranec
Hollidaysburg’s Susie Ellis drives to the hoop past two Bishop?Canevin defenders.
Mirror photo by Gary M. Baranec
Hollidaysburg’s Morgan Jennings works between two Bishop Canevin players.
It was just Hollidaysburg's second loss in 20 games this year. Canevin, which made it to the second round of the PIAA Class AA playoffs last year after losing to Seton-LaSalle in the WPIAL championship game, improved to 18-4 this season.
Hollidaysburg could never get untracked offensively Friday, as the double-team Canevin played against Lady Tigers' senior post Morgan Griffith limited the Hollidaysburg star to seven points. Although senior guard Susie Ellis responded with a game-high 17 points for Hollidaysburg, it wasn't enough to prevent Canevin - which led after every quarter - from taking home the win.
"They controlled the possession game, and they controlled the clock,'' Hollidaysburg coach Deanna Jubeck said of Canevin, which led, 10-7 after one quarter, 17-10 at halftime, and 27-22 after three periods. "They were very patient, and they did what they had to do tonight.''
Canevin was led by Duquesne University-bound senior guard Erin Waskowiak's 14 points and senior forward Carly Forse's 13.
"This was a very good win for us,'' Canevin coach Tim Joyce said. "We drove two hours to play here. To me, this was like a state playoff game.''
Canevin played with that kind of tenacity, busting out to a 27-13 lead midway through the third quarter on Forse's rebound bucket and keeping Hollidaysburg largely at bay.
"They were able to get the open looks, and the shots that they wanted,'' Jubeck said of Canevin. "They're fundamentally very strong. They're a very good team.''
Hollidaysburg responded with the last nine points of the third quarter to draw within five points, 27-22, entering the fourth period. Ellis drained two 3-pointers and added a pair of free throws in the surge.
"Susie Ellis provided a good spark for us off the bench,'' Jubeck said. "She's our shooter, and we want her to shoot when she's open. Her confidence soars once she hits her first shot, and we needed her to hit some outside shots tonight because [Canevin] was doubling Morgan Griffith inside.''
Canevin got a boost of its own early in the fourth quarter when senior guard Celina DiPietro hit two consecutive 3-pointers to stake the Lady Crusaders to a 33-22 lead.
"Those were big 3s by Celina DiPietro at a time where we were starting to struggle a little bit,'' Joyce said. "I never really felt we were in control tonight. We struggled offensively. I was happy we played as well as we did defensively. Our defense kind of kept us in the game.''
Jubeck saw a silver lining in the game for Hollidaysburg, which hosts Mercyhurst Prep today in a 2:30 p.m. tipoff. Mercyhurst lost at Altoona, 52-35 Friday night.
"This was a very competitive game from wire-to-wire,'' Jubeck said of Friday's contest. "At this time of the year, we need games like this. The better competition we play now, the better we'll be prepared for the district tournament.''
BISHOP CANEVIN (43): DeFrank 0 0-0 0, Forse 6 0-2 13, DIPietro 2 2-2 8, Waskowiak 6 2-2 14, Vallecorsa 0 0-0 0, Olkosky 3 0-0 8, McGuire 0 0-0 0. Totals - 17 4-6 43.
HOLLIDAYSBURG (33): Griffith 2 3-5 7, Storm 1 1-2 3, Jennings 3 0-2 6, Muir 0 0-2 0, Mercer 0 0-0 0, Ellis 5 3-4 17, Servello . Totals - 11 7-15 33.
SCORE BY QUARTERS
Bishop Canevin10 7 10 16 - 43
Hollidaysburg7 3 12 11 - 33
3-point goals: Bishop Canevin 5 (Forse, DiPietro 2, Olkosky 2); Hollidaysburg 4 (Ellis 4).
Records: Bishop Canevin (18-4); Hollidaysburg (18-2).
JV: Hollidaysburg, 43-25. High scorers-McClain and Palfey, H, 9 apiece.
Officials: Clark Adelman, Dave Baronner, John Garritano.