Everett pair spark big victory

GREENSBURG — Everett jumped out to a commanding lead at the outset of its PIAA Class 2A second-round matchup with Bishop Canevin, the team that eliminated them in last year’s state playoffs.

The Lady Warriors had to fight off a strong third-quarter surge by the Lady Crusaders that saw them lose the lead. That was before Kaitlyn Maxwell and Madison Hicks took over in the final stanza to lead Everett to a 49-42 victory on Tuesday night at Hempfield High School.

“We had to be mentally strong — we’ve been all year,” Everett coach Keith Moyer said. “Bishop Canevin, credit to them, they’re a talented, athletic team. But, our kids just wanted it more.”

With the win, the Lady Warriors improved to 23-3 and will get Allegheny-Clarion Valley, a 35-33 winner in overtime over Our Lady of Sacred Heart, in the quarterfinals.

Bishop Canevin (22-4) coach Scott Dibble was unavailable for comment following the game.

Everett came into the game not looking to shoot the 3-pointer, but it turned out to be a trey from Maxwell on her only attempt from beyond the arc that helped the Lady Warriors steal back momentum. It was that and the lead from a BC team that seized control in the third quarter with an 18-4 scoring edge.

“You don’t beat Bishop Canevin shooting 3s,” Moyer said. “We scouted them really well, and they foul a lot. They’re not disciplined on defense at times. We took advantage of that. The game plan was to keep attacking the rim.”

Maxwell, who led all scorers with 24 points, put the Lady Warriors on top for good when she found herself wide open and nailed the triple to give her team the 39-38 lead with 4:01 to go in the game.

“I didn’t think about it (taking the shot) — it was a set play,” Maxwell said. “We’ve done it in practice, so It was like muscle memory sort of.”

Dibble called a timeout 10 seconds later, and Moyer set up a strategy that sealed the game for the Lady Warriors.

Everett spread the floor in what could have been viewed as running time off the clock, but with the ball in Maxwell’s hands, he let his senior make the play.

“When you have a point guard like ours, you can spread the floor. We weren’t running clock — we were looking to score,” Moyer said.

Maxwell responded by hitting a floater in the lane, then converting a driving layup at 1:56 to put her team up 43-38.

“Maxwell, she trains so hard. She was gassed a little in the second half, but she had enough in reserve to take over the game, which she did,” Moyer said. “… We had the best player on the floor tonight. No doubt in my mind.”

Emma Theodorsson, who got into foul trouble within the first few minutes of the contest and was forced to sit for most of opening half, scored inside for two of her 10 points.

Off a missed BC shot, Maxwell drove the lane and had her shot blocked and recovered by Theodorsson. Gillian Gustine then hit a pair of foul shots at 1:31 to cut the Everett lead to 43-42.

The Lady Warriors stuck to their plan, and it continued to work. Maxwell drove the lane and dished off to Hicks, who had 10 of her 12 points in the fourth after having to sit for awhile with four fouls. Her back-to-back layups extended the margin to 47-42 with 46.1 remaining.

“Hat’s off to Maddy Hicks as she was able to stay away from that fifth foul which was the difference in the game,” Moyer said. “In the fourth quarter, those buckets she scored, we don’t get those baskets if she’s sitting on the bench.”

Gustine airballed a 3-pointer — giving the ball back over to Everett with 12.3 to go.

Maxwell, who tallied 11 points in the fourth, knocked down two free throws with 1.5 left to set the final.

“It feels amazing,” Maxwell said. “After they beat us last year, we didn’t want to lose to them again.”

While Maxwell and Hicks shouldered the scoring load down the stretch, Kristen Ewing came up big with four key rebounds, including two going up against the 6-foot-0 Theodorsson.

Every starter scored for Everett as it exploded off of the tip to a 13-4 advantage. Maxwell hit a pair of free throws at 3:56. They entered the second quarter up 15-9 after the Crusaders scored five of the next seven points to cut the deficit.

“I thought our kids really believed that we could win,” said Moyer, whose club went into halftime up 24-15. “Last year, I think we were a little intimidated in this round, but tonight they really believed that they could win and they proved it.”

EVERETT (49): Jay 1 2-2 4, Colledge 3 0-0 7, Ewing 1 0-2 2, Hicks 5 2-5 12, Maxwell 9 5-6 24, Bulger 0 0-0 0, Iseminger 0 0-0 0. Totals: 19 9-15 49.

BISHOP CANEVIN (42): Theodorsson 4 2-3 10, Allen 3 0-0 7, Gustine 1 2-2 4, Price 5 2-3 12, Deasy 1 1-2 3, Abbott 0 0-0 0, Golupski 2 0-0 6, Taylor 0 0-0 0. Totals: 16 7-10 42.

SCORE BY QUARTERS

Everett 15 9 4 21 — 49

Bishop Canevin 9 6 18 9 — 42

3-point field goals: Everett 2 (Colledge 1, Maxwell 1); Bishop Canevin 3 (Golupski 2, Allen 1).

Records: Everett (23-3); Bishop Canevin (22-4).

Officials: Caryn Glassbrenner, Justin Ehrman, Frank D’Amico.

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