Despite loss in PIAA tournament, Bishop Canevin girls reflect on special season

Friday, March 15, 2019 | 7:49 PM

The Bishop Canevin girls basketball team suffered a roster shakeup in the postseason.

The team lost one of its starting five in Alyssa Pollice. The junior guard transferred from Seton LaSalle last year but was ineligible for the postseason because of a new PIAA rule regarding transfers.

The Crusaders put in a valiant effort but struggled to fill the void. The team’s season came to a close with a 49-42 loss to Everett in the PIAA Class 2A second round.

“Things just didn’t click,” Bishop Canevin coach Scott Dibble said. “We had a lot of different kids in the mix. But we had to rely on some inexperienced kids. I don’t want to make an excuse because our kids played their hearts out.”

The Crusaders led the Warriors, 33-28, heading into the fourth quarter. But the District 5 champion rallied and outscored Bishop Canevin, 21-9, in the finale frame.

“They are a good team,” Dibble said. “They were well prepared. We got off to another slow start. And we took some ill-advised shots that hurt us.

“You have to give Everett credit. They are a good team.”

UMass Lowell recruit Shamyjha Price led the Crusaders with 12 points. Emma Theodorsson added 10.

Bishop Canevin finished the season with a 22-4 record. The Crusaders won the Section 3-2A title — the program’s fourth straight section championship.

Bishop Canevin was the highest scoring Class 2A team in the WPIAL this season. The team averaged 67.2 points, behind only Blackhawk (68.9) and North Catholic (68.8) in the entire WPIAL.

The Crusaders had five players average in double digits — Price (18.4 ppg), junior Daisha Allen (13.2), Theodorsson (12.3), senior Gillan Gustine (11.5) and Pollice (10).

“Our kids played hard,” Dibble said. “They are passionate. It is always nice to win the section. They won a lot. But it is disappointing to fall short.”

Looking ahead, Bishop Canevin returns several parts of this season’s team to build on. With Allen, Pollice and Theodorsson returning, the team will look to several players who got varsity minutes to step up next season.

This includes several of the team sophomores, such as Gillian Golupski, Rutanya Taylor and Savanah Abbot.

“We have three starters back,” Dibble said. “We also had sophomores get some experience. We will see what freshmen come in. We feel good moving forward.

“Our philosophy is you either win or learn. We didn’t win, but hopefully we learn something from this.”

Bishop Canevin will need to find a way to replace four seniors. Price, Gustine, Danielle Deasy and Alexis Zarnick all had an impact on the team.

Finding a way to fill that void won’t be easy.

“They provided leadership for sure,” Dibble said. “They had a good run. They won three straight WPIAL championships and got to two state championships. They had an amazing career. Some players never have those opportunities.”