GREENSBURG — Keith Moyer said his Everett team just wanted Tuesday’s victory more than Bishop Canevin.
The evidence, you ask?
Madison Hicks, saddled for much of the second half with four fouls, had several huge moments in the closing minutes.
Kristen Ewing, one of the smallest players on the court, came up with a pair of late rebounds and a loose ball near the Lady Crusaders’ hoop.
All the while, Kaitlyn Maxwell was in the middle of everything as usual. And the rest of the Lady Warriors had enough contributions to lift them to a 49-42 win in the second round of the PIAA Class AA playoffs.
Everett, 23-3, will face District 9 runner-up Allegheny-Clarion Valley in Friday’s quarterfinals at a time and location to be announced. ACV defeated WPIAL champion Our Lady of Sacred Heart, 35-33 in overtime.
The Lady Warriors are in the state quarterfinals for the first time under Moyer.
“This is a great group of kids,” he said. “They truly love each other. There’s no animosity and nobody cares who gets the credit. They work extremely hard in practice. I’m pretty lucky to have a group like this.”
Everett held a nine-point lead at halftime, but Bishop Canevin rallied in the third quarter. The Lady Crusaders abandoned their long-range shooting game which had struggled in the first half, instead going inside more and also taking advantage of a number of Lady Warrior turnovers.
It resulted in an 18-4 advantage in the period and Bishop Canevin, which eliminated Everett in the same round of the playoffs last year, had momentum and a 33-28 lead going to the final quarter.
Maxwell had the first points in the fourth after a rebound by Lizzy Jay gave Everett another chance. After a Canevin free throw, Hicks converted an easy lay-up off a pass from Ewing. On the next trip, Hicks was left alone under the basket and put it in on the inbounds pass from Brooke Colledge to tie the game.
At the other end, Hicks drew a charge on Diajha Allen, which took her out of the BC lineup on fouls. After the teams traded buckets, Shamyjha Price hit two free throws, but Maxwell’s three-pointer put the locals ahead 39-38 just under halfway through the quarter.
It was just one of two three-pointers in the game for Everett, which was mostly by design.
“You don’t beat Bishop Canevin shooting three’s,” said Moyer. “We scouted them really well, and they’re not as disciplined on defense at times. Our gameplan was to keep attacking the rim and we did.”
Maxwell continued with the hot hand by hitting consecutive close-rangers to give Everett a five-point edge as the clock rolled under two minutes.
The Lady Crusaders didn’t quit, getting a basket from Emma Theodorsson and a pair of free throws from Gillane Gustine which made it a one-point game.
However, Maxwell and Hicks closed the door on Bishop Canevin. The pair connected twice on strong passes for inside hoops and the points they needed.
Maxwell had 24 points, and Hicks scored 12.
“We just kept our heads up when they made that run,” Maxwell said prior to being the final Everett player greeted outside the locker room by a sizable crowd that hung around. “Last year, we were outrebounded by them. Kristen’s like five foot, and she pulls down two big rebounds. We didn’t want to lose to them again.”
Moyer wasn’t shy in praising his standout players for their efforts.
“Kaitlyn was gassed a little bit in the second half, but she had enough in reserve to take over the game,” he said. “Those passes to Maddie in the fourth quarter for lay-ups are what you need out of your point guard. We had the best player on the floor tonight, no doubt. How is she not one of the best players in Pennsylvania right now? She’s just relentless and doesn’t stop. She’s a great kid and you won’t find a better teammate.
“And hats off to Maddie, who stayed away from that fifth foul which was the difference in the game. We don’t get those fourth quarter baskets if she’s sitting on the bench.”
Price had 12 points to lead Bishop Canevin, which finishes the season at 22-4.
PIAA Class AA Second Round (5-1) EVERETT 49, (7-3) BISHOP CANEVIN 42
Everett 15 9 4 21 — 49
Bishop Canevin 9 6 18 9 — 42
Everett (49) — Lizzy Jay 1 2-2 4; Brooke Colledge (1) 2 0-0 7; Kristen Ewing 1 0-2 2; Gabby Bulger 0 0-0 0; Madison Hicks 5 2-5 12; Kaitlyn Maxwell (1) 8 5-6 24; Alex Iseminger 0 0-0 0. Totals: (2) 17 9-15 49.
Bishop Canevin (42) — Emma Theordorsson 4 2-3 10; Diajha Allen (1) 2 0-0 7; Gillan Gustine 1 2-2 4; Danielle Deasy 1 1-2 3; Shamyjha Price 5 2-3 12; Gillian Golupski (2) 0 0-0 6; Savanah Abbott 0 0-0 0. Totals: (3) 13 7-10 42.