Erin "E" Waskowiak as a WPIAL Champ

Angela Heintz as a WPIAL runner-up
as Bishop Canevin Defeats Seton-La Salle

by Rogabee


I got the privilege of taking in a few WPIAL title games at the Palumbo Center this weekend.  The meaningful game to Dukes fans was the matchup between Seton-LaSalle and Bishop Canevin.  Seton-La Salle coming into the game hadn't lost to an in-state team all year and won the previous eight meetings vs. Bishop Canevin, including a 31 point win on television earlier this year. Not last night, however.

Erin "E" Waskowiak didn't even get mentioned in the game story in the Trib or Mike White's game blog due to her lack of scoring.  However, outside of Johnie Olkosky's amazing shooting evening with seven treys, Erin Waskowiak was the story of the night in my opinion.  It hasn't been since Shawn James at Oakland that I've seen someone score two points in a half but yet dominate the half the way Waskowiak did against a Seton-La Salle team.

Waskowiak projects as a solid contributor right away for the Dukes.  Her athleticism was in strong display last night.  At 5-11 and the tallest girl on the team, Erin did it all.  She ran the point the entire game and handled the ball very well, never getting it picked by a guard 11 inches smaller.  She guarded the quick 5-0 PG from Seton La-Salle very well also.  Erin rebounded from the PG position quite well.  She also blocked a couple shots in transition and got back well in transition defense.  Waskowiak didn't sit out the entire game, playing with an intense energy level throughout, and seemingly never getting tired.  In the early going, Erin started off distributing.  On both the first two possessions, she created completely open shots for teammates.  The distributing and setting up open shots continued all night long, and as long as her teammates were hot (which they seemingly were all game) she was trying to find them.  Waskowiak had great court awareness on offense, seeing plays before they were developing.  She featured a great no-look pass for an open layup in the middle of one Bishop Canevin run.  She was extremely quick off the dribble, and had excellent dribble-drives, including dribble-drive dishes.  She still needs a lot of work on her left hand, but other than that and a couple of sloppy turnovers there wasn't downside.  The other big thing last night is that Erin didn't get caught up in the moment and try to do too much.  Even on the big stage of a WPIAL team title, she played within herself and the team.  The immediate celebration for her was in my opinion the happiest emotional outburst of any of the players on any team that I saw.  Also showed a good vertical on the celebration.  She very easily could help the team out right away, perhaps even in a starting role.  If you're a Dukes fan, you have to be extremely encouraged with what you saw from Waskowiak last night.

Angela Heintz (Seton-La Salle) also committed to Duquesne.  Angela Heintz (5-10) looked like more a role player for Duquesne last night.  She also stayed within herself and the team, perhaps too much at times even.  Heintz was invisible for the first 25 minutes or so of the game.  Then, with her team down 12, Angela put the team on her back to try to rally Seton La-Salle.  Her run ultimately cut the lead to within 5, but she couldn't pull them any further.  Angela finished with a team-leading 16 point game in the defeat.  She has a good dribble-drive and gets to the free throw line a lot, though I'm worried about the drawing fouls aspect when projected forward to high-level Division 1 competition.  Heintz had a nice looking shot, even if it didn't fall early.  She didn't have the quickness of Waskowiak, though she's very strong for a guard.  Unfortunately, I wasn't watching her much on D to comment on her defense, as I was watching Waskowiak's movement without the ball more often.  Heintz figures to be a solid complimentary player for those that we already have and will fit SMS's system very well.

Other notes:

 John Ashalou, brother of Sam Ashalou, is the Seton-La Salle coach.

 It was great seeing the entire women's team supporting Heintz and Waskowiak last night from the bleachers.  The entire team - even the current seniors - were loving Heintz's attempt to try to will her team back in the game from down 12, and most showed more excitement toward the WPIAL game last night than some of theirs.  Then again, it's different watching as a fan than as a player...

Cassity Walsh (a sophomore also committed to Duquesne for Seton-La Salle) I don't believe played.  If she did play, I missed her.

These two teams figure to meet again in the PIAA playoffs for anyone wanting to see Waskowiak and Heintz in action.