Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Rebels Take Lead in Section Standings Loss of Key Players Can't Derail Seton-Lasalle

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Rebels Take Lead in Section Standings Loss of Key Players Can't Derail Seton-Lasalle

Article excerpt

A year ago the Seton-LaSalle girls basketball team lost four games all season. This year the Rebels lost four games in December.

With a team full of potential trying to replace two Division I players, losses in December are not the worst thing that can happen.

"Nobody likes to lose, but our losses have taught us stuff," Rebels coach Spencer Stefko said. "We have lost about every way you can imagine and each has taken us a little further as a team."

Seton-LaSalle (9-5, 6-0) dropped its opening two games, to defending WPIAL and PIAA Class A champion Vincentian Academy and to Class AAAA contender Pine-Richland. It also dropped a pair of games at the Pa-Ohio Roundball Classic against two teams from Ohio and suffered its fifth loss on Jan. 2 at Villa Maria Academy in Erie. The Rebels defeated section rival Bishop Canevin, 61-48, Monday night to take charge of the section title race.

"It's been this type of defensive breakdown or that type of offensive breakdown," said Stefko the PIAA Class AA coach of the year last season. "Each one of those is the kind of thing that you can kind of fix. I don't feel like we have lost because we have been outmanned. We have lost because we have been 'out-teamed' by other teams and that is a good thing to learn from at the beginning of the year."

In between those losses, Seton-LaSalle has looked a lot like the dominant team from last season that finished 27-4 and won WPIAL and PIAA Class AA championships.

Four days after losing to the Royals, Seton-LaSalle defeated Vincentian on the road. They have non-section wins against South Park and Mercyhurst Prep and have won their first six games in Section 3-AA.

Seton-LaSalle graduated first-team all-state player Naje Gibson and Yacine Diop, a second-team all-state selection. Gibson was the PIAA Class AA player of the year. But the Rebels reload like few teams can. …

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