Photo courtesy Daren DiMichele
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart boys basketball team took home its first state championship title after defeating the Constitution Generals on March 26 with a score of 62-59.
By Daren DiMichele
Our Lady of the Sacred Heart Chargers traveled to Hershey to face off against the Constitution Generals March 26, snatching their first championship victory.
This was the second time in history the school made it to the championship game. The Chargers last faced the Philadelphia-based Generals, in a crushing loss during the 2018 championship game by a score of 81-71. However, this time they were ready.
Prior to the game at Hershey, the Chargers played Karns City, March 21 and Portage, March 23.
Karns City made the first half fairly close as it was 40-24 at halftime. Then, OLSH pulled away in the second half and rolled to victory with a score of 75-45. Dante Spadafora led all scorers with 23, Jake DiMichele finished with 20, Dawson Summers had 10, Rocco Spadafora had five, Brad Vaughn had seven and Bryson Kirschner had two.
Next, in the state semifinals, OLSH matched up with Portage High School. This was a rematch of the last game of the 2020 season before COVID-19 shut everything down, in which OLSH won 84-56.
This time around Portage was determined to make the game close as OLSH led 35-27 at halftime. In the second half, OLSH grew its lead, and Portage began to foul to try to get back in the game.
OLSH won 74-50, winning them the ticket in the state championship game.
Their soft 2-3 zone allowed the Chargers to take a nine-point lead over the extremely athletic Constitution team at halftime by a score of 34-25.
The dynamic duo of DiMichele and Dante Spadafora combined to score 22 of those points, scoring 12 and 10 respectively. The second half was more of the same as the Chargers’ zone defense completely took the Generals out of their offensive game. OLSH led 42-35 at the end of the third quarter.
The Chargers play kept away in the fourth quarter in an attempt to conserve their lead, and this strategy proved to work as the Chargers won their first state championship in school history by a score of 62-49.
They were led by DiMichele, who had a stat line of 21 points, 16 rebounds and six blocks.
Dante Spadafora, playing in his last high school game, added 15 points and five assists.
Dawson Summers added 13, and BJ Vaughn scored 11 points off the bench, with seven of those coming in the fourth quarter. Sophomores Rocco Spadafora and Bryson Kirschner were also key contributors in this game, coming up with steals, assists and a couple of huge blocks.
This win put the Chargers at 24-0 on the season, which makes them only the 14th WPIAL team in history to finish a season as undefeated state champions.
Another one of those 14 teams was the 1982-83 Sto-Rox Vikings team, in which Jake DiMichele scored 23 points in the 1983 state championship game, putting Sto-Rox at 32-0 on the season.