Coach Jerry Birmelin's Lady Eagles have now won 45 consecutive games
Canaan Christian Academy's girls varsity basketball team put the finishing touches on its second straight undefeated season via a gold medal performance at the 25th annual NEPA Christian Academy tournament.
With veteran coach Jerry Birmelin at the helm, the Lady Eagles rolled to their eighth consecutive tourney title by defeating North Rome in the final.
As has been the case all winter, Ashlea Swingle led the assault. Canaan's senior power forward erupted for a game-high 15 points in pacing the local lasses to a 40-31 decision.
CCA closed out the 2012-13 campaign with a perfect 21-0 record. The Lady Eagles were also unbeaten last year and have now racked up 40 straight wins.
Emotions were running high as Canaan hit the hardwood for its final game of the season.
Ashlea Swingle and Katie Krug received a big ovation from a packed house as it was the final time these seniors would don their CCA hoops jerseys.
Swingle in particular wasted no time in attacking the scrappy North Rome squad. Ashlea opened her night with an athletic runner in the lane, but also stepped back to drain a deep trey.
The leading scorer and rebounder in school history, Swingle would finish up her varsity career with 1,300 points and 970 boards.
Canaan slowly began to pull away in the second quarter, thanks in large part to Swingle and Krug.
Katie turned in a stellar all-round performance. The hard-nosed guard tallied eight points, pulled down seven rebounds and snared five steals.
Each girl would earn a place on the NPCA's All-Tournament Team.
Over & Out
North Rome refused to go quietly in this one and CCA had to stave off a furious second half comeback bid.
Veronica Oakley helped the Lady Eagles defend their tourney title. Canaan's center powered her way to nine points in the paint and team-best 12 rebounds.
Sami Beals dialed up a long-distance trey for her lone bucket of the game. This clutch 3-ball gave the Lady Eagles a bit of breathing room as North Rome had cut the lead to just five points at the time.
Cassie Palkovic came off the bench to spark another Canaan run, draining a 15-footer for her only points of the contest.
Maggie Black rounded out the CCA scoring with one free throw.
Thanks to this total team effort, Canaan Christian Academy's girls basketball team sealed the deal on a 40-31 victory ... a fitting finale to a season that saw the Lady Eagles win all three tournaments they entered.
Score by Quarters...
CCA (21-0) 12 12 7 9 - 40
NRC (17-4) 6 6 10 9 - 31