HERSHEY — It didn’t take long for WPIAL champion Vincentian Academy to settle a score that originated one year ago. The Royals, outclassed by Tri-Valley in the 2013 girls PIAA Class A basketball championship, won the 2014 version Saturday at Giant Center, cruising past Old Forge 58-34.
Junior forward Brenna Wise posted a double-double, scoring 21 points with 11 rebounds, and sophomore guard Maia Joiner added 11 points for Vincentian Academy (27-3), which sparked its championship run via a 19-1 run in the opening half.
Wise led the rally with 12 points in the first eight minutes. Equally impressive was the tight man-to-man defense deployed by Royals coach Ron Moncrief.
Old Forge (24-4), the District 2 champion, shot a dismal 26-percent from the floor and connected on just 1 of 14 3-point attempts. Blue Devils’ 1,000-point scorer Lauren Carey led her side with 18 points.
Leaning on the 6-foot-1 Wise and breakout guards Kayla Key and Torrieonna Cash, the Royals turned an early 9-8 deficit into a 23-9 advantage with under two minutes to play in the first half. Cash stoked the fire with six first-quarter points.
It only got worse for head coach Tom Gatto and Old Forge, which saw its nine-game winning streak snapped. Joiner targeted a pair of 3-pointers in Vincentian Academy’s 20-11 game-clinching run in the third. Wise added five assists and three blocked shots.
“(Wise) has been motivated all season, guiding our team,” Moncrief said. “She had a nasty taste in her mouth after losing here last year. We wanted to come back and erase that taste. We wanted to leave with a gold medal and that’s what we did today.”
CLASS 3A GIRLS
Blackhawk 51, Archbishop Wood 43
A stirring defensive effort in the third quarter helped Blackhawk rally from a four-point halftime deficit to take down Archbishop Wood and win the PIAA Class 3A championship.
The Cougars (28-2) held the high-powered Vikings to just four points in the third quarter to take control.
The Cougars hit its first 16 foul shots of the second half and finished the game 21-for-24. The Vikings, who upended Holy Redeemer in the state semifinals, were just 3-for-9 from the stripe.
CLASS 2A BOYS
Constitution 61, Seton-LaSalle 59
Constitution used an 11-2 run to take the lead before holding on to defeat Seton-LaSalle in the PIAA Boys Class 2A basketball final. The game was tied at 43 before Constitution took a 54-45 lead with five minutes left.
Ahmad Gilbert led Constitution with 19 points and 14 rebounds. Kimar Williams added 14 points for Constitution (28-5), who defeated Meyers in the semifinals this year en route to the championship.