Vincentian girls basketball survives PIAA fray
It started out just like any other Vincentian Lady Royals basketball game. Center Brenna Wise got a few quick points, everyone else chipped in a little here and there, and a double-digit Vincentian lead on Berlin Brothers Valley was on the scoreboard.
But as quickly as the Lady Royals took control, a four-minute stretch of turnover-filled basketball put Berlin Brothersvalley up by a point as the second quarter began.
Unfazed, Vincentian came back led by Wise, who had 11 second-quarter points. A couple of 3-pointers from Abbey Bartoszewicz and Sarah Marusic helped the Lady Royals take a 32-22 lead into the half.
With the game looking like it was in hand, Berlin Brothersvalley rose up again. Triple coverage on Wise neutralized the star center, and an 11-6 run by the Lady Mountaineers cut the deficit to five as the fourth quarter began. Had it not been for six points from Kayla Key, the quarter could have been even more costly for Vincentian.
“I give credit to Berlin Brothersvalley: They made it tough for us,” Vincentian coach Ron Moncrief said. “When you get to states, you get everyone's best. Everyone is good here.”
The Lady Mountaineers continued their assault on the Lady Royals' lead. With the game tied with just more than a minute to play, Moncrief had one last trick up his sleeve to rid Vincentian of the pesky opposition.
The plan was to get the ball into Wise inside, leaving the pick-and-roll to Abbey Bartoszewicz open if the triple coverage didn't break down.
Wise was swarmed, the clock was ticking and Bartoszewicz went for the layup. Her first attempt bounced off the rim, but she grabbed her own rebound and put the ball back up. The shot fell as the buzzer sounded, and the Lady Royals' dream of a state title remained alive for one more game.
“We wanted to get it to Brenna, who is our leading scorer, but we had to waste enough time first,” Abbey Bartoszewicz said. “I knew I could drive, and I missed, but it came back to me and I made it.
“This game was a smack in the face, and we need to work much harder.”
Wise finished the game with a double-double, Key added eight points, Mia Joiner added seven and Ally Bartoszewicz played a strong role on defense by blocking two shots, grabbing two rebounds and making a key steal.
“I took a defensive perspective for this game,” Ally Bartoszewicz said. “This was not a typical game, but we have to come back and learn from it. We are blessed to have a second chance (in the state tournament).”
Jerry Clark is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or firstname.lastname@example.org.