Vincentian girls basketball leader still has time to grow
As a varsity basketball player, Vincentian center Brenna Wise knows little other than success.
She helped a senior-laden team win the WPIAL championship in her freshman season. As a sophomore, she went from a role player to the face of the program and the Lady Royals won the Class A title again.
Wise led the team in scoring and rebounds and is two for two in championship games, but the sophomore is not content with what she has accomplished.
“I am truly blessed my dad got me started in basketball, and we played every day,” Wise said. “But I wouldn't be where I am today without my teammates. I could not ask for anything better.”
Wise said she still needs to work on her ball handling, because she wants to be great in every aspect of the game.
She won't anoint herself as great, but that does not mean her competition shares that sentiment. In a PIAA playoff game against Berlin Brothers Valley, the Lady Mountaineers covered Wise with three and at times four defenders in the second half. The four-on-one coverage was effective, but in the end Wise got what she really wanted out of the game: a win.
Wise appreciates being looked to as a leader but is adamant about not being the type of player who needs to run the show. She said everyone has to have a voice if the team is to succeed.
Wise comes across as an unselfish player, and her actions speak louder than her words.
In the WPIAL finals this season, the game appeared to be in hand when Wise got tripped up and hurt her ankle in the closing moments. There was doubt she would return, but with Serra Catholic nipping at the lead, Wise got worked on by the trainer and was back out on the floor.
“I didn't want my team to think I was bailing on them,” Wise said. “If you persevere, you can feed off that energy, and if you all work together and play together you can't lose.”
Long-time teammate Ally Bartoszewicz knows first hand the passion Wise brings.
“She has such a high energy and intensity level about her. It is just so inspiring to be around her,” Bartoszewicz said. “She can pull you out of a funk and is so knowledgeable about basketball and life.”
Wise is at the heart of a young squad. The mass graduation loss a year ago opened the doors for a crop of freshmen to step up this season to complement strong junior and sophomore classes. With only one senior starter this past season, the Lady Royals should contend and have a shot for another WPIAL crown next year.
She still has two years left in high school, but Wise already is thinking about college in the scholastic and basketball sense.
“Colleges will want me to shoot more from the perimeter, so I am working on that,” she said. “I want to study business. I enjoy leadership and negotiating and being able to sell things.”
Wise is no stranger to hard work. She hits the books at least two-and-a-half hours each night after practice and said she has her dad to thank for her success.
“He is my best friend, and if it was not for him, I am not sure where I would be,” Wise said.
Jerry Clark is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or firstname.lastname@example.org.