Wise scores 38 to carry Vincentian back to state championship game
Brenna Wise picked a great time to play her best game of the season.
Wise scored a season-high 38 points and added 10 rebounds to lead Vincentian Academy (26-3) to a 60-45 win over District 6 champion Bishop Guilfoyle (21-6) in the PIAA Class A semifinals Tuesday at Hempfield.
Vincentian returns to the state title game to face District 2 champion Old Forge (23-3) at noon Saturday at Giant Center in Hershey.
“We came in second last year, and I remember exactly how much we lost by and that feeling,” Wise said. “We have that in our hearts,. We have that in our minds, and we are never feeling that again.”
The Royals lost in the PIAA final last season 59-42 to Tri-Valley.
“I think we're more seasoned,” Vincentian coach Ron Moncrief said. “Last year we were good, but we were young. This year we knew what we had to do to get there. When we faced adversity, we didn't fall.”
Moncrief's team faced plenty of adversity in the first half Tuesday. After Vincentian raced out to an 11-2 lead to start the game, Bishop Guilfoyle answered with an identical run and eventually led 34-27 late in the second quarter.
The Marauders just didn't have an answer for Wise. The junior scored 10 unanswered to reclaim the lead 34-27. Vincentian wouldn't trail again.
“She's a big-time player. Big-time players make big-time plays in big-time games, and that's what she did,” Moncrief said. “Halftime, you could see it in her face, and I knew she was going to lead her team back.”
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Torieonna Cash and Kiersten Elliot gave Vincentian a 45-36 lead late in the third quarter. A 3-pointer from Macy Adams to start the fourth pulled Bishop Guilfoyle within 45-41, but Vincentian ra 11 straight points.
“We talked about taking care of the basketball, but that's easier said than done,” Bishop Guilfoyle coach Mark Moschella said. “That team is a very athletic basketball team, and they posed some problems that we didn't see this year.”
Wise fought through a physical defense all night and finished 19 of 23 from the foul line.
“It was all about heart tonight,” Wise said. “They're a good team. We're a good team. It was all about who could out-execute each other and who wanted it more.”
Gary Horvath is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org.