Vincentian girls basketball moves on in WPIAL playoffs
Sometimes a team may build a little too much momentum before the playoffs begin. But that wasn’t the case for the defending WPIAL Class A champion Vincentian Lady Royals, a team that went undefeated in Class A play (their lone loss came against Class AAAA Gateway).
For the effort in the regular season, the Lady Royals earned the No. 1 seed and a bye in Round 1.
When Round 2 rolled around, the Lady Royals met up with the Pioneers of West Greene. The Pioneers were searching for a win, but all they discovered is why Vincentian is now 22-1 overall.
A 22-2 run in the opening period, coupled with the fact West Greene scored no field goals in the first half, led to an easy 59-15 Vincentian win.
“I don’t like to lose, but that loss to Gateway definitely humbled us and made us refocus,” Vincentian coach Ron Moncrief said. “I was pleased with how we played pressure defense, and I thought our trapping was a lot better. We got a lot of points off of turnovers and steals and worked the ball better on offense. We rebounded well on offense and defense, and we have everybody being a threat on offense and defense.”
Moncrief said he was happy with how his team shared the ball and how the bench players came in and contributed.
“We have a deep bench,” he said. “We knew if we could get into a track meet, it would work to our advantage. I think we played 12 girls in the first half.”
If there was anything to take away as a learning tool from this game, it was the number of missed layups by the Lady Royals.
“I quit counting in the first quarter … I don’t know if they were nervous or whatever the case might be, but the further we go, we have to make them. They are easy buckets,” Moncrief said. “There is more pressure being the No. 1 seed. Everyone wants to beat you, so you have to be ready every day.”
The Lady Royals are led by center Brenna Wise and guard Abbey Bartoszewicz, who scored 18 and 6 points, respectively. Maia Joyner came off the bench to hit a pair of 3-pointers, and Kiersten Elliot knocked down 11 off the bench.
“We are playing hard right now and practicing hard,” Wise said.
Bartoszewicz said this team is truly a family and the lack of drama allows this team to focus.
That closeness translated over to the next game against Winchester Thurston. Vincentian trounced the opposition, 76-59, taking a 30-7 lead after the first quarter then locking down the rest of the game.
Wise led the charge with 24 points, and Bartoszewicz scored 16 as the Lady Royals continued to roll.
“We wanted to put as much pressure on them as we could,” Bartoszewicz said. “We used a 12 press, and played great defense.
“I was shocked at the end of the first quarter. I didn’t realize we had so many points. It was just basket after basket going in.”
Jerry Clark is a sports editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-779-6979 or email@example.com.