District 2 Girls 4A Second Round (Scranton Prep vs. Archbishop Wood)

Written by: on Sunday, March 13th, 2022



March 13, 2022


Defending Champs Reign


Archbishop Wood 44, Scranton Prep 21


By Phil T.

EASTON – After watching their school’s Boy’s team hold-off the defending AAAAAA champions, Reading, the Lady Vikings took the court to face Scranton Prep.
The two teams are familiar with each other as they played in last season’s AAAA Semifinals with Archbishop Wood walking away with a 56-39 victory en route to the state title.
Knowing how strong the AW defense is, the Classics wanted to jump out quickly and establish their game.  A Maria Belardi triple got Scranton going, but two ensuing trips to the foul line where they would only convert one of their four chances, prevented them from establishing a larger lead.  After an Ava Rennigher bucket, Rita Collins would secure the carom and put it back into the basket for a 6-2 Prep lead.
The Lady Vikings changed their offensive focus and started driving to the basket, resulting in three consecutive trips to the foul line for Ryanne Allen and Briana Bowen, in which they would convert five of their six attempts to take their first lead.  Gianna Cafarella would end the Viking’s run with a triple at the end of the quarter giving the Classics a 9-7 advantage.
Both offenses would struggle to start the second frame, going scoreless until Bowen’s mid-range jumper went in at the 5:30 mark of the quarter.  The jumper got the Viking offense going as Allen would convert both her foul shots and Deja Evans and Kara Meredith would each score with layups as Archbishop Wood started the period on an 8-0 run.
Offensive woes continued for the Classics as they failed to score for the first seven minutes of the stanza.  Maggie McGrath would eventually foil the Vikings’ strong defense and score at the basket for Prep’s only score of the period as they trailed 16-11 at the break.
An Evans drive would put Archbishop Wood up by seven to start the second half but Belardi responded with a triple to cut the deficit to four points on the ensuing possession.  The Vikings defense would come through again, allowing only one more Scranton bucket in the frame.
Following Belardi’s triple, the Vikings would go on a 7-0 spurt via three different scorers extending their lead to 23-14.  Collins ended the run with a bucket from the paint, but two successful shots and a triple from Bowen would give the Vikings a double-digit, 28-16, lead after three quarters.
Cafarella got the final period started with a mid-range jumper but that is as close as the Classics would get for the rest of the game.  The Viking’s defense would not crack as they continued to pull away to notch the 44-21 win.  Both teams began pulling their starters with 90 seconds left with Archbishop Wood firmly in control.
Facing a tough defense, you have to be able to take the points given to you and the Classics came up short today.  After going 1-4 from the foul line in the first quarter, Scranton Prep finished the game converting two of their eight attempts at the line, compared to their opponents who made 14 successful shots from 18 attempts.
Deja Evans led all scorers with 13 points in the contest to go with 11 rebounds and four blocks for the Lady VikingsBriana Bowen added 11 points and five boards in Archbishop Wood’s victory.
Maria Belardi led the Classics with seven points in the contest.  After picking up her fourth foul with over five minutes to play in the third quarter, Belardi’s minutes were very restricted when her team needed to make a comeback.
With the win, Archbishop Wood advances to the PIAA 4A Girls’ Quarterfinals where they will face the District 1 Champion, Gwynedd Mercy, on Wednesday.







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