High School Girls Basketball: Royals ride Wise to Hershey

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Coming into their Class A semifinal game against Vincentian Academy, District 6 champion Bishop Guilfoyle's plan was to contain Brenna Wise.

Well, that is easier said then done.

Wise turned in an outstanding performance with 38 points and 10 rebounds, and the Lady Royals rolled to a 60-45 victory Tuesday night at Hempfield High School to advance to the PIAA Class A girls championship for the second year in a row.

"First of all, I have to thank God for blessing us to be in this situation," head coach Ron Moncrief said. "Brenna [Wise] is a big-time player. She wanted to go back to Hershey. Big-time players make big-time plays in big-time games and that's what she did."

This was the second year in a row the Royals ousted the Marauders in a PIAA semifinal.

Vincentian jumped out to an 11-2 lead in the first 1:28 of the game and a large part of that was the result of their full-court pressure.

"I thought our guards did a heck of a job getting their hands on the ball and getting deflections for us," Moncrief said.

But just as quickly the Royals got the lead, it vanished. The Marauders went on an 11-2 run to tie the score and wound up with a 34-28 halftime lead.

"We knew we had to come out strong and with some intensity in the third quarter," Moncrief said. "We needed to pass the ball and limit their possessions. We needed to make sure we got as many possessions as we could."

Vincentian scored the first nine points of the third quarter and never relinquished the lead after that. The Royals went on to outscore the Marauders in the third quarter, 17-4, and 32-11 in the second half.

The Royals recorded their first double digit lead of the game, 51-41, and kept the margin in double figures for the rest of the way.

Wise had a very efficient game, converting on nine field goals and going 19 for 23 from the free-throw line.

"I needed to bounce back and come back stronger," Wise said. "I worked on my free throws after our last game, and it comes and goes, but I am glad it was on tonight."

The Royals will face Old Forge at noon Saturday at the Giant Center in Hershey for the PIAA title.

"We came in second last year and I remember that feeling," Wise said of the 59-42 loss to Tri-Valley in last season's final.

"We have that in our hearts and in our minds and we are not going to feel that again."

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