Vincentian Academy didn't record their first field goal until the 3:21 mark of the first quarter in its WPIAL Class A semifinal game against Quigley Catholic, but the rest kept pouring in after that.
The Royals cruised to a 65-41 win against the Spartans Wednesday night at North Allegheny to reach their second WPIAL final in a row.
"It feels good," Vincentian coach Ron Moncrief said. "I will celebrate tonight but it is back to work tomorrow. We don't want to just make it there, we want to finish the job."
Quigley started with a 6-1 lead and was looking to keep the pressure on, but it was Vincentian who put the pressure on their opponent. The Royals' full-court press continuously forced turnovers, allowing them to go on a 13-2 run to end the first quarter.
Vincentian held a 28-25 lead at halftime but soon broke open the game with Brenna Wise, its dominant force in the paint.
Wise finished with a game-high 25 points, including 14 in the second half.
"Our team really picked each other up," Wise said.
"We didn't want to let each other down. We were feeding off each other, and it was awesome."
The Royals started the second half on a 17-3 run to build a 15-point lead and never looked back.
"We realized we were 16 minutes away from making our way back to the WPIAL finals," Moncrief said. "Quigley is a good team and they weren't going to lie down for us."
- Serra Catholic 60, California 40: Serra Catholic earned a spot in the final with a come-from-behind victory against California at Baldwin.
Trailing, 15-6, the Eagles forced 11 California turnovers in the second quarter and outscored the Trojans, 11-2, to tie the score at halftime, 17-17.
Overall, Serra forced 29 turnovers.
"We struggled a little bit," said Serra Catholic coach Bill Cleary, whose Eagles meet Vincentian in the Class A championship game Saturday at Palumbo Center.
Megan Sieg led the balanced Eagles with 16 points.
Katie Sieg, Lauren Czerwein and Nicole Pero also reached double figures for the Eagles with 12, 10 and 10 points, respectively.
A pivotal point came in the fourth quarter when senior guard Daniele Dindak's successive 3-point field goals gave the Eagles a 48-33 lead.
The Eagles' margin never went below 10 points the rest of the game.
"During one timeout, I told [Dindak] to relax and just be ready," Cleary said. "What you've been doing at the other end is why we're in the lead right now."
Freshman forward Kylie Huffman scored seven of her team-leading 14 points in the first quarter for California.