- Associated Press - Saturday, March 22, 2014

HERSHEY, Pa. (AP) - It didn’t take long for WPIAL champion Vincentian Academy to settle a score the originated one year ago. The Royals, outclassed by Tri-Valley in the 2013 girls PIAA Class A basketball championship, won the 2014 version Saturday at Giant Center, cruising past Old Forge 58-34.

Junior forward Brenna Wise posted a double-double, scoring 21 points with 11 rebounds, and sophomore guard Maia Joiner added 11 points for Vincentian Academy (27-3), which sparked its championship run via a 19-1 run in the opening half.

Wise led the rally with 12 points in the first eight minutes. Equally impressive was the tight man-to-man defense deployed by Royals coach Ron Moncrief.

Old Forge (24-4), the District 2 champion, shot a dismal 26-percent from the floor and connected on just 1 of 14 3-point attempts. Blue Devils’ 1,000-point scorer Lauren Carey led her side with 18 points.

Vincentian Academy, making its fourth championship appearance, won the 2002 Class AA title.

“We learned a lot from last year. We played a great half of basketball against Tri-Valley, but they played better in the second half,” Moncrief said. “This year we wanted to make sure we came together and played all four quarters. I thought the girls did a great job.”

Leaning on the 6-foot-1 Wise and breakout guards Kayla Key and Torrieonna Cash, the Royals turned an early 9-8 deficit into a 23-9 advantage with under two minutes to play in the first half. Cash stoked the fire with six first-quarter points.

It only got worse for head coach Tom Gatto and Old Forge, which saw its nine-game winning streak snapped. Joiner targeted a pair of 3-pointers in Vincentian Academy’s 20-11 game-clinching run in the third. Wise added five assists and three blocked shots.

“(Wise) has been motivated all season, guiding our team,” Moncrief said. “She had a nasty taste in her mouth after losing here last year. We wanted to come back and erase that taste. We wanted to leave with a gold medal and that’s what we did today.”



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