Wood moves to the PCL Championship after defeating Carroll
The Archbishop Wood High School girls’ basketball team pulled off 52-37 win over Archbishop Carroll High School in the Philadelphia Catholic League Semifinals at Philadelphia University Feb. 23.
Contrary to what the score may suggest, the game was close throughout the first three quarters, with Archbishop Wood ahead 35-30 entering the fourth. However, the Vikings were able to pull away with a strong defensive effort in the contest’s final period.
“I just think we were able to force some people that weren’t as experienced in these moments on their team to take some shots, and we were fortunate that they just came out and then we rebounded the ball,” Archbishop head coach Mike McDonald said after the game Feb. 23.
Not only did the Vikings play well down the stretch on the defensive end, but they also capitalized offensively, scoring 17 points in the fourth quarter.
“I think offensively we were just patient in the fourth quarter. These girls have been in tough games for the last, some of them for three years, so they understand what it takes. They understand being composed and trusting that we don’t have to take something rushed,” coach McDonald said.
Senior guard Cassie Sebold, who will play at Chestnut Hill College next year, was the leading scorer for the Vikings on the evening. She finished with 18 points, 11 of which came in the second half, and was an instrumental part of the 17-7 run the Vikings went on in the fourth.
“She was aggressive. She’s confident. She’s an offensive player that has a real finesse to her game. I think I talked to her before the game. I said don’t underestimate yourself, make sure you have the confidence, look for the gaps, look for the opportunities to attack out of our offense. She’s a team player, runs the offense, but when there’s an opportunity for her to attack, we want her attacking. That’s what she can do very well,” coach McDonald said.
The Vikings also got help on the offensive end from the May sisters, senior Shannon May and junior Katie May, who both finished the game with 12 points. Shannon May was the go to player for Wood early on, scoring seven of the team’s nine points in the first quarter. Katie May came on strong towards the game’s end, with a majority of her buckets coming in the third and fourth quarter.
“Two polar opposites. Sisters, but two polar opposites. Katie’s just a glue player for us, everything goes through her. She’s a facilitator, she can post up, she can shoot it from the outside, so we want to run things through her. And then Shannon’s just a spark plug. She gives you energy on defense, energy on offense. I think she was a big part of how we got energy at the beginning of the game. She started attacking the basket, getting in there, drawing fouls,” coach McDonald said.
With nine points, Senior Bella Sorrentino was the high scorer for Archbishop Wood. Junior Molly Masciantonio was Carroll’s second high scorer, finishing with seven points.
With the win, the Vikings advance to the Philadelphia Catholic League Finals, where they will take on Cardinal O’Hara High School Monday, Feb. 27 at The Palestra.
“Another team with five good shooter, five good players. We’re going to have to play good defense, and we’re going to have to play well on both ends of the floor,” coach McDonald said.
(Photo Credit: Wave Lane)