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Gwynedd Mercy

Archbishop Wood’s Greenberg, McDonald honored with All-State awards

It’s no surprise to see basketball teams from southeastern Pennsylvania making long playoff runs into the state bracket and it’s equally unsurprising to see players from the region recognized on the all-state teams.

This year was no different with the annual Pennsylvania Sports Writers All-State teams being released Saturday afternoon. On the girls’ side, The Reporter/Montgomery Media area had a nice representation with seven selections across the four classes.

Teams in the area captured league titles, district titles and in the case of Archbishop Wood, a Class AAA state title this season, bringing plenty of hardware back to the lower right corner of the state. The best team in the state was honored on the Class AAA team.

Mike M mark palczewski

Archbishop Wood coach Mike McDonald was named Pennsylvania Sports Writers All-State Class AAA Coach of the Year. The Vikings finished 25-6. (Mark Palczewski/For Digital First Media)

Vikings senior Bailey Greenberg was named the player of the year in Class AAA, a last award on a stellar high school career and a dominant senior season. After falling to 4-6 in early January, Wood didn’t lose again all year, closing the season on a 21-game winning streak.

Greenberg was a big reason why, averaging 14.1 points per game, rebounding relentlessly and playing great defense every time she stepped on the floor.

Off to Drexel next year, Greenberg led her team to a Philadelphia Catholic League, District 12 and state title, going out on top after falling one win short the previous two years.

Equally important in Wood’s run were the adjustments made by coach Mike McDonald and his staff after the slow start. McDonald, in his first full season at the helm of the Vikings’ ship, was named the Class AAA coach of the year.

While Wood went out on top, it wasn’t the only local AAA team to have a remarkable season. Gwynedd Mercy Academy won its second straight District I title and also won regular-season and AACA tournament titles. The Monarchs were one of the top teams in the state, bowing out to Wood in the state quarterfinals.

ROBERT GURECKI - DIGITAL FIRST MEDIA. Gwynedd Erica DeCandido, left, drives to the basket under pressure from Villa Maria's Emily Gillin.

Gwynedd Mercy’s Erica DeCandido, left, drives to the basket under pressure from Villa Maria’s Emily Gillin during the District 1-AAA final on Saturday, Feb. 27, 2016. (Robert Gurecki/Digital First Media)

GMA was led by workhorse senior Erica DeCandido, the AACA MVP who became just the second Monarch to score 1,000 points in her career. Averaging 16.3 ppg and spearheading a suffocating GMA defense, DeCandido earned way to second team all-state status before heading to Tufts next fall.

North Penn was consistently one of the best teams in the state all season at Class AAAA and the Maidens had a historic year, making their first appearance in the state semifinals. It was a balanced team but every opponent knew that if Sam Carangi went off, they were in for a long, long night.

Carangi, a junior guard committed to Villanova, averaged 10.1 ppg and was named to the Class AAAA second team. One of the top 3-point shooters in the region, she showed she was far more than just a shooter. Playing as the team’s de-facto point guard, the 5-foot-9 Carangi set up teammates, rebounded and showed a knack for generating steals on the defensive end.

North Penn returns all but one player, senior Mikaela Giuliani, next season and figure to be in the mix in the new Class 6A under the new classification system.

Germantown Academy is not part of the PIAA, but any player on any team in the state was eligible for selection to the all-state teams. Enrollment numbers would have pegged GA as a Class AA team, which is where they were slotted on the all-state ballot. The Patriots had an outstanding year in the Inter-Ac, winning the league title and earning the top seed in the PAISAA tournament.

Leading the way was Inter-Ac MVP Erin Lindahl, a tough-as-nails leader and defender for a team that didn’t give up very many points to anyone. The senior was named third team all-state after averaging 13 ppg and making countless critical plays on the defensive end and will continue her career at Emory next year.

Mark C Psoras--The Reporter North Penn' Sam Carangi ,23, steals a ball from Downingtown West during second half action of their contest at North Penn High School on Tuesday, December 8, 2015

North Penn’ Sam Carangi (23) steals a ball from Downingtown West during second half action of their contest at North Penn High School on Tuesday, Dec. 8, 2015. (Mark C Psoras/Digital First Media)

It’s not often that Class A schools have a Division I player on their roster. Phil-Mont Christian Academy had two. The past few years, the Falcons have been led by their twin towers up front in forwards Keyen Green and Tracey Goodman.

Phil-Mont wasn’t able to keep its District I title streak going, but still captured BAL regular season and tournament crowns. At 6-foot-2, Green used her incredible leaping ability and size to dominate the glass, scoring 20.3 points per game and some nights that many rebounds. Committed to Liberty, Green was a first-team all-state selection this year after earning all-state honors last year as a junior.

Her partner up front, 6-foot-3 Tracey Goodman has all the skills of a guard, from a solid handle to a reliable outside shot. Mixing that range with Green’s prowess inside gave Phil-Mont a quick route to a lot of points. Pledged to Rider, Goodman averaged 15.5 points per game in her senior season.

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