Lansdale Catholic expects nothing but Archbishop Wood’s best in PCL quarters

Just days removed from resignation of Wood coach John Gallagher Monday, Mack said he expects the Vikings to be amped up, focused and ready to compete.

Simply put, he’s expecting a tough fight.

“Archbishop Wood is a tremendous team. They’re just very, very good,’ Mack said. “Whoever is coaching them, they’re going to be well-prepared.’

Well-prepared or not, things have been a bit different this week at Archbishop Wood. Gallagher, who was in his first-year at the helm at Wood after being the interim head coach last season, resigned Monday while facing allegations that he sent anonymous emails to college coaches about the eligibility of players at Neumann-Goretti, a rival PCL school. According to a report by Philly Voice, the email address used to send the anonymous note was linked back to Gallagher, who, according to the report, neither confirmed nor denied sending the email.

Tuesday evening, Archbishop Wood Athletic Director Joe Sette confirmed Gallagher’s resignation.

Now at the most crucial time in the year, the Vikings are under new leadership. Sette said that Mike McDonald will serve as head coach for the remainder of the season, beginning with Thursday night’s game against Lansdale Catholic. Kathy May will serve as assistant coach.

Neumann-Goretti Athletic Director Charles Szydlik declined to comment on the situation.

Gallagher previously served under Jim Ricci, who led Archbishop Wood to three straight PIAA-AAA state championships from 2010-2012. When reached via email Tuesday evening, Ricci also declined to comment.

Sette did not elaborate on Gallagher’s resignation.

“John made a decision,’ Sette said. “We appointed the interim coach and we’re just trying to get our girls playing winning basketball.’

“Coach Mike and Kathy did a great job all year,’ he added. “I’m confident they’ll continue to do the same thing they did before. They’re excited and the girls are excited. The first test will be Thursday.’

The Vikings reached the PIAA Class AAA girls basketball state championship game last season, and are thought by many to have the potential to make it back — a fact Mack and his Lansdale Catholic team are quite aware of.

While talking about the matchup, Mack pointed to Wood’s Bailey Greenberg, an all-state forward who has been a force for Wood all season.

“She’s a matchup nightmare,’ Mack said. “She’s long, she can run and she can jump. No matter who she’s gone against this year, she’s been a problem.’

Mack said he’s looking to see his team use one of its biggest strengths — teamwork — when the game tips off.

“When everybody chips in, that’s when we’ve had the most success this year,’ he said. “We’re not a one-player team. Everyone needs to do their job, whether it’s making that cut, setting the screen or making the extra pass.’

He’s also looking to his seniors to step up and lead the way.

“We have some good senior leadership,’ he added. “Our seniors do a lot that might not make the box score, but it helps us win games. We’re looking forward to this game.’

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