Archbishop Wood, SOL each claim two seats at Reporter/Times Herald/Montgomery girls basketball team of decade semifinal table

Unlike the first round, there were no late surges in the quarterfinals of the Reporter/Times Herald/Montgomery Media Girls Basketball Team of the Decade bracket.

That didn’t mean everything went to chalk. No. 11 Archbishop Wood’s 2016-17 team pulled off the upset of the second round, sending No. 3 Archbishop Wood 2010-11 home with a 56-44 margin in reader voting.

The SOL had a good round with both its remaining squads in No. 2 CB West 2014-15 and No. 5 Souderton 2017-18 moving on.

Wood entered the round with five teams alive but heads to the semifinals with just two remaining with the top-seeded 2015-16 squad joining 2016-17.

Scores reflect the final tally on the @ReporterSports Twitter polls.

No. 1 Archbishop Wood (2015-16) 73, No. 9 Archbishop Wood (2009-10) 27 >> Were this a real game, it’s a sure bet this wouldn’t be the type of final score to come out of it.

A clash of state championship teams went to the 2015-16 squad, which compiled a 25-6 record while capturing the PCL title, District 12 3A title and PIAA 3A title. Led by state player of the year Bailey Greenberg, the Vikings recovered from a 4-6 start and won the last 21 games of the season, in the process ending a 53-game PCL winning streak by Neumann-Goretti in the Catholic League title game.

Archbishop Wood’s Bailey Greenberg looks to force a shot past Neumann-Goretti’s Kamiah Smalls Feb. 22, 2016. (Bob Raines/MediaNews Group)

The 2009-10 squad put Wood on the state map quickly, winning the program’s first state title in just its second year after District 12 and the PCL joined the PIAA. With a roster stocked with juniors and sophomores who would lead the team to three consecutive titles, the 2009-10 Vikings also posted a 26-5 record. Despite losing in the PCL title game, the Vikings avenged that loss to Archbishop Carroll in states, then hoisted the first of their five trophies despite not having a single player earn all-state honors.

No. 5 Souderton (2017-18) 62, No. 13 Gwynedd Mercy Academy (2015-16) 38 >> Another game with a lopsided voting margin that likely wouldn’t appear in a real-world meeting.

The Indians got a late surge in the first round to beat No. 12 Abington (2016-17) but didn’t need any dramatics in this poll. Returning their whole rotation from the previous season’s state semifinal run, the Indians powered to a 29-3 record that included SOL Continental, SOL tournament and District 1-6A titles before reaching the state semifinals again. A senior quartet of Kate Connolly, Tori Dowd, Sami Falencki and Alana Cardona served as the core of a defensive solid team.

Souderton’s Alana Cardona drives to the basket as Easton’s Mikayla Roach defends during PIAA playoffs at Spring-Ford High School on March 13, 2018. (Gene Walsh/MediaNews Group)

GMA had the upset of the first round by knocking off No. 4 Germantown Academy (2018-19) by just two percentage points in the vote but couldn’t replicate the feat. Another squad led by a senior four-pack in Erica DeCandido, Brigit Coleman, Maggie Cameron and Mary Casey, the Monarchs built on a promising campaign the prior season, winning AACA and District 1-3A titles before running into Wood in the state quarterfinals. While they couldn’t knock off the Vikings, the Monarchs showed they were one of the best in the state that season.

No. 11 Archbishop Wood (2016-17) 56, No. 3 Archbishop Wood (2010-11) 44 >> Definitely the surprise outcome of the round, the other duel of Vikings state champions went to the lower seed.

Wood’s 2016-17 team was a much different looking squad than the juggernaut it finished the season prior as, but it didn’t mean the talent was lacking. Senior Cassie Sebold and junior Katie May returned as starters and Wood filled in around them with a deep bench and versatile, pesky defenders. The Vikings posted a 24-7 record during the campaign, falling in the PCL final but going on to win the first Class 5A state title after the PIAA’s expansion to six classes that summer.

Archbishop Wood’s Bridget Arcidiacono (5) gets fouled by Riley DeRubbo (34) and Jayme Britton (3) of Trinity in PIAA Class 5A championship game action at the Giant Center in Hershey on Saturday, March 25, 2017. (Mark Palczewski/For MediaNews Group)

After reaching the top of the state in 2009-10, the Vikings returned all but one player and managed to take things up a level. Wood’s 28-4 record in 2010-11 remains the best of any of its state champions and they were the first Vikings squad to bring a PCL title back to Warminster. A 12-game winning streak ended the season and unlike the prior year, seniors Christine Verrelle, Tori Arnao and Steph Keyes got their much-deserved spots on the all-state team.

No. 2 Central Bucks West (2014-15) 56, No. 10 Archbishop Wood (2011-12) 44 >> The Bucks denied Wood a third spot in the semifinals in the most-voted on contest of the second round.

With a heavy senior influence and a relentless mentality, West put together a dominant campaign that included a 32-2 record, 24-game winning streak, SOL Continental and tournament titles and a District 1-4A championship before falling a few possessions short of a state title in Hershey. The Bucks – paced by senior starters Nicole Munger, Corrinne Godshall, Payton Traina and Mackenzie Carroll – scored 62.7 ppg while allowing 40.3 and won 30 games by more than 10 points.

Central Bucks West captains Mackenzie Carroll, Peyton Traina, Corrinne Godshall and Nicole Munger accept the runner-up trophy after their 40-35 loss to Cumberland Valley in the PIAA-4A championship game on Friday, March 20, 2015 at the Giant Center in Hershey. (Bob Raines/MediaNews Group)

Wood’s third consecutive state title took the most roundabout route. Led by seniors Lauren Nealon, Taylor Kaminski and Alex Heck – who played a part in all three titles – the Vikings put together a 21-10 record but had to play for third place in District 12’s 3A bracket. That sent them west, where Wood faced three District 3 and two District 7 teams on the path to the three-peat.

Voting for the semifinal matchups will be post on Twitter at @ReporterSports later in the week.

Print Friendly, PDF & Email

Leave a Reply