Vincentian Wears the Girls A Gold Crown For Fifth Straight Year

Saturday, February 27, 2016 | 4:09 PM

Cardinal Weurl North Catholic and Vincentian Academy are far from strangers. The two have met twice already this season, this time though – there was much more on the line. The Trojans were looking for revenge after falling to the Royals in last year’s WPIAL championship. When the final buzzer sounded, though, Vincentian Academy again stood tall, as the Royals brought home the school’s fifth straight WPIAL Class A championship, prevailing 68-54.

Sam Breen, Cardinal Weurl North Catholic’s leading scorer, got her team on the board first off of the opening tip for an early 2-0 lead. Vincentian Academy’s defense came on strong though, forcing three consecutive turnovers of the Trojans. The Royals turned that defense into offense, with senior guards Kiersten Elliott and Marissa Muth getting on the scoreboard. Sophomore guard Ashley Robbins hit a big three for Cardinal Weurl North Catholic, shutting down the Royals’ momentum and giving the Trojans back the lead, 8-6. Elliott continued her big first quarter, converting a three-point play with 1.3 seconds to go to tie the game at 14-14 at the end of one.

The Royals (21-4) came out hot to start the second quarter, pulling ahead, 27-20, off of two big 3-pointers by Marisa Muth. After a timeout to regroup, Cardinal Weurl North Catholic went on a 6-0 run, led by Breen. The Trojans pulled to within one, 27-26, forcing the Royals into a timeout with 1:49 to go. Coming out of the timeout, Vincentian Academy senior guard Lexi Griggs grabbed a rebound and took it coast-to-coast for a layup at the buzzer to give her Royals a 29-28 lead at the half.

The Royals and Trojans remained neck and neck throughout the third quarter, as fouls started to rack up for both sides. Elliott picked up a critical foul with 35.7 seconds remaining, putting the Trojans in the bonus and sending Breen to the line. Breen converted both shots and pulled Cardinal Weurl North Catholic within two, 45-43. Vincentian Academy held for the last possession, but Breen was called for her third foul. The Royals inbounded the ball, but then committed a turnover to close out the quarter clinging to a 45-43 lead.

Cardinal Weurl North Catholic junior forward Kylie Huffman took advantage of the bonus situation, hitting four big free throws for the Trojans down the stretch in the fourth quarter. Kiersten Elliott, however, led the Royals’ explosive offense on what would be a game-winning run. Elliott hit a three with 5:40 remaining, giving the Royals a 50-48 lead. The Trojans turned the ball over on the ensuing possession, only to have Breen pick up her fourth foul with 4:55 to go. Moments later, senior guard Torrieona Cash came up with a huge steal, and was fouled by Breen – her fifth foul with 3:12 left in the game. The Royals rode the momentum from there, as Griggs, Elliott and Cash took full advantage from the free throw line to cap off the 23-point quarter.

Kiersten Elliott led all scorers with 24 points. Lexi Griggs recorded a double-double with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Also, Marissa Muth and Torrieonna Cash scored ten points a piece for the Royals.

Cardinal Weurl North Catholic dropped to 23-3 with the loss.  Sam Breen led the Trojans with 22 points. Kylie Huffman recorded a double-double with 14 points and 11 rebounds.

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