PIAA hoops highlights: Archbishop Wood cruises to first-round win behind sophomore Bethea

·12 min read

Archbishop Wood appears to be ready to make another run at a PIAA Class 6A title.

The Vikings, behind the 23-point performance of sophomore Jalil Bethea, routed Plymouth-Whitemarsh 77-50 in the first round of the state tournament at Cardinal O'Hara High School Wednesday night. With the win, Wood (18-7) will play Saturday. P-W ends its season at 18-9.

"We just wanted to come at them," said Wood head coach John Mosco. "It wasn't like we hadn't seen them before. We've scrimmaged each other so I know what they had. We wanted to come out and play to win."

Bethea kept a steady hand on the rudder as Wood turned a close game into a blowout in the second quarter.

Archbishop Wood sophomore Jalil Bethea battles to get through Plymouth Whitemarsh defense at Cardinal O'Hara High School on Wednesday, March 9, 2022. Archbishop Wood defeated Plymouth Whitemarsh in the first round of PIAA boys basketball in class 6A, 77-50.
Archbishop Wood sophomore Jalil Bethea battles to get through Plymouth Whitemarsh defense at Cardinal O'Hara High School on Wednesday, March 9, 2022. Archbishop Wood defeated Plymouth Whitemarsh in the first round of PIAA boys basketball in class 6A, 77-50.

"We knew what we could do with them," said Bethea. "It was important for us to come out and play the way that we wanted to."

Jaden Colze and Quadan Bennett each netted 14 for the Colonials.

Daryl Bell

Tuesday's boys results

Class 1A

1-1 FAITH CHRISTIAN 49, 11-3 ROBERTO CLEMENTE 45 (OT)

The smallest guy on the court came up as the biggest playmaker Tuesday at Bensalem High School.

Greg Pinkney, who is only a hairbrush away from being 5-foot-8, stood like a giant as Faith Christian overcame a seven-point second-quarter deficit to earn a 49-45 overtime victory over Roberto Clemente Charter School to open the PIAA Class 1A tournament.

Pinkney tallied a game-high 14 points as the Lions (13-12) moved to the next round where they will travel to Williamsport to play St. John Newman (23-3).

"I am just glad that I was able to stay out there," said Pinkney, whose moves along the floor prevented Clemente (13-13) from gaining any ground. "I just kept going out there trying to lead my team to victory."

Daryl Bell

12-1 CITY SCHOOL 55, 1-2 PLUMSTEAD CHRISTIAN 52

Class 5A

3-2 SHIPPENSBURG 56, 1-4 UPPER MORELAND 46

Jeremy Thomas (24) takes a shot during Shippensburg's win over Upper Moreland in the first round of the PIAA State Championship on Tuesday, March 8
Jeremy Thomas (24) takes a shot during Shippensburg's win over Upper Moreland in the first round of the PIAA State Championship on Tuesday, March 8

The Golden Bears put up a fight, but the Greyhounds were able to hold them off in the end.

Shippensburg got off to a strong start, eventually leading 29-16 at the half. But the Golden Bears pushed hard in the second half, eventually getting it to a three-point game. Shippensburg was able to hold them off and pull away down the stretch however, behind the strong play of Jeremy Thomas, who finished the game with 20 points.

The Golden Bears were led by Bryon Hopkins, who had 13, and Stefano Garofaro, who had 12, including 10 in the second half.

— Dylan Jacobs

Tuesday's girls results

Pennsbury cheerleaders perform at Pennsbury High School in Fairless Hill on Tuesday, March 8, 2022. Pennsbury girls basketball defeated Dallastown, 62-46, in the first round of the PIAA Class 6A tournament.
Pennsbury cheerleaders perform at Pennsbury High School in Fairless Hill on Tuesday, March 8, 2022. Pennsbury girls basketball defeated Dallastown, 62-46, in the first round of the PIAA Class 6A tournament.

Class 6A

1-5 ABINGTON 60, 12-3 NORTHEAST 18

Key player: Abington’s Jaida Helm, a 5-foot-11 junior, scored a game-high 11 points in the PIAA Class 6A first-round game. Helm scored seven points in the first quarter, when the Galloping Ghosts began the rout. “We came in and played hard,” she said. Helm didn’t play as many minutes as usual due to the lopsided score. She is looking forward to her team showing what it’s made of in the rest of the tournament. “We’re energetic, play a lot of defense and never give up.”

Highlights: Abril Bowser added 10 points for the Ghosts [22-5]. She and Helm are two of three junior starters. The other starters are freshmen. Northeast [11-8] had only six players. Veteran Abington coach Dan Marsh used all 15 players. He said he wanted his girls to play hard and avoid injuries. “We tried to get everybody to score and everybody in the book.” Abington, which usually has a rotation of nine, will face a very tough team in Central Dauphin in Friday’s round of 16. CD clobbered Upper Dublin, 47-23.

Tom Waring

11-3 EASTON 42, 1-4 SOUDERTON 36

Key player: Casey Harter buried three 3-pointers and scored a game high 15 points to go along with four assists. Souderton’s junior point guard scored seven straight points to open the second quarter, turning a 7-7 tie into a 14-7 Souderton lead.

Highlights: The two teams were deadlocked 7-7 after one quarter, but Souderton went on a 10-3 tear to open the second quarter and led 17-10 after Erin Bohmueller buried a 3-pointer with 3:20 remaining in the half. Easton scored five unanswered points to close out the first half and trailed by just two at halftime, 17-15.

Souderton's Teya McConnaha shoots a layup on a breakaway in a PIAA 6A first round state playoff game against Easton, on Tuesday, March 8, 2022, at Souderton High School. The Red Rovers defeated Big Red 42-36 to advance to the second round.
Souderton's Teya McConnaha shoots a layup on a breakaway in a PIAA 6A first round state playoff game against Easton, on Tuesday, March 8, 2022, at Souderton High School. The Red Rovers defeated Big Red 42-36 to advance to the second round.

A Casey Harter three put Souderton on top 20-15 early in the third quarter, but Easton reeled off seven straight points to take its first lead, 22-20. Teya McConnaha connected on a three to give Souderton a 23-22 lead. A basket by Souderton freshman Grace McDonough at the buzzer knotted the score 27-27. The Red Rovers opened up a 33-29 lead, and a Harter basket made it a two-point game. That’s as close as Souderton would get the rest of the way. Easton was 5-for-11 from the foul line in the fourth quarter and buried three 3-pointers. Souderton struggled against Easton’s 2-3 zone and did not take a foul shot in the contest.

Mary Jane Souder

1-3 PENNSBURY 62, 3-4 DALLASTOWN 46

Key Player: Sophomore Sofia Vitucci scored 25 points to lead the Falcons.

Highlights: Sophomore Sofia Vitucci scored a career-high 25 points to lead the Falcons to a comfortable win against Dallastown in Tuesday’s opening round matchup. Ava Sciolla approached triple-double territory with 16 points, eight rebounds and seven assists for the Falcons, who outscored Dallastown 35-22 in the second half. Nicole Pompili also hit double digits, adding 11 points in the win. Pennsbury will play District 11 champion Parkland in the second round on Friday.

12-1 ARCHBISHOP CARROLL 53, 1-11 NESHAMINY 25

Key player: Reese Zemitis tallied 10 points and four rebounds for Neshaminy.

Highlights: They gave it their all, but PCL power Archbishop Carroll proved to be too much in the Class 6A first round matchup. Reese Zemitis had 10 points for Neshaminy, while Taylor Gurysh contributed six points and five rebounds. Mimi Smith tallied three points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals for Neshaminy. Neshaminy concluded the season with a 19-10 record.

Class 3A

12-3 CONWELL-EGAN 52, 3-2 at YORK CATHOLIC 46

Key player: Brooke McFadden led all scorers with 18 points.

Highlights: Sophomores Brooke McFadden and Brianna McFadden led the way for the Eagles, as the sister act resulted in a first-round victory on the road against York Catholic. Brooke paced all scorers with 18 points while Brianna poured in 12 points for the Eagles, who scored four of the last six buckets in the first half to take a 27-21 lead. Saniyah Spell added eight points in the win.

Freshman Lily Milewski had a stellar defensive effort for the Eagles, grabbing 13 rebounds (nine defensive) and blocking five shots.

The Eagles will play Western Wayne, the No. 2 seed from District Two, in Friday’s second round game.

Conwell-Egan's Brooke Mcfadden scores a basket. Conwell-Egan defeated York Catholic, 52-46, in the first round of the PIAA 3A girls' basketball tournament in York, Tuesday, March 8, 2022.
Conwell-Egan's Brooke Mcfadden scores a basket. Conwell-Egan defeated York Catholic, 52-46, in the first round of the PIAA 3A girls' basketball tournament in York, Tuesday, March 8, 2022.

Wednesday's PIAA results

Boys Class 6A

12-3 ARCHBISHOP WOOD 77, 1-5 PLYMOUTH WHITEMARSH 50

3-3 CENTRAL DAUPHIN 73, 1-7 BENSALEM 60

Key player: Jeremy Rodriguez scored 10 of his game-high 21 points in the fourth quarter, as the Owls tied the game late before ultimately falling to Central Dauphin. The Owls concluded the season with a 21-9 record and the SOL Patriot title.

1-8 ABINGTON 47, 11-2 POCONO WEST 43 (OT)

Key player: Derrius Lucas had 11 points, nine rebounds and seven blocked shots in the Ghosts’ overtime win.

Highlights: The Ghosts’ defense held Pocono West’s Christian Fermin, a Virginia Commonwealth recruit averaging 22 points a game, to just 15 points as Abington pulled out the win in overtime. The Ghosts scored seven points in the final two minutes of overtime to secure the win. Fhenyx Scutt sank a layup to put the Ghosts up by a point, and Derrius Lucas followed with a three-point play. However, Pocono West’s Julian Pagan hit a 3-pointer to make it a one-possession game. With 37 seconds left, Connor Fields scored his first points of the game on an assist from Lucas to put the game away. Jeremiah Lee scored a game-high 18 points for the Ghosts, while Fields grabbed 11 rebounds, including his 200th of the season, and had three steals.

Boys Class 3A

12-3 DEVON PREP 71, 1-1 DOCK MENNONITE 43

Key player: Dock’s Nathan Lapp scored 21 points, including 11 in the fourth quarter and three 3-pointers.

Highlights: Four 3-pointers in the first quarter and tenacious full-court defense led to a ton of easy buckets for Devon Prep, which led by 15 after one quarter and 27 points at halftime. Devon had four players in double-figures, led by Jace Holloway with 21 points. Tomir Johnson added 11 for the Pioneers, who finished the season with a 20-6 final record.

Todd Thorpe

Girls Class 4A

1-1 GWYNEDD MERCY 52, 12-4 AUDENRIED 40

Key player: Bianca Coleman scored 15 points. The GMA senior scored seven points in the fourth quarter when — with Audenreid focusing its defensive attention on point guard Hannah Griffin — Coleman assumed the role of floor general. She was a perfect 4-for-4 from the foul line and also had a clutch 3-pointer to give GMA a double-digit lead.

Highlights: Gwynedd got off to a slow start in its first game action in 12 days and trailed 8-7 after one quarter. Back-to-back 3-pointers from Sofia Coleman and Bianca Coleman put the Monarchs on top 13-8. The went on to outscore Audenreid 19-8 in the second quarter to go into halftime with a 26-16 lead. Maddie Newell’s eight points led the Monarchs in the quarter while Sofia Coleman added seven. The two teams exchanged baskets in the third quarter, and Gwynedd led by nine going into the final quarter. Audenreid pulled to within seven points, but Sofia Coleman answered with a basket for the Monarchs and then it was Bianca Coleman burying a 3 and Hannah Griffin scoring on a drive to give Gwynedd a 45-31 lead. Audenreid never threatened. Sofia Coleman’s 16 points led the Monarchs while Bianca Coleman had 15, and Newell added 11 points.

Gwynedd Mercy will face District 3’s fourth place team, Bermudian Springs, in a quarterfinal game on Saturday.

— Mary Jane Souder

1-2 VILLA JOSEPH MARIE 56, 12-2 MASTERY NORTH 26

Tori Nigro scored 18 points to lead Villa Joseph Marie to a 56-26 win over Mastery North in the first round of the PIAA Class 4A basketball tournament on Wednesday, March 9.
Tori Nigro scored 18 points to lead Villa Joseph Marie to a 56-26 win over Mastery North in the first round of the PIAA Class 4A basketball tournament on Wednesday, March 9.

Key player: Villa senior guard Tori Nigro scored a game-high 18 points in the PIAA Class 4A first-round game.

“It was a good stepping stone for our team, to get a win under our belt.” Nigro was playing in her first PIAA game. She spent two years at Archbishop Ryan, then transferred to St. Basil last year, but had to sit out the postseason.

“It was my first state game, win or go home.” Nigro is at Villa after St. Basil closed.

The Jems will be back in action Saturday against Dunmore, a 51-25 winner over Shamokin. “They’re a very good team with very good coaches and very good players,” said Nigro, who will play at Jefferson University, redshirting as a freshman.

Highlights: Samantha White, another former St. Basil player, scored 11 points for Villa [18-7]. Nigro’s running layup made it 53-22 with 5:07 to play, and the clock ran the rest of the way due to the 30-point mercy rule.

“We played really well and really hard,” said new Villa coach Caroline Gray. Gray, who used 16 girls, is a Villa grad and former JV coach who was named varsity coach two weeks ago when Steve Flynn resigned. “Dunmore is really good. We have two practices ahead of us and we’ll show up ready to play,” Gray said. Mastery [17-6] was missing injured star Jaylah Robinson, a Division I college recruit.

Tom Waring

12-1 ARCHBISHOP WOOD 68, 3-5 BISHOP MCDEVITT 54

Key players: Bri Bowen had a double-double (12 points, 13 rebounds) while Ryanne Allen scored 12 points and Deja Evans grabbed 11 boards as the Vikings’ dominated from start to finish.

12-3 LANSDALE CATHOLIC 66, 3-3 LANCASTER CATHOLIC 57

Key players: Olivia Boccella scored 23 points (including 11-13 on free throws) and Gabby Casey had 20 in the Crusaders’ win.

Girls Class 1A

1-1 FAITH CHRISTIAN 45, 3-4 NEW COVENANT CHRISTIAN 10

Key player: Faith Christian Academy senior Joy Hissner had the hot hand for the Lions, connecting on 7 of 9 shots from the field and scoring a game high 17 points – which included three 3-pointers. She scored 15 of those points in the first quarter and had all of her points in the first half. She also collected a pair of steals.

Faith Christian's Kendall Garber passes over New Covenant's Aniya Gates in a PIAA 1A first round state playoff game, on Wednesday, March 9, 2022, at Wissahickon High School in Ambler. The Lions defeated the Flames 45-10 to advance to the second round.
Faith Christian's Kendall Garber passes over New Covenant's Aniya Gates in a PIAA 1A first round state playoff game, on Wednesday, March 9, 2022, at Wissahickon High School in Ambler. The Lions defeated the Flames 45-10 to advance to the second round.

Highlights: Sparked by their pressure defense, the Lions roared out of the gate to a 24-0 lead, a run that was capped when Joy HIssner buried her third 3-pointer in the frame. New Covenant – in its first ever trip to the state tournament – got on the scoreboard with 54 seconds remaining in the first quarter when senior Emily Wolfe buried a 3-pointer. A Kendall Garber basket gave the Lions a 26-3 lead after one quarter. Faith sophomore Autumn Landis scored six points off the bench in the second quarter, and the Lions took a 38-3 lead into halftime. With the mercy rule in effect, the second half featured a running clock.

Bella Forker was the catalyst of the Lions’ defense with seven steals. Garber added six takeaways in a contest that saw the Lions come up with 20 steals. Kayla Hissner led the Lions under the boards with eight rebounds.

Mary Jane Souder

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This article originally appeared on Bucks County Courier Times: PIAA Basketball Playoffs: Villa, Gwynedd Mercy, Wood post wins