2015-03-23 / State/National Sports

Blackhawk and Vincentian win

HERSHEY, Pa. (AP) — On the final day of the PIAA girls’ basketball championships, two celebrated programs from Pittsburgh defended their titles at Hershey’s Giant Center.

Guard Chassidy Omogrosso scored 23 points and Courtney Vannoy added 17 as Blackhawk won its second straight Class AAA title Saturday with a 46-40 victory over Philadelphia’s Archbishop Wood.

Earlier, it was another 2014 winner, Vincentian Academy, and star forward Brenna Wise racing past Old Forge 86-38 in the Class A game. Wise, a University of Pittsburgh recruit, poured in a game-high 30 points with 11 rebounds and 13 steals, all in 21 lopsided minutes.

Omogrosso, a Duquesne recruit, helped engineer a Blackhawk comeback by converting 10 of 10 from the free throw line, where the preseason No. 1 Cougars (28-3) finished 17 of 17 overall. Vannoy posted nine in the second half as Blackhawk turned back and double-digit deficit.

“This being my last high school game, I knew I had to come out and give it all I had. I just wanted to win so badly, more than anything,” Omogrosso said. “It wasn’t an individual thing. I wanted to win for my teammates and all of our fans.”

Blackhawk guard Bridgette Shaffer, scoreless through three periods, hit four free throws in the final 21 seconds to seal the win, the Cougars’ 21st in a row. Blackhawk also won Class AAA titles in 1999 and 2000.

The Vikings (26-5), the District 12 champions, were led by Drexel recruit Aubree Brown’s 16 points, all in opening half. Bailey Greenberg, who played despite suffering an ankle sprain in the quarterfinals, chipped in 10 points for the Vikings.

The title was No. 4 for the WPIAL rep, which defeated Archbishop Wood 51-43 in last season’s finale.

Wise and the Royals (30-1), meanwhile, overwhelmed District 2 champion Old Forge for the second time in as many seasons - Vincentian beat the Devils 58-34 last year - by forcing 28 first-half turnovers to collect a 48-20 lead at halftime.

“Offense sells tickets, but defense wins games,” said Wise, the Royals 114-8 overall in her stellar career. “We take pride in our defense, and we know if we capitalize on defense, it’ll turn into offense. We came out strong and we really took it to them.”

Alexis Griggs chipped in 24 points and seven rebounds for Vincentian, in the finals for the third straight year. The Royals lost to Tri-Valley in 2013. Wise finished 12 of 17 from the field.

“I just went out there like a fireball and I put the pedal to the metal,” Wise said. “We were going to get this win.”

Tori Tansley’s 14 points paced Old Forge (16-11), which turned it over 42 times. Vincentian Academy set a girls’ PIAA Class A championship mark for points (86) and margin of victory (48).

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