The defense of Archbishop Wood petrified Indiana into 23 turnovers Saturday night, as the Vikings won their first-ever PIAA Class AAA state championship, 49-39, at Penn State’s Bryce Jordan Center.
Wood junior guard Christine Verrelle scored a team-high 16 points and grabbed nine rebounds, and the Vikings used an 11-3 third quarter run to stretch a 31-30 lead at the end of third quarter into a defining moment in Catholic League girls’ basketball history.
In the league's two seasons as a PIAA member, Archbishop Carroll and Wood, District 12's three-seed, now have swept the AAA bracket.
After making just nine field goals through three quarters, Archbishop Wood sank its first four shots in the final quarter.
Junior guard Caitlyn McCartney (four points, five rebounds) hit a layup, and then Verrelle sank a three-pointer, followed by another McCartney layup and a finish by junior center Victoria Arnao for a 40-33 lead with five minutes, 42 seconds remaining.
Then Wood senior guard Samantha Greenfield (10 points) and Verrelle each made 1-of-2 free throws for a 42-33 advantage with four minutes, 50 seconds to play.
During that 11-point barrage, the only points Indiana scored was a three-pointer by junior guard/forward Leslie Stapleton (13 points, six rebounds).