Carroll girls, Neumann-Goretti boys win Catholic hoops titles

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Archbishop Carroll's Kerri Shields steals the ball and makes a layup in the opening seconds of the girls' title game. (John Costello/Staff Photographer)

From her daughter's pregame demeanor, Renie Shields felt confident that Archbishop Carroll was going to win back the Catholic League basketball title it claimed in 2007.

"Yeah, Kerri was ready to go," said Shields, a former hoops star at St. Joseph's University and a second-year assistant for the Patriots. "She was all business, ready to go."

A triangle-and-two defense thrown at Carroll by Archbishop Wood limited Kerri Shields somewhat, but her overall play and resolve was key to Carroll posting a 35-22 victory over the Vikings tonight at the Palestra.

In the boys' championship game, Neumann-Goretti beat Roman Catholic, 86-53.

The 5-foot-10 Shields, bound for Boston College, registered eight points, six rebounds (two on offense), two steals, one assist and one blocked shot in 31 minutes as the Patriots won their second Catholic League crown in three seasons and fifth in the last 10 years.

"They played great defense on us, kept us from playing our usual game," Shields said. "We just stayed calm, kept attacking as much as we could."

Shields shot 2 for 6 from the field (1 for 2 from three-point territory) and 3 for 3 from the line. In the third quarter, after making three straight free throws when she was fouled on an attempt from beyond the arc, her trey put Carroll ahead, 21-15.

Another Shields, Erin, also had a hand in the victory. The 5-6 junior guard, who has orally committed, following in her mother's footsteps, to St. Joseph's, provided four points, three steals and two rebounds (one on offense).

"She's so unselfish, is the hardest worker I've ever met," Kerri Shields said. "I love playing with her."

Before going to Carroll, Kerri, Erin and Shannon Shields, a 5-6 freshman reserve, were standouts at St. Bernadette School in Drexel Hill. Renie Shields, now the director of compliance services at St. Joe's, has coached her girls at various levels.

"Being around the game I love and being able to spend a lot of time with my daughters has been a wonderful thing," said Renie Shields, who came on board at Carroll with second-year Carroll coach Chuck Creighton.

Shannon Shields is sidelined with a torn left anterior cruciate suffered earlier this season against Cardinal Dougherty.

Next for the Patriots, 24-1 and ranked No. 1 in Southeastern Pennsylvania by The Inquirer, is competing in the PIAA District 12 Class AAA championship game. They will take on Prep Charter (20-6), the Public League runner-up, on Friday at 5 p.m. at Temple's Liacouras Center.

Wood, which was trying for its first league title since 1982, also moves on. The sixth-ranked Vikings (19-6) will face Roxborough (13-2) Wednesday night at 6 p.m. at Archbishop Ryan. The winner will earn the third and final Class AAA berth in states.

In tonight's final, Hollie Mershon led Carroll, which shot 11 for 33 from the field, in scoring with 11 points.

Ashley Robinson, a 6-2 senior bound for St. Joe's, paced Wood with 14 points and 18 rebounds (five on offense). Eleven of her points came before intermission.

Overall, the Vikings shot a dismal 7 for 34 from the field. From beyond the arc, they missed all 12 of their attempts.

Archbishop Wood    7 7 5 3 - 22

Archbishop Carroll    11 4 10 10 - 35

AW: Sam Greenfield 1, Ashley Robinson 14, Jen Maxwell 2, Christine Verrelle 3, Caitlin McCartney 2.

AC: Kerri Shields 8, Erin Shields 4, Kaitlin Cole 4, Hollie Mershon 11, Emily Fazzini 2, Jennifer Carney 2, MaryKate McCann 4.

 


Contact staff writer Rick O'Brien at 610-313-8019 or robrien@phillynews.com.