Coaches always say rebounding is a key to winning basketball games. Never was it so evident on Saturday afternoon as Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic used a 50-28 edge on the glass to claim a 56-33 victory over Lourdes Regional in the PIAA Class A girls state final at the Giant Center in Hershey.
The victory gives Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic their 8th PIAA crown and first in Class A. Sam Breen saved her best performance for last this year, as the 6-1 junior scored 27 points, grabbed 15 rebounds and dished out 9 assists to lead her team to the title.
CWNC trailed 9-8 after the first quarter and took the lead for good in the second. Leading 20-18 with 3:23 left until halftime, the Trojanettes scored the last five points of the half and held the Red Raiders off the boards for almost six minutes. With the heat turned up on defense, Lourdes Regional shot just 5 of 25 from the field in the second half.
On offense, Breen controlled the paint. Operating out of either the high or low post, she dictated the flow of the contest. Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic had a harder road to take as the WPIAL runner-up and Breen said the team was up to the challenge. CWNC led 41-23 after three and cruised over the final 8 minutes to pick up the golden basketball trophy.
If Breen wasn’t on the glass, freshman Dani Short was as good as Windex. She scored 8 points and pulled down 13 rebounds. In fact, the CWNC pair of Breen and Short grabbed as many rebounds as the entire Lourdes Regional team. Kylie Huffman added 10 points. The Trojanettes shot 21 of 58 from the field with 3 three-pointers and committed just 8 turnovers. CWNC ends the season at 28-3, winning 17 of the last 18 games with the only loss was to section rival Vincentian Academy in the WPIAL title game.
Lourdes Regional fell to 23-7 on the year. The District 4 runner-up was led by junior Carmella Bickel’s 10 points. The Red Raiders shot 12 of 49 for the game, with 4 three-pointers.
Cardinal Wuerl North Catholic Trojanettes : 8 – 17 – 16 – 15 = 56
Lourdes Regional Red Raiders : 9 – 9 – 5 – 10 = 33