First Posted: 3/13/2015
ALLENTOWN – The stifling Archbishop Wood defense did not take the ball away often.
It did, however, take away Scranton Prep’s ability to find – and eventually much of its willingness to look for – shots.
When the Classics offense stalled for long stretches of the first and fourth quarters March 11, the Vikings rolled into the Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic Association Class AAA girls basketball quarterfinals with a 45-28 win at William Allen High School.
“We were running our sets and we weren’t even looking at the basket at times,” Scranton Prep coach Ross Macciocco said. “It was just running the set, running the set.
“I think Jess (Genco) was the only one really looking at the basket.”
Despite getting extra attention from the Archbishop Wood defense, Genco took almost half of Scranton Prep’s shots and scored 20 of its 28 points.
Claire Bassetti scored 18 points to lead Archbishop Wood, which won the District 12 title after finishing second in the Philadelphia Catholic League. Aubree Brown added 11 points and six assists for the Vikings (24-4).
The Classics got only a single Genco basket in the first 9:23 – going scoreless for 4:50, then another 4:33 – as the Vikings took a 14-2 lead. Genco broke the drought with a 3-pointer, then had six points in an eight-point Scranton Prep streak to end the half down 22-13.
The Classics got within nine one more time, when Genco stepped back to hit a 3-pointer on the opening possession of the fourth quarter. Archbishop Wood answered with a 12-2 streak to a 44-25 lead before Genco could repeat the move seven minutes later with the game already decided.
Scranton Prep finished 25-3 with all its losses coming against state quarterfinalists. The Classics shot just 25 percent while being held to their season-low scoring output.
“Every year at this stage, you’re going to run into somebody that’s bigger, faster, stronger,” Macciocco said. “You don’t weigh everything on one game, you weigh everything on the whole journey.”
The graduating players, including Genco and fellow starters Bridget Walsh, Madison Ashby and Clare Philbin, stack up well that way.
“This senior class, on the local level and even on the state level, we went to two elite eights,” Macciocco said. “We had 98 wins when they were with us, three league championships in a row, all that other stuff.
“It was a great ride and I can’t be any prouder of how they hung in here and played right to the end. It just wasn’t our night. But we’ll hang our hat on the body of work as opposed to just one game.”
SCRANTON PREP BOYS
The Scranton Prep boys also ran into a bigger, faster, stronger opponent from Philadelphia to have their season end in the second round a night earlier.
The Lackawanna League Division 1 and District 2 champion Cavaliers finished 24-4 after losing to Imhotep Charter from Philadelphia, 77-54, March 10 at Bethlehem Freedom High School.
After hitting more than 50 percent of its 3-pointers and averaging more than 90 points per game through the first five playoff games, Scranton Prep struggled throughout against Imhotep.
Sophomore point guard Daron Russell went 13-for-15 from the line, scored 25 points and dished out nine assists to lead Imhotep (21-9). Wagner recruit Devin Liggeons added 15 points and eight rebounds.
Imhotep outscored Scranton Prep by at least four points in every quarter. It turned a 39-29 halftime advantage into a 54-38 lead going into the fourth.
Tim Rose led the Cavaliers with 19 points while Bobby Casey added 11.