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Kennedy Catholic boys win state title; Villa Maria falls

Kennedy Catholic players, from left, Marcin Wiszomirsky, Drew Magestro, Mohamed Konate, Clay O'Dell and Alex Hartwig celebrate after defeating Girard College in the 2017 PIAA, class 1A boys' basketball state championship game at the Giant Center, Thursday, March 23, 2017, in Hershey, Pa. (Mark Pynes/PennLive.com via AP)

HERSHEY — Kennedy Catholic won its second state championship in as many years with a 73-56 victory over Girard College in the Class 1A final Thursday at Hershey’s Giant Center.

The Golden Eagles have now won a record-tying eight titles and are second in PIAA history with 96 postseason wins.

Marcin Wiszomirsky finished with a double-double for Kennedy Catholic, scoring 19 points and grabbing 13 rebounds. The 6-8 center from Poland led a balanced scoring attack with Maceo Austin following with 16 points, Drew Magestro adding 15 and Mali’s Mohamed Konate — brother of current West Virginia forward Sagaba Konate — chipping in 11.

Austin, a sophomore who already has several Division I offers on the table, also added nine rebounds and six assists.

Daiquan Copeland scored a game-high 26 points for Girard College while teammate Mikeal Jones finished with 16.

Kennedy Catholic held a double-digit lead going into the break and never looked back, outscoring the District 1 Champion Cavaliers 43-36 in the second half.

The Golden Eagles finish the year with a record of 26-2, including a non-region win over Youngsville in early January. Their two losses came to Paul VI (Fairfax, Va.) at the Morgantown Holiday Classic and to Greater Latrobe in a late season road match-up.

Kennedy Catholic’s win kicked off a big weekend for District 10 boys basketball teams, as Meadville plays Archbishop Wood in the 5A final Friday at 8 p.m. and Strong Vincent takes on Imhotep Charter for the 4A crown Saturday at 2 p.m.

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4A Girls

Bethlehem Catholic 46, Villa Maria 27

HERSHEY — Villa Maria came up one game short of a state championship for the second year in a row, losing to Bethlehem Catholic by a final score of 46-27 in Thursday’s Class 4A final.

The win marked the first state title in program history for Bethlehem Catholic, a school better known for its success on the wrestling mat than the hardwood. Villa was a runner up a season ago competing at Class 3A before moving up under the PIAA’s new classification system.

Taliyah Medina led all scorers with 13 points, Hope Brown added 11, and Neila Luma finished with eight points and nine rebounds for Becahi. Madison Demski scored 11 points for Villa Maria with Andrea McCormick and Julia Casella adding seven each.

The Hawks took control with a 13-2 run in the third quarter with Brown scoring eight and Medina knocking down a three-pointer to make it 32-16. Bethlehem Catholic then began the fourth quarter with nine unanswered points as Villa scrambled to find an answer on the offensive end.

Villa Maria has been without a state championship since winning three straight in 2009, 2010 and 2011.

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2A Girls

Minersville 63, Bishop McCort 49

HERSHEY (AP) — Nothing quite like a perfect ending to a perfect season.

Popping three players into double figures, Minersville capped its undefeated run to the PIAA Class 2A girls’ basketball championship with a 63-49 victory over Bishop McCort Thursday afternoon at Hershey’s Giant Center.

Maggie Wigoda scored 22 points, Emily Mealey hammered out a powerful double-double (17 points, 17 rebounds) and Adrienne Kroznuskie numbered 11 points for the undefeated Battlin’ Miners (31-0), who unloaded a 27-point salvo in the second quarter that enabled Jared Homa’s club to grab a 37-21 lead at the halftime break.

Minersville’s lead continued to mushroom, as the Miners led 56-32 after three.

Abby Schoffstall also had a terrific game for Minersville — the Miners captured Schuylkill League and District 11 titles before collaring their first state championship — dishing out 14 assists and grabbing five rebounds despite netting only four points.

Haley Thomas and Aunna Yingling each netted 13 points for Bishop McCort, the District 6 champions. The Crimson Crushers (25-5) also picked up 10 points from Isabella Hunt.

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3A Boys

Neumann-Goretti 89, Lincoln Park 58

HERSHEY (AP) — Another season.

Another state championship.

Yet for a Neumann-Goretti basketball-playing side that’s already won plenty, Carl Arrigale’s Saints accomplished something Thursday night at Hershey’s Giant Center that the Philadelphia-based hammer had not done before.

And that’s rattle off a fourth straight championship.

Neumann-Goretti also gathered its seventh state title in eight seasons.

Popping four players into double figures, Arrigale’s powerfully balanced Saints turned a separation-creating outburst early in the second quarter into a convincing 89-58 victory over Lincoln Park Charter in the PIAA’s Class 3A championship.

Kentucky recruit Quade Green topped the Saints (24-7) with 22 points, while Villanova-bound Dhamir Cosby-Roundtree finished with 15 points and 13 boards for a Neumann-Goretti side that bolted to a 42-19 lead at the halftime break.

Also reaching double figures for Arrigale’s bunch was sophomore Christian Ings (13 points) and East Stroudsburg recruit Mike Millsip (11 points).

Another factor in Neumann-Goretti’s decisive win was the rebounding edge, which swung 48-32 to the Saints. The Saints also shot nearly 51 percent (28-for-55).

Nelly Cummings poured in 37 points for Lincoln Park (25-6). Bound for the NCAA Division I level, Cummings finished his career with 2,411 points, the fifth-highest total in the Western Pennsylvania Interscholastic Athletic League’s sparkling history.

Evan Brown also reached double figures for the Leopards, scoring 13 points.

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