Vincentian Academy started fast and finished strong in a 70-32 victory over Berlin Brothersvalley in a PIAA Class A girls basketball playoff Saturday at Chestnut Ridge.

Vincentian, the District 7 (WPIAL) fourth-place team, netted the first eight points of the game and gradually pulled away from the District 5 champion Mountaineers.

“It’s definitely a different game than we’re used to playing,” Berlin coach Rachel Prosser said after her team finished 21-8. “When you get into the WPIAL they definitely have stronger, faster, tougher teams.

“But I didn’t think that we couldn’t play with this team. It looked like it on the scoreboard but I think we could’ve done a little bit better if the ball maybe bounced in a few times for us.”

Vincentian combined size, speed, 3-point shooting and a knack for forcing turnovers into an unstoppable attack.

Maria Petrisko had 19 points, 14 of those in the second half.

Lindsay Primyon scored 14 points, nine of those on three first-half 3-pointers. Lindsay Knapp, a 6-foot senior, had nine points, nine rebounds and a blocked shot. Nicole Marks had nine points and eight boards.

“Everybody plays hard,” Vincentian coach Ron Moncrief said.

“We’re good one through 15. We’ve got a lot of good girls. They’re unselfish. There really is no let-up on our bench.”

Marks hit two 3-pointers in the opening minute, and Petrisko made a basket to set an 8-0 score.

Vincentian (18-9) pushed the margin to 10 points, 15-5, after one quarter and 31-14 at intermission. The Royals’ largest lead was 68-28.

Sophomore Brooke Snyder had eight points, and senior Nikki Hankinson had seven points to lead Berlin. Junior Beth Coddington had eight rebounds and five points.

“I teach them to work hard and not worry about what the scoreboard says,” Prosser said. “I know it’s disappointing to look at the scoreboard at the end, but I hope they feel like they left it on the floor.”

Moncrief noticed Berlin’s willingness to hustle despite the big deficit.

“Berlin never gave up. They fought until the end,” Moncrief said.

“They were District 5 champions and it showed that they were champions. They played hard.”

Prosser credited her team and praised the senior class.

“This will be a tough year,” Prosser said. “In the past we’ve graduated one senior. This year we have five. It’s kind of like the core of our team. Walking into that locker room for me is going to be tough. Our seniors showed a lot of leadership and worked hard all season long.”

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