HERSHEY, Pa. -- Senior guards Mary DeSimone and Harlem Jennings shared hugs on the court with their teammates as Archbishop Carroll was receiving its runner-up medals.
They gave their all to the program during their high school careers, which came to end Saturday night at Hershey’s Giant Center with a 53-40 loss to Chartiers Valley in the PIAA Class 5A final.
DeSimone only had one shot in the game, but it was never her scoring that made her effective in her four years at Carroll. She finished the game with five rebounds, a block, and a steal.
“Definitely the relationships I’ve developed,” DeSimone said of her career. “We all came to practice ready to work this whole year. We became so close together. I’m going to take that away for the rest of my life.”
Carroll trailed most of the first half, and only tied the game once, at 12, on freshman guard Grace O’Neill’s three-pointer.
The Patriots trailed, 23-20, at the half, and were outscored 19-9 in the third quarter. Most of that had to do with Chartiers Valley’s size and length. The Colts held the Patriots to 13-of-45 (28.9 percent) shooting from the field, including 5-for-20 for three-point range.
Mackenzie Wagner, a 5-foot-11 junior guard, led the Colts with 24 points and 6-2 senior center Gabi Legister added 13 points. Chartiers Valley attempted only nine threes while shooting 18-for-32 (56.3 percent) from the field.
“We don’t have that size,” Carroll coach Renie Shields said. “We all knew they were going to go inside. I would exploit it, too.”
Erin Sweeney paced the Patriots with 19 points. Shields is looking forward to having Sweeney back after a breakout junior season.
“The best thing Erin did for herself is that she got herself in great conditioning,” Shields said. “I think that gave her the strength she needed to finish out games.”
Chartiers Valley’s coach, Tim McConnell, the father of 76ers point guard T.J. McConnell, guided his team to a 30-0 record, and got to coach his daughter Megan, a junior guard. Megan did something her two brothers never did.
“She’s going to have bragging rights, because neither [brother] won a state title. Until T.J. brings home that championship in Philly that we’re hoping for, she has the bragging rights. If he gets the Philly championship in the NBA, I’ll give him the bragging rights.”
Archbishop Carroll 12 8 9 11 -- 40
Chartiers Valley 17 8 19 11 -- 53
AC: Karli Dougherty 6, Harlem Jennings 6, Nikki Mostardi, Grace O’Neill 6, Erin Sweeney 19, Hope Syron 3.
CV: Megan McConnell 5, Mackenzie Wagner 24, Alexandra Ferrell 3, Aislin Malcolm 6, Gabi Register 13.