Times Chronicle & Public Spirit

Wood plans out a win over Scranton


Archbishop Wood’s plan was good but then, so was the Vikings’ execution of it.

For all the planning the Vikings coaching staff did for Saturday’s PIAA 5A quarterfin­al matchup with Scranton, it wouldn’t have meant anything if the players didn’t go out and follow it. Conversely, the Vikings could have put all the energy and effort they wanted into the game but without the right plan, it wouldn’t have been effective against the Knights.

Execution and plan came together as Wood turned in a strong show on both sides, downing Scranton 48-35 at Easton Area Middle School to punch a ticket to the state semifinals.

“We have confidence in our kids who have been here before, but we knew we would have to do a lot of things well against them,” Wood coach Mike McDonald said. “I thought we did everything as well as we could do it against a really good team. The kids just executed.”

The plan started with Scranton’s Zya Small, a 6-foot-1 forward with a full slate of skills. While Small still finished with a double-double, compiling 20 points and 14 rebounds along with six blocks in an impactful defensive performanc­e, Wood (24-5) made her work hard for her scores.

It also took a lot for Scranton (25-3) to get her the ball. The Vikings were aggressive in sending an extra defender at the ball, McDonald noting they caught a couple breaks when Scranton’s better shooters got some looks but couldn’t cash in but otherwise had a disruptive flow on defense.

“Coach Mike, it shows in his gameplan for every single game,” senior Alexa Windish said. “It’s our job to execute and as a whole, we went out there and executed really well.”

Wood, or more directly, Lauren Greer again dominated the offensive glass. The senior had eight of her 11 rebounds on the offensive end, which certainly helped the Vikings early on as they were still adjusting to Small’s presence and helping Wood get off to an 11-1 start.

Greer only scored five points — all in the first quarter — after going for double-figures in the first two rounds but hitting the backboard was as much her way of contributi­ng to the win as anything else her teammates were doing.

“I think it’s just how much I care about the game,” Greer said. “It’s a big part of my game.”

Emily Knouse led Wood with 14 points, the junior adding seven rebounds while also playing mostly as the first defender against Small. Ava Renninger and Windish each scored 11, the two seniors each doing the bulk of their damage after halftime.

Windish, who also drew a charge defensivel­y in the second half, was one of several Vikings along with Renninger, Sophia To

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