Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Royals Return Older, Wiser

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Royals Return Older, Wiser

Article excerpt

A quick look at the Vincentian girls' basketball roster could lead to a misconception of the team's most critical piece.

Listed at the very bottom is 6-foot Brenna Wise, the sort of designation that would make someone think the tallest player on the team is nothing more than a lumbering block on the low post to whom teammates feed the ball.

As Wise has demonstrated for much of her career, and this season in particular, that's hardly the case.

A junior, Wise has been an all-important force on what may be the top Class A team in the state, one that will have a chance to solidify that status at noon Saturday against Old Forge in the PIAA championship. Wise has been able to diversify her game this season, something that has contributed to a breakout season in which she has established herself as one of the area's best players.

"She can do a little bit of everything," Vincentian coach Ron Moncrief said. "She's a complete player. She can play on both ends of the floor -- good defender, good on offense -- and she brings a lot of intensity to the team"

This season, Wise has averaged 19.4 points per game, ranking her among the top 10 players in the WPIAL.

Over her team's past five games, a stretch which began with the Royals' victory in the WPIAL championship against Serra Catholic, Wise has averaged 24 points per game. In Vincentian's 60-45 victory against Bishop Guilfoyle in the PIAA semifinals Wednesday, she poured in a season-high 38.

"She's worked very hard on her perimeter skills," Moncrief said. "She's always been a strong player, able to go down low and play in the post, but she's worked very hard on her ball handling and expanding her jump shot."

Wise's numbers and improvement have caught the attention of coaches at the next level. Moncrief said his star has "a great deal of offers" from Division I schools.

For all of her individual accolades this season, a single goal remains for her and her team -- a state championship. …

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