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Wilson defeats Berks Catholic in Berks girls basketball semifinal

The youth of the Wilson girls basketball team is obvious when you glance at the roster.

When you see the four sophomores on the court, it really doesn’t show.

Even playing on the big stage at Santander Arena on Wednesday, the Bulldogs never wavered. Top-seeded Wilson led from start to finish to defeat No. 4 seed Berks Catholic 41-24 in a Berks Girls Basketball League semifinal.

Sophomore Laila Jones scored 12 points and classmate Violet Houck grabbed 15 rebounds to help the Bulldogs (23-1) defeat the Saints (12-11) for the third time this season. With its 16th straight win, Wilson advances to the Berks championship game against No. 2 seed Wyomissing (24-0) on Friday at 6 p.m. at Santander Arena.

“We never talk about how young we are,” Wilson coach Chris Gallo said. “For being as young as they are, they’re very mature and they’re very good athletes.”

Wilson's Violet Houck fights for a rebound against Berks Catholic on Wednesday in a Berks semifinal at Santander Arena. (BILL UHRICH - READING EAGLE)
Wilson’s Violet Houck fights for a rebound against Berks Catholic on Wednesday in a Berks semifinal at Santander Arena. (BILL UHRICH – READING EAGLE)

Under the bright lights, Wilson kept its cool from the start. Jones scored five points and Laura Crocona, yet another sophomore, knocked down a 3-pointer to get Wilson out to an 8-3 lead. The Bulldogs were in control the rest of the game and slowly pulled away.

“It’s a really cool atmosphere, but we’re here to play basketball,” Jones said. “Beating a team three times in a row is pretty tough. No matter what team it is, you have to come out and play.”

Wilson's Laila Jones hits a buzzer beater at the end of the first half against Berks Catholic on Wednesday in a BCiAA semifinal at Santander Arena. (BILL UHRICH - READING EAGLE)
Wilson’s Laila Jones hits a buzzer beater at the end of the first half against Berks Catholic on Wednesday in a BCiAA semifinal at Santander Arena. (BILL UHRICH – READING EAGLE)

Madison Langdon scored 12 points, half of the Saints’ total. But the Wilson defense constantly forced turnovers, and Houck and company were there to clean up the boards when Berks Catholic missed a shot.

“I think we guarded well tonight because it wasn’t pretty on the offensive end,” Gallo said. “So we had to make it happen on defense, which is what we did. We limited them to a lot of one-and-dones too, which was great.”

Kailana Hardy came off the bench to score 10 points for the Bulldogs and Janai Tisdale scored all six of her points during a 12-3 Wilson run in the third quarter to dash any hopes of a Berks Catholic comeback.

It was redemption for a team that had its season ended with a 43-35 semifinal loss to Wyomissing on the same court last year.

“It was good experience last year to get here and experience that game,” Gallo said. “We were disappointed we didn’t beat Wyo last year. I know this is something that they’ve been looking forward to all year trying to get back there.”


Source: Berkshire mont

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