For one McBride, it’s been a bittersweet ride.
“It’s almost over,” said Kayla McBride, Villa Maria’s senior sensation. “I have one more game. And we’ve been playing together for a long time.”
For the other McBride, the journey is only just beginning.
“I’m excited, especially since I’m a freshman,” said Karlee McBride, Kayla’s ninth-grade sister. “Hopefully I’ll be going back (to the state championship game) the next three years too.”
Ah, it must be nice being a Villa Maria Victor. Nothing but state gold dancing in their heads. And why not? The team’s path of destruction through the PIAA Class AA bracket claimed one more victim on Tuesday night as the Lady Victors thumped western final opponent Avonworth 65-38 at Meadville High School’s House of Thrills.
Now Villa (27-2) will be going for its second-straight state title. The Victors will be playing York Catholic, a 42-35 winner over Delone Catholic in yesterday’s eastern final.
The game will be a repeat of last year’s Double-A final, in which Villa beat York 56-51.
This year’s go-round is Friday at noon at Penn State University’s Bryce Jordan Center.
“Still feels awesome,” said Victors head coach Scott Dibble, who has coached the program to the state final three out of the last four years.
“To go to states as many times as I have right now, I’m lucky. I’m blessed. I’ve got a lot of great kids, a great staff. Everybody supports us year in and year out. It’s just a testament to how hard the kids work. I’m thrilled. I’m speechless.”
Meanwhile, Avonworth, which traveled from just north of Pittsburgh for Tuesday’s game, ends its season at 25-3.
Not much drama in last night’s tilt. The McBride sisters got things going for their team, scoring 21 of the Victors’ first 25 points. Kayla had 13, Karlee tallied eight.
Point guard Kaylyn Maruca had the other four points, each in the first quarter. To end the period, Maruca pilfered possession at Avonworth’s point, brought it back down to Villa’s end and fluttered it into the hoop, giving the Lady Victors a 15-9 lead going into the second.
The McBride girls continued to sink shots in the second quarter. And that opened things up at the perimeter, allowing the Victors to pile it on from long distance.
Karlee McBride knocked down a trey in the second period. Cara Wyant hit a trey, Abbey Steudler had one.
The Victors ended the first half up 35-17. Kayla McBride had 16 points. Karlee McBride had nine.
The triples kept pouring in during the second half. Steudler had two more. Ashley Prischak drained two. Maruca had one and Erica Webber started the third quarter with a 3-ball. The Victors had nine 3-pointers total in the game.
Avonworth struggled to find an answer. The Antelopes’ best player, senior center Tara Gallupe, had a nice game down low, scoring 19 points. Most of her points were at the foul line where she was 11-for-14.
Speedy point guard Catherine Costa finished with 12 points. She hit both of the Antelopes’ 3-pointers.
For Villa, Kayla McBride finished with 18 points. Karlee McBride had 11. Maruca and Steudler each had nine points. Prischak chipped in eight.
“We played a pretty good game,” said Dibble. “Our defense wasn’t exactly the way I like it. I thought we got lazy at times. But, hey, we hit a lot of shots. Offensively we were crisp. The kids played hard.”