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Girls Basketball: 2017 PIAA Class 5A Championship Preview - Trinity vs. Archbishop Wood

Written by Brad Everett on .

The game: PIAA Class 5A Championship
The teams: Trinity vs. Archbishop Wood
Where and when: Giant Center, Hershey, Saturday, 6 p.m.

Trinity Hillers
Record: 26-3
District finish: WPIAL third-place
Coach: Bob Miles
PIAA titles: 0
Last time in the final: First appearance
How they got here: (First round) Bellefonte, 67-22; (Second round) Chartiers Valley, 50-36; (Quarterfinals) Archbishop Carroll, 44-39; (Semifinals) South Fayette, 61-51.
Scoring offense: 57.8 points per game
Scoring defense: 35.9 points per game
Probable starters: Rachel Lemons, F, 5-9, Sr.; Abbey O'Connor, F, 5-10, Sr.; Riley DeRubbo, 5-9, G-F, Fr.; Alayna Cappelli, G, 5-5, Jr.; Sierra Kotchman, G, 5-6, Sr.
What you should know: Trinity can become only the second team from the WPIAL since 1981 to win a PIAA championship after not reaching the WPIAL final. Trinity's WPIAL championship dreams were dashed when it lost to Chartiers Valley, 37-35, but the Hillers have bounced back with a strong run in the state playoffs and now hope to win their first title. Among Trinity's four PIAA wins was a second-round triumph of Chartiers Valley. In the semifinals, Trinity knocked off WPIAL rival South Fayette. Sierra Kotchman is one of the best players in the WPIAL and she has an excellent supporting cast that includes promising freshman Riley DeRubbo.
Player to watch: Sierra Kotchman. No player in Trinity history -- boys or girls -- has scored more points in their career. Kotchman has had an outstanding season for the Hillers. The Fairmont State recruit averages 18 points per game and was exceptional in the semifinal win against South Fayette when she poured in 30 points.

Archbishop Wood Vikings
Record: 23-7
District finish: District 12 champion
Coach: Mike McDonald
PIAA titles: 4 (2010, 2011, 2012, 2016)
Last time in the final: 2016
How they got here: (First round) West Chester Henderson, 38-28; (Second round) Bishop Shanahan, 28-25; (Quarterfinals) Wyoming Valley West, 61-35; (Semifinals) Susquehannock, 56-41.
Probable starters: Bridget Arcidiacono, F, 5-11, Jr.; Katie May, G-F, 6-0, Jr.; Shannon May, G, 5-5, Sr.; Cassie Sebold, G, 5-6, Sr.; Meghan Neher, G, 5-6, Sr.
What you should know: While Trinity is a first-timer in these PIAA finals, Archbishop Wood has made it a yearly stop. The Vikings are appearing in the championship game for the seventh time in eight years. They won three consecutive titles from 2010-12 and captured their fourth title last season when they defeated Villa Maria in the 3A final. Archbishop Wood has played three games against WPIAL teams during their run, beating Indiana in 2010 and losing to Blackhawk in 2014 and 2015. This season's team is led by the May sisters. Shannon is the point guard and Katie a guard-forward. Bridget Arcidiacono's cousin, Ryan, helped lead Villanova to a national title last season. The Vikings have won 11 of their last 12 games, the only setback coming to 6A Cardinal O'Hara in the Philadelphia Catholic League championship.
Player to watch: Katie May. It's been a strong season for May, who leads the Vikings in scoring. May, who has already committed to Northeastern, scored a game-high 13 points in the semifinal triumph against Susquehannock.

Prediction: Archbishop Wood 46, Trinity 39