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Wyomissing defeats Wilson, captures second straight Berks girls basketball title

Feb. 17—Wyomissing junior Audrey Hurleman entered the Berks Girls Basketball League final averaging just 4.5 points per game.

Well-known for her defensive prowess, it was Hurleman's offensive burst that shifted the momentum in favor of the Spartans in the championship game on Friday night at Santander Arena.

Hurleman converted back-to-back layups, the second of which was a steal-and-score, at the end of the third quarter to give Wyomissing a four-point lead and ignite the Spartans' bench.

"It definitely pushed us and kept us moving a lot faster," Hurleman said. "We just got that extra momentum."

The two plays proved significant, as second-seeded Wyomissing rode that energy throughout the fourth quarter on its way to a 45-36 win over top-seeded Wilson and its second consecutive Berks title.

"It's just amazing," Hurleman said. "It feels so good to be here again."

Undefeated, the Spartans (25-0) are the fifth team to win the county championship with an unbeaten record. They join Reading High (1979), Wilson (1986) and Daniel Boone (1988 and 1990).

Wyomissing is the first program to win back-to-back titles since Gov. Mifflin in 2019 and 2020. The Spartans have now won 25 or more games in back-to-back seasons for the first time in program history.

"This is what a team looks like, this is what it feels like, this is what it sounds like," Wyomissing coach Aaron Anders said. "It means the world to me and it means the world to these kids because they just play so hard for one another."

Wyomissing junior Amaya Stewart led all scorers with 20 points, including 12 in the first half. Senior Annie McCaffrey finished with 16 points and went 4-for-4 from the foul line.

"It's amazing," McCaffrey said. "It's such a special team. On and off the court, we're so close."

The first quarter between the two teams was largely even. Wyomissing led 9-7 after eight minutes.

Wilson (23-2) began to hit its stride in the second quarter, grabbing the lead and the momentum. Sophomore Laila Jones nailed a 3-pointer just before the buzzer to give the Bulldogs a 21-16 lead at the break.

Jones finished with 11 points. The Bulldogs' loss was their first against a Berks opponent this season, as they went 12-0 in league play in the regular season and won the Berks I title.

"We played hard," Wilson coach Chris Gallo said. "I thought in the first half (we) gave up too many second opportunities and missed a couple shots that we probably shouldn't have missed. But, I can never fault my team's effort."

The two teams traded buckets for the majority of the third quarter, and the score was tied 27-27 with 41 seconds to go. McCaffrey scored eight points in the third.

"Senior year, knowing its my last time in here, it's so special," McCaffrey said about the win. "I'm just focused on leaving that legacy."

Hurleman's big baskets broke the tie, as the back-to-back layups turned the tide in favor of the Spartans heading into the fourth. The plays gave Wyomissing a 31-27 lead and kickstarted an 18-9, game-ending run.

"This young lady does so many little things that you don't see on a scoreboard," Anders said about Hurleman. "Without her, our defense doesn't do what it does."

Wyomissing's defense did not allow Wilson to find any rhythm on offense in the second half. Relying on their defensive trap, the Spartans forced the Bulldogs into disadvantageous situations and ultimately turnovers.

"Our defense (was key)" Hurleman said. "Us being able to talk, pass off players and get those early steals and rebounds just pushed the momentum even more."

Wilson opened the fourth quarter with a basket to make it a two-point deficit before sophomore Kacey Maggs made a 3-pointer to give the Spartans a 34-29 lead with less than four minutes remaining.

"We started to build off each other more," McCaffrey said. "You hit a shot, I hit a shot."

After Maggs' 3-pointer, Wyomissing led by four points or more the rest of the way. The Spartans went 9-for-10 from the free throw line in the fourth quarter and finished the game 13-for-16 from the stripe.

"It's everything to be back here," Stewart said. "It's a special moment that nobody can take from us."