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Wyomissing's undefeated season ends with loss to Blackhawk in PIAA Class 4A girls basketball semifinal

Mar. 20—ALTOONA — Wyomissing's undefeated season came to an end on Tuesday night, one win shy of a berth in the state final.

The winningest team in Spartans history, Wyomissing fell to Blackhawk 47-31 in a PIAA Class 4A girls basketball semifinal, marking its first and only loss of the season.

"It's not just about today," Wyomissing coach Aaron Anders said. "I'm so proud of these kids. I'm so proud of the accomplishments that they made."

A late-game surge from Blackhawk proved too much for the Spartans to overcome, as the Cougars ended the game with a 22-4 run to seal the victory.

After Wyomissing junior Amaya Stewart cut Blackhawk's lead to just 29-27 with under five minutes to play, senior Alena Fusetti responded with back-to-back 3-pointers, giving the Cougars a 35-27 lead and all the momentum.

Blackhawk senior Piper Romigh then went 3-for-4 from the foul line and sophomore teammate Aubree Hupp went 2-for-2 to give the Cougars a 40-27 lead with 2:26 to play, effectively putting the game out of reach.

"The ball didn't fall our way," Anders said. "The (Cougars) had a great game plan, and they executed it and they hit some shots."

The Spartans (31-1) led 10-9 after a very even first quarter. Both teams played aggressive and physical from the start, which set the tone for the remainder of the game.

The District 7 runner-up, Blackhawk (26-3) opened the second quarter with a 9-2 run before Wyomissing responded with a 6-0 run of its own. Sophomore Mia Sheesley made a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give the Cougars a 21-18 lead at the break.

Both offenses got off to a slow start in the second half. However, Blackhawk was able to stay in front and led 29-23 after three quarters before going on its decisive run in the fourth.

"That is a great team — well-coached," Anders said about Blackhawk. "They just made a few more buckets than we did."

Blackhawk's Hupp, a forward, led all scorers with 22 points and finished 11-for-11 from the free throw line. She was matched up throughout the game against Stewart, a center/forward and the reigning two-time Berks Player of the Year, who led the Spartans with 18 points.

"The kid is just an absolutely amazing young lady," Anders said about Stewart. "She played her absolute heart out, non-stop."

Wyomissing's leading scorer throughout the season, Stewart headlined a Spartans team that will go down as arguably the greatest in program history.

Wyomissing won its second straight Berks title and its second consecutive District 3 championship in February. The Spartans were the fifth team to ever win the county title with an undefeated record and the first since 1990.

Wyomissing's appearance in the state semifinals was their third in program history and first since 2004. The Spartans' 31 consecutive wins to open a season is a Berks Girls Basketball League record, and they are just one of three teams in county history to win over 30 games in a season, joining 1990 Daniel Boone (33-2) and 2000 Wilson (32-2).

"They're going to win together, they're going to lose together and they're going to stay together," Anders said about his team.

While Wyomissing is expected to return the vast majority of its roster next season, Tuesday's result marked the end of high school basketball for seniors Abby Zechman and Annie McCaffrey.

"This is an amazing team," said McCaffrey, an All-Berks forward. "I couldn't ask for better teammates to end my senior year with."

While Zechman missed the 2023-24 season due to injury, the pair helped lay the foundation for the program over the last four years. Wyomissing won 12 games during the 2020-21 season and 13 in 2021-22 before flourishing with 28 victories last season and 31 this season.

While their careers end shy of their ultimate goal, their impact on the culture of the program is immeasurable, according to Anders.

"If you don't have people that are willing to lead by example and work and do 'day-in and day-out' like they do, then you don't have a program," Anders said. "You can have a program, but with where we're going, a lot of it has to do with that senior class."