by Tom Utescher
Showcase season continues for female hoopsters, and last weekend Springside School and Germantown Academy were among the 14 teams on display before a throng of college coaches at the Blue Chip Basketball Super Sunday event at Archbishop Carroll High School in Radnor. It wasn’t a good time for the injury-ravaged Springside Lions (12-8) to be matched up against one of the top teams in the Delaware Valley, Archbishop Wood (13-3), and after hanging tough for the first dozen minutes the locals were pillaged by the Vikings, 49-26. GA (16-3) also had a tough go, losing 60-50 to a powerful opponent from central New Jersey, St. John Vianney.
Junior forward Elana Roadcloud, one of Springside’s most effective players in recent weeks, has joined several of her teammates on the injured list, and coach Brian Morris had to reach farther down the bench to come up with a starting quintet. From a season-long perspective, the Lions were now missing four of their original top six players.
The holes in the line-up were not unknown to Wood (which had its primary players healthy for this outing), so the Vikings were a bit taken aback by Springside’s strong performance at the start of Sunday’s contest. A short bank shot by sophomore Gianna Pownall and a lay-up by junior forward Michelle Boggs gave the Lions a 4-3 edge, but then Wood went ahead as the Vikings’ Steph Keys canned her second and third three-point field goals of the game.
Following a Boggs free throw, a lay-up by the Vikings made it 11-5, then Springside put together a 7-0 run in the final two minutes of the opening frame. Senior Brenna Coll knocked down a trey from the left corner and Boggs bagged a lay-up, then Pownall scored off a steal to send the Lions into the second round with a 12-11 edge. Two free throws by the sophomore raised the count to 14-11 early in the second quarter, but then Wood started to effectively pressure the Springside ballhandlers. Aubrey Howland scored consecutive fast-break baskets off of steals, moving the Vikings ahead for good. Springside was unable to score for the remainder of the period, and trailed 22-14 at the interlude.
The Lions’ drought continued into the second half, and Wood spread the score to 32-14 before Springside finally got its side of the board to budge with a baseline jumper by freshman guard Julia Schumacher. The margin was a full 20 points at the end of the third quarter (40-20), and the Vikings added another three points to its margin in the last eight minutes.
Pownall popped in nine points and Boggs scored seven for the Lions, who received six from Coll and two apiece from Schumacher and junior guard Alexis Giovinazzo. Among the ten players who scored for Wood were Keys, with a game-high 12 points, Howland, with nine, and Lauren Nealon, with six.
St. John Vianney is a team that the GA Patriots have scrimmaged with in the past, and after last Sunday evening’s encounter Germantown fans might have found it sobering to learn that the Lancers (14-2) are only in third place in their league, the Shore Conference.
The first two minutes looked promising for the Pennsylvanians as a quick drive by junior Jaryn Garner was followed by one free throw by Dana Lotito and two by fellow senior Alexa Gallagher. After that 5-0 start, though, GA was doubled up by St. John, 32-16 in the remainder of the first half.
Most of the damage occurred in the last five-and-a-half minutes of the second quarter, after a three-pointer by Patriots senior Monica Shacker gave GA a 15-14 edge. Colgate University recruit Missy Repoli got the Lancers rolling with three consecutive three-pointers from left, right, and center, and the Jersey girls went on to a 32-21 halftime advantage.
This was a fast, physical game, and the fact that the officials appeared reluctant to make traveling calls (on both sides) only added to the pace.
St. John had the lead up to 16 points twice during the second half, the last time at 48-32 with seven minutes left to play. The Lancers were still up 15 (54-39) with under four minutes remaining, then Gallagher, Garner, Shacker and Kiernan McCloskey helped GA outscore the Lancers 11-6 the rest of the way.
Lotito fouled out of the game midway through the fourth frame and Gallagher departed in the final minute with a team-high 17 points. The Pats got 11 points from Shacker, eight apiece from Garner and Lotito, and six from McCloskey. The Lancers’ Repoli led all scorers with 21 points, and St. John received 13 from guard Jackie Kates and 10 from forward Katie O’Reilly.