by Tom Utescher
Mount St. Joseph Academy’s varsity hoopsters are off to a strong start in the Hatboro Horsham Summer Basketball League, following up an opening day win back on June 1 with another victory last Wednesday. Contending with hot weather and a short bench, the Magic gained a 23-13 halftime lead over Central Bucks East High School and went on to win, 51-34.
Last Wednesday’s game conflicted directly with a contest in Roxborough’s Lou Cappiella League, where the Mount’s younger players usually perform. Since no one from the incoming freshman class will engage in the action until later this month, the Magic had to divide up its older athletes and wound up with a total of seven players for the varsity contest.
In addition, the game had been moved from its regular air-conditioned venue to the uncooled courts at the Kelly Bolish Gym, and the net result was a Magic squad playing with just two subs on one of the hotter evenings of the year thus far.
Mount head coach John Miller and assistant Joe Sweeney managed their personnel efficiently, and a 2-0 edge at the beginning of the bout was the only lead C.B. East enjoyed all evening. Rising sophomore Alex Louin quickly tied the score with a short jumper from the lane, and from there the Magic proceeded to an 11-4 lead with about six minutes elapsed.
The games are 32 minutes in full, the same as regular high school engagements, but they are formatted in 16-minute halves instead of eight-minute quarters. The Patriots stopped giving up ground and the gap was still seven points late in the half. MSJ senior Bridget Higgins, who nailed a lay-up and a short jumper earlier in the period, lobbed in a three-pointer from the top of the key right at the buzzer, making it 23-13 for the intermission.
After two initial field goals by Mount sophomore Carly Monzo, C.B. East brought the point spread back down into single figures one last time, at 31-27 about three minutes into the second half. MSJ senior Cailin Schmeer stuck back-to-back buckets, then a Monzo free throw and a three-pointer by senior Maddie Kohler rounded out a little 8-2 run that put the Magic up by 15. The two schools pretty much traded baskets the rest of the way.
Louin divided her game-high 15 points almost evenly between the two halves, while Monzo scored nine of her 13 in the second period. Higgins finished with seven points and Kohler collected six for the winners, who received six points from Schmeer and four from sophomore Regan Gallagher.