by Tom Utescher
A little more than five minutes before game time for a varsity summer league contest last Thursday, Pennridge High School had all seven of its players on hand, while out on the court taking some warm-up shots was a single representative from Mount St. Joseph Academy.
With little time to spare, various Mounties scurried into the gym until the Magic matched the Lady Rams’ numbers. The way the contest played out, though, Mount St. Joe probably could’ve gotten the job done with fewer athletes, holding Pennridge scoreless in the first half while accumulating 38 points of its own. The Magic then coasted to a 64-11 victory.
Rising senior guard Bridget Higgins hit a 15-foot jumper less than 10 seconds into the game and her classmate Maddie Kohler connected from the three-point arc in the second minute, setting the Magic up with a lead that was never in jeopardy the rest of the way.
Known primarily as a ball-handler and a tenacious defender through much of her Mount career, Higgins has recently been stepping up her contributions as an outside shooter. A product of Lafayette Hill’s St. Philip Neri School, she netted 14 of her game high 18 points during the first half of Thursday’s bout, mixing in a pair of three-pointers.
The third senior on the team, small forward Cailin Schmeer, finished with 13 points, and helped fuel the Magic’s fiery first-half with a “three,” two shorter field goals, and a free throw. At 15-0 with 10:59 remaining in the opening half, the Rams called their first time-out, but to no avail.
Joining in on the scoring were Regan Gallagher and Carly Monzo, who were both brought up to the MSJ varsity squad as freshmen last winter. The other two contributors on Thursday were juniors Anne Burgoyne and Adrienne Cellucci. Burgoyne, a Norwood Fontbonne Academy graduate, was a starter on the 2010 Mount field hockey team that reached the final four of the state tournament. Cellucci keeps busy in a Mount uniform all year long, running cross country in the fall and track in the spring.
After Burgoyne opened the second half with a driving lay-up to make it 40-0, Penn Ridge penetrated to the hoop to finally get on the scoreboard.
The Magic had called off their fast break in the middle of the first half, and in the second period Pennridge gained a little confidence and at least was able to lift its total into double figures by the end.
Gallagher divided her 12 points evenly between the two periods, and Monzo was right behind with 11. Burgoyne finished with four points and Cellucci had three points on the night.