by Tom Utescher
Playing on back-to-back nights with only five players available for the first game and six for the next, Mount St. Joseph Academy still was able to engineer one easy victory and one unqualified rout as the Hatboro Horsham Summer League came to a close for 2011.
Staged at Germantown Academy for many years before moving to Hatboro Horsham, the league once included more than two dozen teams, but that number has dwindled to a dozen, and this season, in particular, Mount St. Joe has found that lopsided games became the norm rather than the exception.
Just last summer, the Magic had two tooth-and-nail tussles with Council Rock North High School, the team they would defeat in the 2011 PIAA District 1 championship game. Council Rock has joined a list of good programs that have abandoned this particular warm weather enterprise.
Last Tuesday the Mount gained a 30-20 edge against Central Bucks East High School, then built on that foundation for a 59-29 win. In the first half the Patriots stayed in the game largely through the efforts of power forward Lindsey Kelly, who ran the floor well and proved to be a sure-handed shooter from the paint. Senior guard Bridget Higgins powered the Magic with her jump shots, recording 16 of her 18 total points during the opening period.
The point production of both Higgins and Kelly was curtailed in the second half, but other players picked up the slack for the Mount, while C.B. East struggled on the offensive end. MSJ senior Maddie Kohler complemented her two three-pointers from the first half with four more treys after the break. Likewise, junior Anne Burgoyne and sophomores Alex Louin and Regan Gallagher each scored more points in the second period than in the first frame.
The Magic got off to a 10-2 start in the second half and the Patriots never recovered, although Kelly finished with a game-high 21 points.
Higgins and Kohler shared the laurels on the Mount side with 18 apiece, and the winners received 10 points from Louin, eight from Burgoyne, and five from Gallagher.
From the air-conditioned confines of the Hatboro Horsham gym, the Magic moved to the warmer climes of the AAU Renegades’ Kelly Bolish Gym the following night, so it was helpful that the Magic had one sub on the bench. That gave the Magic more than enough womanpower to blast past the Hatboro Horsham team.
After the Mount went up 8-0 the Hatters hooped a three-point shot, then the MSJ defense held firm until halftime, when the reckoning was 36-3. The count then climbed to 50-3 in the second period before Hatboro scored again. Reaching double figures were Higgins (25 points), Gallagher (18), and sophomore Carly Monzo (16), and providing the rest of the winners’ points were provided by junior Meg Geatens (eight), Kohler (three), and Burgoyne (two).