by Tom Utescher
The Springside Chestnut Hill Academy girls earned a split at last week’s Cardinal Classic Basketball Tournament, falling to host Upper Dublin High School on Thursday, 69-34, then rebounding the following afternoon for a 59-33 victory over Hatboro Horsham High in the consolation game.
The Lions rang out the old year at 5-7 overall, and will resume their Girls Inter-Ac agenda this Friday at Germantown Academy, coming into that game 1-0 in the league after knocking off Baldwin in the opener.
After SCH’s tournament game last Friday, Upper Dublin easily captured the championship with a 56-25 win over Villa Joseph Marie, which had beaten Hatboro Horsham in the semifinal round the previous day. In that first semifinal game, Villa Joe romped to a 17-3 first-quarter lead over the Hatters, then coasted to a 33-25 victory.
Playing the late game on Thursday, SCH was doubled up 11-22 in the first quarter by the Upper Dublin Cardinals, who kept on rolling to a 41-17 halftime advantage.
One of the top players for the Cardinals is junior forward Regan Gallagher, who played for Mount St. Joseph Academy for the past two years and now has returned to her home school district. Her older sister, Ryann, was a senior on the Mount team that won the Class AAA state championship in 2008.
Gallagher finished Thursday’s game with 10 points and fellow forward Brianna Spector (a senior) added nine for the Cardinals, who were led by a 22-point effort from senior guard Curtrena Goff.
Culling nine points from the three-point arc, freshman forward Lindsay Hiner led the Lions. Two guards, junior Julia Schumacher and senior Gianna Pownall, contributed seven and five points, respectively, for SCH, which was now slated to play Hatboro Horsham the following day.
The Hatters, led by former SCH coach Steve Flynn, were without a few players who left town for the holiday break, while the Lions were missing ailing sophomore forward Olivia Byron for both of last week’s games.
Hatboro Horsham’s Chrissy Maguire broke the ice, then a three-pointer by senior guard Maddi Hinchey got the Lions going. SCH got another “three” later on from Pownall’s freshman sister, Marissa, and a total of five players got on the board as the locals ended the first quarter with a 16-4 lead.
Tightening up their defense, the Hatters were a little closer by halftime (30-20) and over the first six minutes of the third stanza they reduced their deficit to just four points, at 33-29.
The elder Pownall, who had been on the bench due to a spot of foul trouble, reentered with 1:41 to go in the quarter, got fouled herself, and made one of two free throws. Hinchey hooped her second trey of the day with two seconds left, and for the start of the fourth quarter the Lions had a little more breathing room, up 36-29.
Early in the final round Pownall fed Hinchey for a fast break bucket and then scored one herself off of a steal. Hiner hit a 15-footer and a pair of free throws to round out an 8-0 spurt and SCH stayed ahead by double digits the rest of the way, out-pointing the Hatters 23-4 in the final frame. The Lions continued to score in transition, while Schumacher and Marissa Pownall each shot four-for-four at the foul line.
Springside Chestnut Hill wound up with double-digit scoring from Hinchey (17 points), Gianna Pownall (13), and Hiner (10), with eight points from Schumacher, seven from Marissa Pownall, and two apiece from sophomore Caroline Henry and freshman Essence Walden.
Hatboro Horsham was paced by Lauren Jester and Heather Lutz, who each scored seven points.
In the championship game, Upper Dublin got out to a 19-9 lead in the first quarter, then gave a point back in a low-scoring second period, which ended with a 22-13 tally. The Cardinals pulled away smartly in the second half, as outside shooter Kayla McAneney heated up en route to a game-high 16 points. Goff finished with 12 for the winners and Gallagher scored all of her nine points in the first half.