by Tom Utescher
Last Tuesday’s Girls Inter-Ac League basketball contest at Springside Chestnut Hill Academy was no masterpiece, but the host Lions took care of business and knocked off the visiting Owls of Agnes Irwin, 43-26.
Starting off the second round of six league games, the local hoopsters definitely want to avoid a loss to any team ranked below them, and the Irwin victory kept SCH comfortably in winning territory in the league, at 5-2. At the same time, they evened up their overall record at 10-10.
Irwin, which has now lost a home-away series to Notre Dame as well as Springside Chestnut Hill, went back to the Main Line at 2-6 in the league and 6-10 altogether.
Earlier in the month, the Lions won a more competitive game over at Agnes Irwin by 10 points, but neither team was at full strength for last week’s rematch. The Owls’ Faith DeVlieger, a regular starter, had a conflict and could not attend, and a pair of Lions were under the weather; starting junior forward Madi Sehn and reserve freshman guard Marissa Pownall.
Pownall’s sister Gianna, a senior guard, popped in a three-pointer and a pair of field goals in the opening quarter, and buckets by junior Julia Schumacher, senior Maddi Hinchey and sophomore Caroline Henry helped the host finish the first quarter with a 12-8 lead. Irwin forward Sierra Corbett did all the scoring for her team during that opening frame, but after that SCH tightened up its defense in the paint and held Corbett to two points the rest of the way.
On this cold afternoon, the host school had the Vare Field House very well heated, and it wasn’t hard to feel a little drowsy as the two teams plodded through a 6-3 second quarter that produced an 18-11 tally for the intermission. A trey from the right wing by Schumacher with five seconds left provided a third of the points for the entire period.
Both offenses perked up in the third quarter, although the home team tacked another seven points onto its lead. The Lions’ first and last field goals were three-point projectiles by Pownall, who helped her squad start the fourth quarter with a 34-20 advantage.
Even without a field goal in the final stanza, SCH increased its lead, making nine of ten free throws. Freshman guard Essence Walden, who initially came off the bench in the first half, garnered all of her points from the foul line, shooting six-for-eight. Each team hacked its way to 11 fouls during the second half.
Pownall’s 15 points led all scorers, and the Lions received seven from Schumacher and six apiece from Hinchey and Walden. Freshman Lindsay Hiner, a season-long starter at forward, finished with five points, and Henry had four. Corbett paced Agnes Irwin with 10 points, and Lauren Spinelli accumulated eight for the Owls.