by Tom Utescher
Two senior guards, Alex Louin of Mount St. Joseph Academy and Julia Schumacher of Springside Chestnut Hill, took their final bow as high school basketball players last Sunday at Northeast High School, where they took part in the girls’ game at the 27th annual All-Star Labor Classic.
Sponsored by Philadelphia’s organized labor and benefitting United Cerebral Palsy of Philadelphia, the event showcases top players in the current graduating class from around the region, divided into City and Suburban teams.
SCH coach Joe Maguire coached the City team that included his own point guard, Schumacher. After four years of trying to figure out how to stop MSJ’s Louin in Catholic Academies competition, St. Basil Academy mentor Terry Mancini now had the Magic guard on his side as he guided the Suburban girls to a 67-51 victory last weekend.
The boys’ game that preceded the girls’ contest included Penn Charter’s Sean O’Brien, a guard who will attend Colgate University.
MSJ’s Louin, a six-foot guard recently named to the All-State first team in the large school (Class AAAA) division, averaged over 17 points per game this year and led the Magic to their second straight Catholic Academies championship. She signed with Villanova University last November.
Schumacher, a feisty 5’2”, provided valuable leadership for a young SCH squad this winter. She averaged just over 10 points per game as the Blue Devils split their season series with two traditional Inter-Ac League powers, Germantown Academy and Notre Dame. She will not pursue basketball in college, and will attend Drexel University on an academic scholarship.
Last Sunday Louin was among the Suburban team starters, who romped to a 17-0 lead in a little over seven minutes. When each team subbed en masse, the City squad stabilized, but it never was able to mount a serious rally. The tally was 39-17 at the half.
SCH’s Schumacher was mainly content to distribute the ball, although she did drive in to make a lay-up in the second half. Louin finished with a dozen points, and provided some entertaining moments along with Shipley School’s Sox Alexander. The two are longtime Philadelphia Belles teammates on the AAU circuit, and they set each other up with some showy passes, including an alley-oop tossed by Alexander for a leaping Louin in the lane.
All in all, the event provided a nice opportunity for the area’s standout players to take the court one last time at the scholastic level, in a game that was played purely for fun while benefitting a worthy cause.