by Tom Utescher
The approach of the July 4 holiday weekend caused the NCAA women’s summer basketball league to go with a Tuesday/Wednesday schedule last week instead of the usual Tuesday/Thursday arrangement. It was the last week of an NCAA prohibition which prevented many veteran Division I players from participating, and a number of teams in the league continued to be short-staffed.
Division II schools whose hoopsters play together as a single unit were unaffected, and a Philadelphia University squad that includes Mount St. Joseph and Germantown Academy alums was able to balance its season record at 2-2. This outfit, known as Team Black in the color-coded summer league, began the season with a pair of losses in late June, but last Tuesday the ersatz Lady Rams topped Team Orange, 45-38.
Two members of Springside Chestnut Hill Academy’s Class of 2012 are playing for Team Maroon, which split in its two contests last week. Both Elana Roadcloud (Ursinus College) and Michelle Boggs (East Stroudsburg U.) played on Tuesday night in a 85-68 loss to Team Gold, and Roadcloud was back the next night to help her club clobber Royal Blue, 98-48.
On Wednesday Team Black picked up its second “W” in as many nights, accepting a forfeit from a Kelly Green team that had just one player show up at the gym.
Kelly Green, coached by former Mount St. Joe parent Ted Hagedorn and featuring recent MSJ grads Alex Louin (Villanova) and Carly Monzo (Loyola Md.) on the roster, is one of the teams that has been hard hit by the absence of the older Division I players in the first few weeks of summer league ball.
The team lost its opening game and then forfeited two contests due to a lack of personnel. A scheduled bye on Tuesday night kept Kelly from losing ground in the standings on that particular evening.
Team Black did play on Tuesday, when Monica Schacker, a rising senior out of Germantown Academy, scored 10 points on two three-point buckets and two regular field goals. Fellow guard and Lafayette Hill native Kelsey Jones (Mount St. Joseph ’13), is back in action after a knee injury, and she popped in a pair of three’s for the summer version of the Lady Rams.
Another back court player, Central High alum Najah Jacobs, led all scorers with 14 points.
Methacton High product Kelsey Watson (now at Kutztown U.) had a team-high nine points for Team Orange, which was missing a group of Division I players that included 2013 GA grad Kiernan McCloskey (Lehigh U.).
Meanwhile, Maroon had their hands full with Team Gold, whose line-up features some members of last year’s league runner-up squad. A force on offense this year as last year, Bodine High School alumna Jasmine Elum rang up a game-high 31 points in Gold’s 17-point victory. One of just a few post-collegiate athletes in the league, Elum graduated from Bethune-Cookman University in 2012.
Former SCH athletes Roadcloud and Boggs came away with 10 and three points, respectively, and the high of 15 points for Team Maroon came from Upper Dublin High School grad Taylor Bryant, who now plays club ball down at Penn.
Like Tuesday, Wednesday presented hot and humid conditions to the players. Team Maroon was fortunate to have several subs, while rival Royal Blue had just one reserve on the bench. Before fatigue truly became a factor for Royal, though, the Maroon broke out to a 10-4 lead. With a balanced inside-outside offense, they went up 22-8 less than eight minutes into the bout, and were ahead 54-22 at the half.
The leaders were approaching the century mark with three minutes left to play, when the count was 90-40. Two three-pointers followed and then Maroon moved within two points of triple figures thanks to a lay-up by former Archbishop Carroll guard Ryann Fiascki, who is now a teammate of Boggs’ at East Stroudsburg. Maroon didn’t press the issue, though, passing the ball around the perimeter on its final possession until the game ended at 98-48.
Another East Stroudsburg player, Courtney Brown (Council Rock South H.S.), had a game-high 26 points and SCH grad Roadcloud collected 17. In the losing cause, Emily O’Donnell (William Tennent H.S./Albright Col.) put up 14 points for Royal Blue.