by Mike McLeod
The Germantown Academy Patriots (21-5, 9-1) continued their unrivaled success in the Inter-Ac, running away from Episcopal in a 74-50 win for the league title.
Coming into the game with matching records atop the league, the stakes couldn’t have been any higher. In these types of games, teams always look for their top stars to carry them to a win. For Coach Jim Fenerty and his Patriots club, the star they turned to was, as it has been all season, senior guard Tim Guers.
It’s no surprise that as Guers went, so did his team. In the first half, Guers had a pedestrian six points as his team went into the break with a lead of the same margin. In the second half, however, he took his team on a charge past the Churchmen, dropping in 16 points in a third quarter that saw his team take their lead to double digits. He continued to produce in the fourth, adding nine for a game-high 33. His explosive night was helped by his ability to get to the foul line, where he went a perfect 8-8. Guers also added five boards and five assists to round out his night.
Guers was complemented on offense by the second straight game of 15 or more from sophomore Kyle McCloskey, who added 17.
For Fenerty, this is his 15th overall league title with the Patriots and the 11th that they have been the lone winner. Also, this is his third three-peat with the Patriots, winning from 2000-02 and from 2007-09. This latest accomplishment comes two weeks after Fenerty picked up his 500th career win with the Patriots.
He’s hoping their run doesn’t stop here, however, as his Patriots enter the PAISAA tournament with first round action against Solebury School on Feb. 13 at home.
La Salle falls in thriller against St. Joe’s
The La Salle Explorers couldn’t fight off their surging rivals, falling 79-74 in triple-overtime at St. Joe’s Prep.
After getting out to a double-digit lead at the half, the Explorers (17-5, 9-4) had trouble figuring out an answer for Hawk guard Chris Clover. After a slow start, Clover got the ball rolling in the second half and continued it into the overtime periods. The Catholic League’s leading scorer this year ended up with 37 points on the night which, triple overtime or not, is still an impressive number. 30 of those came after the half, which was the difference that the Hawks (18-4, 10-3) needed to finish their comeback.
The Explorers were led on offense by Najee Walls who dropped in 29, which on any other night would have been the talk of the town after the game. Chipping in another 20 points was fellow senior Dave Krmpotich, backing up his 21-point performance against West Catholic.
With the loss, the Explorers (9-4) fall behind the Hawks (10-3) for fourth place in the PCL heading into the postseason. By getting that fourth seed, the Hawks will have home-court advantage in the League quarterfinals, where these teams will meet again. Next time, however, the Explorers will look to not only grab a lead, but hold onto one when it’s win or go home.
News and Notes
Penn Charter notched its first win in Inter-Ac play this season, ousting Spingside Chestnut Hill Academy 58-41 at home in a matchup between the two teams at the bottom of the conference.
Having been defeated by the Blue Devils—for their only Inter-Ac win—earlier in the season, the Quakers (4-21, 1-9) got their revenge last Friday in the big win. Although the game didn’t have the playoff implications that some of the other games going on that night had, it was a big victory nonetheless for the Quakers, who needed a win to build on for next year.
Senior Patrick McCain led the Quakers, scoring 19 points in his last game for the home crowd. Coach Lynard Stewart’s team was well balanced, having an amazing 10 players contribute points to their total.
On the other end, the Blue Devils had just five scorers, led by Freshman standout Justin Anderson’s 21-point performance.
Germantown Friends (20-3, 6-2) fell to Friends Central 66-47 in a Friends League game last Tuesday at home.
With the loss, the Tigers fall into sole possession of third place in the league, meaning they will meet again with Friends Central on February 10 in a Friends League semifinal but, this time, will not have the home team advantage.