by Tom Utescher
Former Germantown Academy basketball coaching colleagues faced one another in high school summer league action last Wednesday. Some years back, Terry Rakowsky served as a Patriots assistant on the staff of longtime GA head coach Sherri Retif, but in recent seasons Rakowsky has had a very successful run at the helm of the squad at Central Bucks West High School. One of his assistants there is former Mount St. Joseph Academy standout Claire Perry.
Last winter, the Bucks captured the PIAA District 1 title and went all the way to the state finals in Class AAA, but three of the stars of that team were seniors who are now moving on to Division I college programs. GA, on the other hand, is returning almost all of its top talent, and last week in the Gwynedd Mercy League, they topped C.B. West by a score of 50-32. It was the second of back-to-back games for the Bucks, who had taken on league host Gwynedd Mercy Academy just before tackling the Pats.
Forward Lauren Oeth, a rising senior, deposited 10 points to lead a list of 10 GA scorers. Her classmate Erin Lindahl added seven points for the winners, who received six apiece from sophomore Alexa Naessens and freshman Emily Morrissey.
Lindahl registered most of her points at the outset, nailing a three-pointer from the right wing and then adding a lay-up in transition. Grasela made a successful drive to the hoop, and then Oeth and Bolen each scored off of offensive rebounds to give the Patriots an 11-0 advantage before the Bucks got on the board about four-and-a-half minutes into the contest.
Naessens then sandwiched two field goals from the paint around a pair of free throws by Oeth to make it 17-2. GA subbed, and Central Bucks steadied itself and made the game less lopsided by halftime, when the tally was 27-16. Germantown already had seven players in the scoring stats at that stage.
As the second half got underway, the Bucks stuck a jumper from the right wing and followed up with a baseline bucket to make it a seven-point affair. Oeth got GA going by converting off of a rebound, then she and Grasela each put in a pair of free throws. Junior guard Abby Starzecky connected from the right baseline and then hit a jumper from the foul line, and when Naessens made two foul shots a little over halfway through the period, the Patriots led 39-20.
A three-pointer for C.B. West was answered in kind by GA freshman Rachel Balzer, and from there, the Pats simply maintained the advantage they’d built up, winning by 18 points.
Four points apiece were credited to Grasela, Bolen, Starzecky, and senior Leena Kardacz, and the winners’ total was rounded out by Balzer’s trey and a shorter jumper by freshman Taylor Putnam.