by Tom Utescher
Last Tuesday, the Germantown Academy girls went into their final game in the Gwynedd Mercy Summer League without some of their most talented and experienced guards, players who were attending major out-of-town tournaments. When a couple of the Patriots’ top post players got into foul trouble in Tuesday’s tilt against Boyertown High School, GA appeared vulnerable to an upset.
Germantown led 20-11 early in the second half, but after several turnovers, the Pats saw their lead dwindle to five points with under seven minutes left to play. After that though, the only field goal the Bears scored was the final basket of the game, and GA led by double figures before the scoreboard finally came to rest at 31-23.
With their lone loss coming a few weeks earlier on an evening when 10 players were away at tournaments, the Patriots finished up with an 8-1 record in the Gwynedd League, where there are no playoffs.
After junior forward Lilly Bolen opened the game’s scoring with a pair of free throws, GA got its first two field goals from Alexa Naessens. However, the six-foot sophomore quickly picked up two fouls, and after a break on the bench, she reentered the game and was slapped with two more personals before halftime. This helped Boyertown collect six points from the foul line over the last five minutes of the first half.
The Bears were only four points behind GA before senior guard Maeve Connor canned a three-pointer from the left wing with 10 seconds remaining, setting the score at 18-11 for the intermission.
A shorter jumper by Connor opened the second half, but Boyertown bounced back to score six of the next eight points, making it 22-17 with eight minutes remaining in the game. While Naessens, with her four first-half fouls, was being used sparingly, senior forward Lauren Oeth was mixing it up on the inside. She would finish with 11 rebounds, but she also acquired fouls rapidly, and would leave the floor with her fifth personal with a little under five minutes left to play.
After the Bears battled back within five points of the Pats, GA junior guard Abby Starzecky lined up a long shot from the left flank. Her three-pointer was quickly followed by a successful drive by Naessens, and Germantown now had its lead in double digits, 27-17.
The lead remained at 10 points after four Boyertown free throws were matched by another lay-up by Naessens and a 15-foot jumper by sophomore guard Maddie Cooper. Boyertown scored off a steal at the end, but the Patriots still won by eight points.
Naessens and Connor scored eight and seven point, respectively, for the winners, with four points each added by Bolen and sophomore Maeve Gorman. Oeth and Starzecky each had three points, and Cooper scored two.