by Tom Utescher
Games in the women’s NCAA league last Thursday ran the gamut from nailbiters to yawners as the league capped off its second week.
One of the early contests pitted 2016 Mount St. Joseph grad Caitlyn Cunningham and her Philadelphia University Team Black buddies against an Electric Green Team with players from a number of different schools.
One was guard Jaryn Garner, a Germantown Academy alum who will be finishing up at St. Joseph’s University, and another is one of her St. Joe’s teammates, high-scoring swing player Chelsea Woods. No more than two players from the same Division I school can play on the same summer league squad.
The year-round teammates on Team Black took an early lead, but Electric Green pulled back into a tie by the end of the first quarter and then went on to earn a 32-29 halftime edge. Black did not fall by the wayside, though, and trailing by two with half-a-minute remaining, the summer Lady Rams tied it up at 57-57 on a bucket by sophomore forward Ayoola Oguntuase.
After two time-outs, the Green team had the ball with 13 seconds left, and Woods drove in along the left baseline to score. Team Black then came up the court and had a pass tipped out-of-bounds across the baseline by Green. However, only two-tenths of a second remained now, not enough time for the Lady Rams to inbound the ball and release a shot.
Woods led all scorers with 26 points and former Patriot Garner scored four in addition to serving as a playmaker. For Team Black, Alynna Williams (Plymouth Whitemarsh ’15) posted 20 points and MSJ grad Cunningham had 17.
One of the other early games on Thursday followed an entirely different scenario. Team Maroon, populated largely by players from the University of the Sciences, took a 22-9 lead in the opening quarter and cruised to an 80-36 win over Team Purple. Purple has a number of Delaware Valley University athletes including rising sophomore Sarah Wills out of Mount St. Joe’s. She bagged a three-pointer during the game.
Along with Philly U. and USciences, Chestnut Hill College is a member of the NCAA Division II Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference. There is a group of Griffins on Team Red for summer ball, but unfortunately one of them, reigning CACC Rookie of the Year Shannon Glenn, suffered an ankle injury early last week.
At first, Red got the drop on Team Forest Green (consisting largely of fellow Division II players from West Chester University), and was up by double figures at 24-14. Forest Green posted the last nine points of the first half, though, and then moved ahead in the third quarter.
Forest took a 51-47 edge into the final minute and planned to hold the ball, but Red pried it loose and CHC’s Ayanna Holloway (’19) scored on a fast break. The Green group answered with back-to-back field goals, and a late “three” at the other end still left Team Red a little short as they succumbed 55-52.
In the previous night of NCAA action, Germantown Academy grads Kendall Grasela (’16) and Olivia Gorman (’15) had combined to score 39 points for Team Sky Blue, but neither of them could make Thursday’s game against Team Sun. Sky still had Grasela’s former GA classmate Erin Lindahl at guard, and Team Sun was missing two of Grasela’s current University of Pennsylvania teammates.
This made for a competitive game which Sky Blue led by just two points at the half. Lindahl’s ladies stretched the lead to 10 points in the middle of the third quarter, but Sun climbed back within six later on. A lay-up by the GA grad right at the end of the third quarter made it 42-34, and in the final round Sky Blue was able to hold on for a 51-46 win. Lindahl came away with 10 points in the contest.