Former GA guard Olivia Gorman (right), now a rising junior and three-sport athlete at Wesleyan College, drives past Team Purple’s Ashley Smink. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

by Tom Utescher

The aftereffects of the July 4 holiday were felt in the women’s NCAA league last Thursday, when several teams scheduled to play were no-shows. Two of the teams whose opponents forfeited played each other instead, and the Sky Blue squad that features three Germantown Academy graduates cruised past Team Purple, 77-58.

One of the teams that didn’t turn up was Team Red, which has Chestnut Hill College players making up about half of its roster. Team Black, powered by Philadelphia University (which is now becoming Thomas Jefferson University), had a good turnout and staved off a challenge from Team Royal Blue (largely Kutztown University) to win, 70-62.

Despite a game-high 16 points from former GA guard Jaryn Garner, Team Electric Green succumbed to the University of the Sciences summer alias, Team Maroon, 62-51. Used to playing with one another, the Maroon hoopsters got out to a big lead, then Electric Green closed the gap a bit later on. Maroon was led by a 13-point performance by shooting guard and rising senior Colleen Walsh, a former Shipley School standout in the Friends Schools League.

Team Black, which included Philadelphia/Jefferson U. rising sophomore Caitlyn Cunningham of out Mount St. Joseph Academy, led Team Royal Blue’s

Kutztown crew most of the way, but never enjoyed a truly commanding advantage. From a 59-51 tally at the three-quarter mark, Black boosted its lead into double figures (66-55) by the middle of the fourth quarter.

Royal Blue had come back within seven points (69-62) when a time-out was called with 58 seconds remaining.

Kendall Grasela hoists a lay-up for Team Sky Blue. The GA alum is going into her sophomore year at Penn. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

The action resumed with Royal putting the ball in play, but it was quickly picked off by Black’s Jess Kaminski, a rising senior guard. The leaders possessed the ball the rest of the way, adding a free throw for the 70-62 final. The team high of 11 points belonged to Alynna Williams (Plymouth Whitemarsh ’15), while Cunningham and Kaminski each finished with nine points.

After Team Purple and Team Sky Blue each official recorded a forfeit against the absent Team Red and Team Orange, respectively, they met one another in a contest moved up from its original date of July 20. Mount St. Joe’s grad Sarah Wills is on the Purple roster, but was not on hand last Thursday.

Her teammate and classmate at Delaware Valley University, Ashley Smink from Archbishop Ryan, would put up a game-high 21 points. She helped her squad end the opening quarter with a 12-8 advantage, but in the second round Sky Blue went into the lead and stayed there. Sky Blue welcomed a new addition in the post, 6’2″ Whisper Fisher. The Maryland native had just arrived in town for summer classes at St. Joseph University after transferring to the Hawks from Chicago’s Loyola University.

After the first half ended with a 38-26 tally, Sky stayed ahead by double digits as it cruised through the third quarter and then pulled away a little more in a 22-14 final frame.

Erin Lindahl led the winning cause with 19 points, and her former classmate at GA, Kendall Grasela (’16) scored 15. Another former Patriot, Olivia Gorman (’15) finished with 16 points, as did Fisher. Gorman plays soccer, basketball, and softball for Wesleyan University, while Lindahl and Grasela are playing basketball at Emory University and the University of Pennsylvania, respectively.