by Tom Utescher
In NCAA League action last Thursday evening, there was a variety of outcomes for three teams with players from the area on their rosters.
One was involved in a blow-out, another in a 12-point decision, and the third in a nail-biter in which the losing team had a chance to win in the final seconds.
In her first game back in the league after a gold medal performance with Team USA at the Maccabiah Games in Israel, 2016 Penn Charter grad Hannah Fox led all scorers last Thursday. Her 30-point effort contributed to Team Electric Green’s 95-47 rout of Team Pink.
Team Red, with six Chestnut Hill College players on the roster, met Team White, essentially the same squad which won the league last summer under the alias of Team Gold. White won this contest 65-53 to remain in third place in this year’s current standings.
Two former Mount St. Joseph Academy hoopsters are on the roster of Team Black, made up of athletes from the Northwest Philly institution that has made the transition from Philadelphia University to Thomas Jefferson University (it became official on July 1). Black went back and forth all night with a Team Forest Green franchise almost entirely made up of West Chester University ladies. This ersatz Division II clash ended with a 70-69 Forest victory after Black’s last shot fell short.
Two more summer squads with area athletes did not play on Thursday. Due to a gap in the schedule, the Germantown Academy and Mount St. Joseph alums on teams Sky Blue and Purple had already played one another in a bout originally slated for July 20.
One of last Thursday’s early games was the match-up between Electric Green, a play-off bound team, and Team Pink, a ball club farther down in the standings and staffed by women from Penn State Abington. To unbalance the scales to an even greater degree, Team Pink had to play without any subs on one of the hottest evenings of the summer.
Pink put up stiff resistance over the first five minutes, but was already down 27-14 by the end of the first quarter and then fell another 15 points behind in the second period.
Having just finished playing in Israel with a three-point line 22’1.7″ from the basket, PC grad Fox found easy pickings from the smaller arc at Kelly Bolish Gymnasium. Six treys were included in her 30-point performance. Just 18 months earlier, at the end of her high school career, she’d been setting up at a three-point loop almost two-and-a-half feet closer to the hoop.
Electric Green point guard Jaryn Garner, a Germantown Academy alum who has been playing for St. Joseph’s University, contented herself with distributing the ball to the shooters, finishing with two points on the night.
In another early contest on another court, the CHC players helped Team Red lead by as many as 11 points in the first quarter, which ended with a 20-10 tally. Team White took over in a 21-8 second round to enjoy a 31-28 edge at halftime. The score was 46-37 at the three-quarter mark, and victorious White tacked on a few more points to its margin in the final frame.
Each scoring 12 points to lead Team Red were CHC senior Vicky Tumasz (four three-pointers) and Griffins sophomore Shannon Glenn (one “three”). Bianca Picardo, a transfer into Chestnut Hill, posted six points, and incoming freshman Cassie Sebold added a lay-up.
In the second round of games last Thursday, Team Black carved out a 21-17 lead in the first quarter and still had that four-point advantage when the half ended with a count of 39-35. In the third quarter, Forest Green pulled even at 46-46, and later the West Chester women took a 59-57 edge into the fourth stanza.
Forest would enter the final minute of the game ahead 68-65, but a few seconds later it was a one-point affair thanks to a successful drive by 2016 Mount St. Joe grad Caitlyn Cunningham. Forest went up by three again on a pair of made free throws with 23 ticks to go, making it 70-67.
At the other end, Team Black guard Alynna Williams (Plymouth Whitemarsh ’15) had her shot blocked on a drive, but the ball remained in Black possession and after the inbounds play from the baseline senior Jess Kaminski hit a lay-up to make it a one-point game once more.
Team Back got their mitts on the ball one last time when they forced a turnover out of Forest along the sideline with 13.5 seconds to go. Forest defended well, and at the end Team Black was forced to drive and hoist up a runner that fell short of the rim. Forest prevailed by a point.
Cunningham, who’d recorded a summer league career high of 25 points earlier in the week, came away with 13 points this time, while Williams led the team with 16.