by Tom Utescher
Germantown Academy swung into action in the Gwynedd Mercy Academy Summer Basketball League last Wednesday evening, and fared well despite having only seven active players on hand. In attendance but sitting out for medical reasons were two of the best Patriot athletes, senior shooting guard Rachel Balzer (a George Mason University recruit), and junior guard/forward Elle Stauffer.
While the Patriots had no rising seniors able to play, four members of the strong junior class were on hand, guards Maddie Burns (a Norwood Fontbonne Academy graduate), Sarah DiLello (St. Philip Neri), Lindsay Putnam and Jaye Haynes. Haynes had recently attended the U.S. Under-17 Team trials.
Post player Becca Booth and guard/forward Jessica Moore represented the rising sophomore class, and one new freshman student was on hand. This was guard Bri O’Hara, the younger sister of graduating cross country and track runner Kelsey O’Hara.
Playing a North Penn High School team with a deeper bench, GA frequently rotated players in and out to keep the athletes relatively fresh. The Pats posted the first 14 points of the game and went on to a 41-22 victory.
North Penn didn’t really have anyone to match up with the 6’2” Booth, and the first two times she went to the rack she put in both her lay-up and an accompanying foul shot. After she added another made free throw, Putnam popped in a three-pointer from the left corner and Moore netted a pair of shorter jumpers for a 14-0 Germantown lead.
North Penn took a time-out and then got on the board with a fast break when play resumed. Throughout the game, however, the Maidens were never able to score more than one field goal at a time, and they never challenged the Patriots’ supremacy.
Both teams began to foul a good deal in the second half, and North Penn fared better at the free throw line than GA. In at least this one area, the Patriots showed there was room for improvement. Still, they led 41-20 late in the game before a final North Penn field goal brought the final margin just below 20 points.
Booth, who had scored a dozen points in the first half, finished with a game-high 15, while Moore and the young O’Hara each came away with seven. DiLello logged all of her six points in the second half, and Haynes and Putnam each scored three points.