Rising junior Gianna Pownall dribbles the ball across midcourt for Springside. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

by Tom Utescher

Playing one after the other in a basketball twin bill last week, Springside School and Mount St. Joseph Academy each improved their standing in the Lou Cappiello Summer League.

An 11-point effort by rising sophomore guard Gen Hagedorn helped power the Mount Magic to a 40-17 victory over John W. Hallahan High School, and in the following contest, the Springside Lions had three players score in double figures as they overcame Norristown High School, 41-33.

For the Mount, it was the debut performance for several incoming freshman, and it was also the first league game in which no veteran varsity players were present. The young Mounties didn’t have to jump right in at the deep end though, since their opponent, Hallahan, was only able to muster four players for the event.

This was surprising, since the league is based in Roxborough, and that neighborhood is always well-represented among Hallahan’s student body. The Magic agreed to play four-on-four, but they still had the advantage of having a few substitutes available.

Emily Carpenter, an incoming freshman forward, made an immediate impression as she scored the Magic’s first two field goals of the night. Junior Rachel Dapper hit a short jumper, then two lay-ups and a free throw by Hagedorn lifted the Mount to an 11-0 advantage. Hallahan finally got on the board with an eight-foot jumper with 12 minutes left in the first half.

Another new ninth-grader, guard Mary Kate Ulasewicz (eight points total), deposited two field goals later on, and single baskets by Carpenter (six points) and sophomores Jenny Geatens (seven points) and Julia Shinkle (six points) contributed to a 21-3 MSJ lead at the intermission.

After the Magic nudged their lead up to 23-3 at the beginning of the second half, Hallahan hit a three-pointer and a lay-up in succession, but the Mickey Mice didn’t score back-to-back baskets again in the game, and the Mount’s margin was up to 23 points at the end.

In the next game Norristown, led by 6’3” Tyshay Britten, gained a 6-4 edge in the early going, but Springside took control with three jumpers by rising sophomore Madi Sehn, two baskets in transition by junior Gianna Pownall, and a lay-up by senior Michelle Boggs. Pownall added a free throw to complete a 13-0 run that put the Lions up 17-6. Continuing to run the court, Springside was ahead 25-12 by halftime.

Norristown did a better job on both offense and defense after the break. Making frequent trips to the foul line, as well, the Eagles gradually trimmed down their deficit until the point spread dropped into single figures at 40-31.

Sehn, a Norwood Fontbonne Academy alum who had a three-pointer early in the second half, rounded out Springside’s final total with a free throw. Norristown’s Britten scored off a rebound, but in the waning seconds the Eagles missed their last three tosses from the free throw line.

Pownall scored all but two of her game-high 15 points in the first half, while Boggs and Sehn each wound up with a total of 10. Sanna Johnson’s four points came on a pair of second-half field goals, and fellow junior Alyssa Isackman added two points from the foul line.

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