There’s not much chance of the defender at right blocking this shot by Chestnut Hill College sophomore Lila Jones, who is playing for the Ash Gray team in the NCAA Summer League. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

by Tom Utescher

In last Thursday’s round of NCAA League games, both the Lime Green team featuring Mount St. Joe grad Elle Hagedorn and the Black Team remained on a roll, setting up a battle of the last two undefeated squads this Tuesday evening (7/17).

Lime downed Kelly Green, a ballclub made up of players from University of the Sciences in Philadelphia (USP), 74-36, after the Division II USP Devils kept the game close fairly deep into the first half.

The Black team appeared on the path to a total rout of Ash Gray in the opening minutes of their clash later in the evening. Ash Gray, which includes all six Chestnut Hill College players in the league along with Springside alum Brenna Coll, regrouped and stayed within 10 to 15 points of the leaders for the greater part of the game. Down the stretch, Team Black got the lead up over 20 points and finished up as a 77-54 victor.

Recent Mount grad Bridget Higgins saw her Gold team trailing the Orange (the Philadelphia University entry) by seven points at halftime. After almost letting the leaders get completely out of reach in the second stanza, Gold made a late run but came up a little short, losing 52-49.

In a game earlier in the week Germantown Academy grad Monica Schacker pumped in 17 points (including four three-point field goals) to help the Orange down Ash Gray, but she wasn’t around for Thursday’s contest. Instead of shooting guards, it was point guards who powered the group from Philly U., as Najah Jacobs rang up 14 points and Megan Finn added 13 to the winning cause.

From its 28-21 advantage at the half, Orange expanded its lead to as many as 14 points in the second stanza before the Gold rallied. Orange hung on, although the Gold got 10 points apiece from Higgins and from center Alex Yantzi, known as “X.”

On an adjacent court, USP’s Kelly Green gave as good as they got up to the 10-minute mark, when they actually had an 11-9 edge over Lime Green. Six straight points put the Limeys in the lead for good. Katie Kuester, the former Girls Inter-Ac star from Notre Dame, helped rally the league co-leaders with nine first-half points, and Cardinal O’Hara grad Alicia Manning added seven.

Kelly Green was not totally out of it at halftime, down 32-19, but the gap grew steadily after the intermission. Meg Pearson (Archbishop Carroll/Villanova), who fired five three-pointers and finished with 17 points, hit second-half treys to put her ballclub up by 20 (45-23 with 14:43 remaining), 30 (64-32 at 3:45), and 40 points (74-34 with under half-a-minute to go). Kuester came away with 19 and Manning with 9, and former Mountie Hagedorn had five points for the evening.

Taking on the powerful Black team in one of the late games, Ash Gray was missing two CHC players, center Aimee Bouie and forward Lindsay Alexander (who was at the game but sidelined by injury). It didn’t take long for unbeaten Black to jump ahead 13-3, but Gray’s defense stiffened and they began to find the basket on offense.

The count was 38-27 at the half, when former Springsider Coll had eight points in the book. On the boards, the Black team used its height advantage more effectively in the second period, but the gap between the teams hovered around the mid-teens until the closing minutes. The lead went over 20 at 75-53 with two minutes to go, and the final margin was 23 points.

Coll had 13 points for Ash Gray, which got a dozen apiece from her Delaware Valley College teammate, Grace Mirack, and from Da’Kiya Johnson, a guard transferring into Chestnut Hill College. For the Black team, Villanova guard Rachel Roberts had 16 points, and Colgate forward Stephanie Schultz scored 11.

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