Penn Charter rising sophomore Jamie Kubach looks for a cutter. (Photo by Tom Utescher)

by Tom Utescher

Opening night in the Gwynedd Mercy Academy Summer Basketball League proved challenging for the girls of Penn Charter last Tuesday. A youthful group of just six players showed up for the Quakers’ first game against Lansdale Catholic High School, and then one of them left before the start of the following contest against 2018 large schools PIAA state semifinalist Souderton High School.

PC fell to the Crusaders, 38-21, then succumbed to the Indians of Souderton, 48-15. Although Charter will have all five of its 2017-18 starters back for the next high school season, rising senior guard Emma Maley was the only one who turned out for last week’s summer debut. Others had conflicts with AAU basketball activities, or with other club sports commitments. For the bout against LC, Maley was joined by rising sophomores Laila Hamiter, Jamie Kubach and Molly McMahon, and by two freshmen just entering Penn Charter. One is Maley’s sister Kelsey, a guard, and the other is forward Amani Rivers.

In Tuesday’s first game, Penn Charter kept pace up to 7-7, then Lansdale Catholic went ahead for good. With two-and-a-half minutes left in the first half (20 minutes with a running clock), the Quakers were still close after McMahon hit a three-pointer to make it 18-13. The Crusaders then registered the last six points of the period to take a 24-13 advantage into halftime.

Near the middle of the second half the tally was 27-17, and after that the Crusaders spread the gap a bit to win by 17. The young Rivers led the Quakers with seven points, followed by Kelsey Maley with five points and her sister Emma with four.

With no subs at all available for the following game, PC struggled against Souderton. It was almost midway through the first half when Emma Maley scored the Quakers’ first field goal, and they trailed 23-5 at the intermission. Although the first basket by either team in the second half came on a drive by Rivers, the Indians outscored Charter 25-10 for the period.

Emma Maley finished with seven points and Rivers with six, while a lay-up by Hamiter accounted for the other two points.

Positioning themselves on defense are incoming Penn Charter freshmen Amani Rivers (top) and Kelsey Maley. (Photo by Tom Utescher)