by Tom Utescher
Back in school after their holiday break, the girls of Germantown Friends returned to basketball action last week, but not all of the team’s players were back in uniform. The Tigers lacked two of their regular starters on Saturday when they travelled to Bucks County’s Conwell Egan High School, but ultimately this made for an exciting contest with the host Eagles.
GFS trailed by a point late in the fourth quarter, but freshman guard Martina Kiewek scored the last four of her game-high 15 points to help the visitors take away a 33-30 victory. Sophomore guard Desiree Norwood also hit double figures, scoring 11 points as the Tigers evened up their overall record at 5-5.
When Germantown Friends headed out to Conwell Egan (4-8), the team was somewhat shorter than usual due to the absence of forward Cadence Kelly and post player Clare Meyer. Both are freshmen who had been starting for the team back in December.
A baseline jumper by Norwood and a short bank shot by senior Andi Regli allowed the Tigers to keep pace with their hosts early on, but with three-point field goals from two different players, the Eagles gained a 10-4 advantage by the end of the first quarter.
Kiewek moved Germantown into the lead during the first two-and-a-half minutes of the second frame, netting a three-pointer from each side of the floor and then stealing the ball and scoring a fast break lay-up.
Conwell Egan trailed 12-10, but soon landed back-to-back treys of its own thanks to sophomore Gia Brennan.
A 15-footer by Norwood was answered in kind by Eagles junior Angel Crowell, then with three seconds on the clock Kiewek connected from beyond the arc from the left wing. Conwell Egan still held a slim lead at halftime, 18-17, while Kiewek led all scorers with 11 points.
Conwell Egan’s Brennan had scored three treys in the first half, and although Germantown shut her out in the last two quarters, the Eagles began to get some production from the paint.
Freshman Courtney Anderson and junior Kiyann Peterson hit lay-ups for the hosts to begin the third quarter, and after Norwood made one free throw for the visitors, Crowell bagged two foul shots to give Conwell Egan its largest lead of the afternoon, 24-18.
Two midrange jumpers by Norwood and one by Regli brought the Tigers back to tie the game at 24-all with a little under two minutes left in the third quarter, and the period expired without further scoring by either side.
Almost two minutes into the final stanza freshman Claudia Rickels put in a jumper for the Tigers, but a pair of Eagles free throws leveled the scoreboard once more, 26-26. Conwell Egan moved ahead with a lay-up and after GFS got one point back on a Regli free throw, the Eagles were granted a timeout while the ball was in the air on an awkward pass across midcourt.
The hosts didn’t score on their possession after play resumed, and at the other end they committed a shooting foul against Norwood. She made both shots to nudge the Tigers ahead, 29-28, and this also happened to be the seventh team foul against the Eagles.
Germantown Friends committed its sixth team foul on a successful lay-up by Alyssa Fagans, but the Conwell Egan junior did not make her free throw. This left the Eagles with a 30-29 advantage, and GFS soon called a timeout with 1:16 left to play.
The visitors inched ahead with a lay-up by Kiewek with 63 seconds left. The Eagles were unable to score on their next two offense possessions, while in between the Tigers turned the ball over through an errant pass.
Germantown’s Kiewek could not connect on a one-and-one with 18 seconds remaining, then she redeemed herself by stealing the ball back and drawing another foul.
This time the freshman hit two shots from the stripe, stamping the final score of 33-30 on the board with just under eight seconds left. The clock showed 03.4 seconds when the Eagles got a timeout, and their final play was foiled thanks to another steal by Kiewek.
The Tigers remain on the road this week for league games at Friends Select and Abington Friends.