After slow start, GA girls win basketball opener

by Tom Utescher
Posted 12/6/23

Early foul trouble and a poor shooting percentage hobbled the GA girls in the first half of their basketball season opener. But they regrouped.

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After slow start, GA girls win basketball opener


Early foul trouble and a poor shooting percentage hobbled the Germantown Academy girls in the first half of their basketball season opener last Friday night.

After the Patriots fell behind visiting non-league rival North Penn High School by six points in the second quarter, the Pats regrouped and were more on-point with both their shooting and their defensive movements. By halftime, GA had taken a 32-27 lead, and the hosts maintained their momentum until they'd secured a 65-45 victory.

Senior guard Izzy Casey put up a game-high 22 points for the victors, while junior Jessica Kolecki ran the point and scored 15 points.

Germantown had a somewhat of a height advantage against the North Penn Maidens, but it disappeared early in the game as two of the taller Patriots, senior Jessica Aponik and freshman Jo Owens, each picked up three fouls in short order. Like other players, they'd have to adjust to tighter restrictions on player contact being enforced by the officials this season.

With Casey attacking the hoop and junior Gabby Bowes adding a three-pointer, GA was still able to obtain a 16-11 advantage with 90 seconds left in the first quarter, but North Penn would score the last six points of the period, including a buzzer-beating lay-up by Caleigh Sperling.

Aponik's smaller twin sister, Jenna, contributed eight points in the second quarter, first scoring on a breakaway off a pass from Casey and then slipping inside to convert a couple of offensive rebounds.

However, most of this came after the Maidens went up 24-18 a few minutes into the period, forcing a GA time-out.

The Patriots worked their way back, with Kolecki and Casey drawing fouls and making free throws. At the end, a runner by senior Sam Wade put the hosts up 32-27 at the half. Unfortunately, Wade jammed several fingers on another play and would finish with just those two points.

Sperling had led the visitors in the first half with 12 points, but the Patriots would shut her out after halftime. Still, North Penn stayed close in the third round. In the middle of the quarter, the Maidens were only down 42-38. The offense dried up for both teams after that, with only a breakaway bucket and free throw by Kolecki added to the scoreboard to make it 45-38 for the start of the final stanza.

Kolecki, on a streak, also accounted for the first five points of the fourth quarter. Jessica Aponik had returned to the floor in the third period, and she would score all of her nine total points in the second half.

At the end of the game, GA reached its final 20-point margin of victory thanks to two free throws by sophomore Jennifer Fox and a score off a rebound by freshman Claire McKee. Jenna Aponik would finish with eight points, and Bowes with five.