GA basketball celebrates seniors, overcomes SCH

by Tom Utescher
Posted 2/24/21

Prior to the extended stretch of snow last week, the girls of Germantown Academy and Springside Chestnut Hill Academy were able to gather for an Inter-Ac League contest. For host GA, it was also an …

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GA basketball celebrates seniors, overcomes SCH

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Prior to the extended stretch of snow last week, the girls of Germantown Academy and Springside Chestnut Hill Academy were able to gather for an Inter-Ac League contest. For host GA, it was also an occasion to hold its Senior Day ceremony, which parents of the Class of 2021 were permitted to attend.

Although they came into the contest with a 2-2 record, the Patriots still proved too powerful for the SCH Blue Devils. There was not much drama after the opening quarter ended with a 19-2 tally, and Germantown went on to win, 59-20. The Blue Devils had opened their season with a victory at Agnes Irwin School, then lost their next four contests.

The three GA varsity players who are seniors are Charlotte DiLello, Jessica Moore, and Elise Smigiel.

DiLello is a three-sport athlete at GA, playing field hockey and softball in the fall and spring seasons. She will continue on to Ursinus College, where her sister Sarah is a freshman and a member of the basketball and softball teams.

Moore, a six-foot guard, arrived at GA as a freshman after already making the varsity team at Germantown Friends as an eighth-grader. She is still considering her college options. Her older brother, Julian, played at GA and then at Penn State.

Smigiel played basketball when she attended Norwood Fontbonne Academy, but she was a swimmer during the winter season in high school up until this year. She has signed to play lacrosse at Marquette University, and her sister, Lucia, is a freshman in the basketball program at GA.

Among the starters for Springside last Wednesday was shooting guard Ava Chavez, already in her third varsity season as a sophomore. She was joined by two classmates who also play guard, Tatyana Hall and Julia Thomson. Also among the first five for SCH were junior guard/forward Maya McDermott (a soccer standout for SCH, like Thomson), and six-foot freshman post player Zahkiyyah Frazier, a new student at Springside Chestnut Hill.

GA's DiLello scored off of a rebound to put the first points on the board half-a-minute into the action. Four other Patriots found the hoop as they motored off to a 17-0 advantage, scoring from the paint except for a three-pointer by freshman Jess Aponik.

Chavez drove the lane to record the visitors' first points with a little over a minute left in the first quarter. GA's sophomore center, Kendall Bennett, scored six points in the opening frame.

In the second round, the Blue Devils scored on a drive by junior Caroline Chiliberti and a "three" by Chavez, but GA still expanded its lead until the scoreboard paused at halftime with a tally of 36-7.

After the Patriots added 10 more points to their lead in the third quarter, things leveled off in the fourth frame, which was an 8-8 draw. The Blue Devils, to their credit, continued to play hard, while GA was able to give its reserves a good deal of time on the court.

Bennett had a double-double (14 points, 11 rebounds) and Moore scored 11 points for the winners. Smigiel (five points) and sophomore forward Josie Munson (eight points) each collected nine rebounds. Freshman Sam Wade rang up nine points and DiLello scored six, while Aponik and fellow freshman Isabella Casey each recorded three points.

SCH's points came from Chavez (10), Chiliberti (eight), and Hall (two).

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