GA basketball rises in early competition

by Tom Utescher
Posted 12/20/23

The Germantown Academy girls played back-to-back basketball games on their home court in GA's Make-A-Wish Tournament.

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GA basketball rises in early competition


The Germantown Academy girls played back-to-back basketball games on their home court last Friday and Saturday, appearing in GA's own long-running Make-A-Wish Tournament, held annually in mid-December.

The well-known Make-A-Wish Foundation grants ‘wishes’ to children with life-threatening medical conditions. At GA, it now honors the memory of the school's longtime athletic director and boys' basketball coach, Jim Fenerty, who passed away in 2021.

In instead of a tournament bracket, the games are pre-scheduled, and one thing the Patriots might have wished for is more of a challenge presented by its two opponents. Germantown took control of both games in the first quarter, going on to defeat Delaware's Cape Henlopen High School, 75-37, on Friday, and then topping Harriton High School the following evening, 67-37.

On Sunday, in one of the ubiquitous "showcase" events, the Patriots defeated Pennsbury High School, 44-37, to reach a record of 7-1.

In the weekend tournament at GA, a positive aspect of the lopsided scores was that athletes all up and down the Patriots' roster saw a good deal of playing time.

At the very beginning of Friday's game things looked promising for Cape Henlopen, as the Vikings put in a pair of three-pointers and they got out to an 8-4 lead. After a trey from the left corner by GA junior point guard Jessica Kolecki, senior Jessica Aponik hit back-to-back lay-ups and the Patriots were off on a 19-0 run that spread the score to 23-8 with two minutes remaining in the first quarter.

It took quite a while to get through that opening period because, on many occasions, after stoppages, the game clock wouldn't restart. The frame finally ended with GA leading 33-15, and from there on the scoring console functioned properly. The visitors' fortunes didn't change, though, and they were looking at a 28-point deficit at halftime, 55-27.

Aponik, in high spirits before the game, scored all of her game-high 19 points in the first half.

Junior guard Gabby Bowes also did all her scoring before the intermission, ringing up 13 points. The pace of the offenses slowed in the second half, with GA outscoring its Delaware guest 20-10 over the last two quarters to win by 38 points.

The victors received a dozen points from senior Sam Wade and nine from her classmate Izzy Casey. Earlier in the week, Casey decided to continue her career at her father's alma mater, Bucknell University.

Completing Germantown's total were seven points from Kolecki, five from Jo Owens and four from fellow freshman Claire McKee. Finally, there were two points apiece from senior Jenna Aponik (Jessica's sister), and sophomores Jennifer Fox and Anna Weber.

On Saturday, Harriton took the court at GA with a starting line-up that included sophomore guard Addi Levensten, who attended GA last year and played varsity basketball as a freshman. In the first quarter, Casey scored seven points and Kolcecki and Wade each had six as the Patriots stole the ball repeatedly and scored in transition.

GA went up 17-2 over the first six minutes of the game and ended the quarter with a 19-5 lead. In the second period, the Rams put on their best effort of the night, supplementing jumpers with the occasional inside bucket. They outpointed GA 16-15 in the quarter, but the Patriots were still up 34-21 at halftime, and they had six different players score during a 21-8 third quarter that quashed all hopes of a Harriton comeback.

Casey, with a game-high 20 points, was joined in double figures by Wade, with 14, and Kolecki, with 10, while Jessica Aponik finished with six. Four points apiece came from Jenna Aponik, McKee, and Owens, Bowes scored three, and Fox scored two.

Harriton, which left with an overall record of 4-4, received nine points from Chelsea Poli, seven from Levensten, and six from Amaria Brownlee.