SCH basketball makes late push to edge GFS girls

by Tom Utescher
Posted 12/13/23

A fourth-quarter surge by the Blue Devils resulted in a 39-35 victory for the home team.

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SCH basketball makes late push to edge GFS girls


Although host Springside Chestnut Hill Academy entered last Tuesday's non-league basketball bout with a record of 0-1 and visiting Germantown Friends School was 3-0, a very close contest resulted as the Blue Devils and Tigers dueled in SCH's Kingsley Gymnasium.

GFS led for much of the game, but a fourth-quarter surge by the Devils resulted in a 39-35 victory for the home team.

In the early phase of the contest, Germantown Friends' quick feet and hands overcame SCH's height advantage, partly because the Blue Devils were not using their bodies to box out rival rebounders and weren't converting on many of their inside scoring opportunities.

A lay-up by SCH sophomore Zoe Thompson started the game, but that was all the scoring the Devils would do in the first quarter as the Tigers took a 9-2 lead.

Eighth-grade guard/forward Taylor Linton, already a second-year varsity player for Germantown Friends, hit two jumpers in the opening period and would finish the first half with 10 points. In the second quarter, SCH got two more field goals from Thompson and only trailed 11-10 in the middle of the period, but sophomore Sarah Goldberg's three-pointer from near the top of the key revived the Tigers' offense, and they led 18-12 at halftime.

Over the first three minutes of the third quarter, a score off a rebound by Frazier, a three-pointer from the left wing by sophomore Florence Ajunwa, and a basket from the paint by eighth-grade forward Taylor Williams moved SCH into the lead for the first time, 19-18.

The visitors regained the advantage as junior Alayah Campbell scored back-to-back baskets on the inside, and later eighth-grader Jojo Lintulahti drove for two field goals of her own. During this stretch Springside received a lone lay-up by Frazier, and the hosts were behind, 26-21, at the three-quarter mark.

Almost all of the SCH offense came from the paint as the Blue Devils made a 12-3 run over the first six minutes of the fourth period. Thompson started it by cashing in on a pair of free throws, Frazier scored twice off of rebounds, and Williams netted three baskets on the inside.

The Tigers called time-out, trailing 33-29 with 2:21 left to play. When play resumed, Campbell drew a fifth personal foul from the Devils' Williams, and made both of her free throws. Lintulahti made one of two fouls shots for the visitors, then the lead went back to three points as Thompson drove to the hoop in transition to make it 35-32 with a little over a minute remaining.

Germantown missed a three-point attempt, then an SCH lay-up wouldn't drop. The Tigers got the rebound, but then turned the ball over out-of bounds on the sideline. A single free throw made by Frazier had the hosts ahead 36-32 with half-a-minute to go.

Kendall Schnee, a freshman who had made several appearances coming off the SCH bench, blocked a shot by the Tigers' Linton. In the last 14 seconds, Linton and freshman Kalyn Freund of SCH each hooped three free throws, keeping the margin at four points at the final horn, 39-35.

In the losing cause, Linton scored a game-high 14 points, while her teammate Campbell and Springside's Frazier each had 11. The winners got 10 points from Thompson and eight from Williams, with Freund and Schnee adding three and two points, respectively. Goldberg and Lintulahti each finished with five points for the Tigers.