Shorthanded SCH basketball loses to Agnes Irwin

by Tom Utescher
Posted 1/31/24

While other Inter-Ac basketball teams were playing with a league championship in mind, SCH and Agnes Irwin had other priorities.

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Shorthanded SCH basketball loses to Agnes Irwin


While other Inter-Ac basketball teams were playing with a league championship in mind last week, host Springside Chestnut Hill Academy and visiting Agnes Irwin School were jockeying for position a little farther down in the standings.

Earlier in January, the Irwin Owls had edged out the SCH Blue Devils, 47-43, and had beaten struggling Baldwin School, 68-34. SCH would have a chance to avenge that loss on its home court last week, but in the meantime, the Devils had suffered a key injury. Zoe Thompson, a 5'10" guard/forward who'd been the only freshman starter for the team last winter, tore a hamstring in practice.

The Devils kept pace with the Owls most of the way, and even held a slim lead late in the third quarter, but Irwin took a 52-48 advantage into the fourth period and came away with a 77-64 victory.

For Springside (0-5, 5-9), both games in its season series with Baldwin still lay ahead, while Irwin had its second game against the Bears coming up. The Blue Devils had given fourth-place Episcopal Academy a pretty good run in their first meeting (falling 55-48), while the Owls (3-3, 7-8) had lost to EA 50-41 the first time around.

Last week SCH got out to a 6-0 lead on Irwin thanks to a baseline jumper by senior Kate Jaconetti, a basket from the paint by eighth-grade forward Taylor Williams, and a putback by sophomore Florence Ajunwa. The Owls caught up at 6-6 and the contest was tied again at 10-10 before Irwin put together a 6-0 run.

Late in the opening quarter, the visitors led 20-12, then two free throws by Williams and a score off a rebound by six-foot senior Zahkiyyah Frazier tightened the score to 20-16. Frazier had scored two other baskets in the same fashion earlier in the quarter, and her steady offensive production throughout the game netted her a team-high 24 points.

Agnes Irwin's freshman point guard, Simone Harvey, posted 11 points in the opening quarter. She scored by running the floor, and she would also make seven three-point field goals as part of her game-high 35-point showing.

Five different players would put in three-pointers for the Owls throughout the afternoon. Still, the visitors would only lead 34-32 at halftime. Frazier added 10 more points to her stat sheet in the second quarter, and freshman Kendall Schnee came off the bench to hit a pair of jump shots.

In the third frame SCH got early three-pointers from Ajunwa and fellow sophomore Pia Swamy, while Jaconetti bagged some mid-range jumpers and Frazier put in a pair of lay-ups. The Blue Devils were leading, 48-46, when time out was called with 3:28 to go in the third round.

Irwin moved back ahead when Harvey scored Irwin's sixth three-point field goal of the third quarter. The Owls entered the fourth period with a 52-48 advantage.

Springside would never retake the lead in the last eight minutes, even though Ajunwa scored 10 of her 15 total points in that period. The Blue Devils stayed within five or six points for a while, but with Harvey still nailing three-pointers, the Owls went up by double digits, 72-60, with two minutes remaining.

In addition to the contributions of Frazier and Ajunwa, SCH marked down eight points apiece for Jaconetti and Williams and five for Swamy. Irwin supported Harvey with 15 points from Gabrielle Seibert and nine from Mairyn Dwyer.