The girls' basketball team from St. Philip Neri School in Lafayette Hill always seems to be a force to be reckoned with at Norwood Fontbonne Academy's long-running Snowball Tournament.
The girls' basketball team from St. Philip Neri School in Lafayette Hill always seems to be a force to be reckoned with at Norwood Fontbonne Academy's long-running Snowball Tournament. It was no different at the 49th edition of the tourney, which ran from Thursday through Sunday last week.
Dominating all of its opponents, St. Philip repeated as champion after defeating Blue Bell's St. Helena School, 51-18, in the tournament finals on Sunday morning. The Saints were particularly motivated for this contest, since the St. Helena Tigers had defeated them in CYO regional play earlier in the month.
Norwood's own team opened up with a victory, but then ended their tournament run on Saturday when they came up against St. Philip's.
The day before, the NFA squad faced Chestnut Hill neighbor Our Mother of Consolation School (OMC). A free throw by Nina Meierdiercks got Norwood on the board first, and a little later Charli Schoen shot the first field goal for the Bears.
They took a 10-0 lead and were up 19-3 at the half. After not scoring in the third quarter, OMC generated some offense in the fourth period and got into double digits with a late free throw.
Norwood won it, 31-10, receiving nine points from Neely Lesovitz and seven from Jill Gordon. OMC was powered by five points from Silvia Cosgrove and four from Leilani Wheeler.
Saturday's tournament action got underway with a girls' game involving Germantown Friends School and Roxborough's Green Woods Charter School. GFS quickly took charge and rolled to a 47-13 victory. Johanna Lintulahti scored nine points for the victors, and Souvanhny Morales-Ton paced Green Woods with seven points.
Next, St. Philip's romped to a 26-5 lead over Norwood in the opening quarter and went on to win, 59-14. Jatalia Miros registered a game-high 15 points for the Saints, while the Bears received six points from Shea Flaherty.
In the early afternoon on Saturday, a consolation game was played between OMC and Green Woods, and here 18 points from Amelia Gallagher helped power OMC to a 37-22 win. Green Woods received eight points from Shae-Leigh Thomas.
St. Helena had been given a bye into the semifinal round, and now they would play GFS for a spot in the finals against St. Philip's. Germantown Friends led at halftime and was still up a point at the three-quarter mark (21-20). In the fourth period St. Helena's (nicknamed Tigers just like GFS) dialed up its defense and took charge of the game with an 11-2 performance that netted them a 31-23 victory.
Taylor Linton posted a game-high 17 points for GFS, while Katelyn Thompson led a balanced St. Helena offense with 11 points.
In the Sunday morning championship game, St. Philip's and St. Helena were facing each other for the third time this winter. The Tigers had avenged a regular-season loss to the Saints by beating them in the CYO playoffs. Each team was missing two players for the third meeting last Sunday.
In the middle of the first quarter the Saints held a slim 9-8 advantage, but then their transition offense began to gain traction. Creating turnovers, they shutout the St. Helena offense the rest of the quarter, while six points from Chloe McCarthy and four from Mia DiBenedetto helped spread the score to 17-8. In the second period the Saints' Caitlin Cavaliaro bagged a three-pointer, and later she scored in transition for the last points of the first half, making it 31-10 at the break.
The Saints simply maintained their advantage the rest of the way until the buzzer froze the scoreboard at 51-18.
In the losing cause, St. Helena recorded seven points for Thompson, four for Ava-Lauren Fegley, three for Brenna Tronoski, and two points each for Bridget Connor and Meghan Shields.
McCarthy logged a game-high 14 points for the Saints, who also got 11 points apiece from DiBenedetto and Caitlin Cavallaro, four each from Miros and Delaney O'Brien, three from Katie Shoup, and two apiece from Sophia Nagle and Jacque Spinelli.
Once again, the St. Philip's girls were able to pose for photos with the Snowball Tournament championship trophy.