Three-way tie for Inter-Ac title; season ends for SCH and Mount

by Tom Utescher
Posted 2/21/24

Germantown Academy gave up 62 points to fellow championship contender Penn Charter, but the GA Patriots scored 63 to win the game.

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Three-way tie for Inter-Ac title; season ends for SCH and Mount


In an Inter-Ac League girls' basketball game on Feb. 9, Germantown Academy gave up 62 points to fellow championship contender Penn Charter, but the GA Patriots scored 63 to win the game.

Facing another top rival three days later, the Pats yielded 60 points to the Academy of Notre Dame and didn't come close to winning. That's because the visitors from GA only scored 39 points themselves.

A victory would have given Germantown sole possession of the 2024 league title, but instead there was a three-way tie for the championship, as GA, Penn Charter and Notre Dame each split with the other two contenders and wound up with a 10-2 mark in the Inter-Ac. It demonstrated the parity on the top tier of the league; none of the top three teams was able to beat the other two twice in their home/away series.

There was no mystery about last Monday's outcome at Notre Dame. You can't expect to win against a strong rival in the league when you score less than 40 points. In two of the quarters, the second and the fourth, the Patriots scored a combined total of 10 points.

A number of the GA basketball players are members of the school's soccer team in the fall, and should've known better than to handle the basketball carelessly around Notre Dame's sixth man, junior Sophie Hall.

Hall, a talented goalie who's made a verbal commitment to play soccer at the University of Delaware, can latch onto a ball like a pit bull.

That goes for basketballs as well as soccer balls, and in last week's game Hall snatched the rock from the Patriots time and time again. The Pas have had some problems passing the ball in general (often underestimating the abilities of the opposing defense), and in this contest it really came back to bite them.

Irish freshmen Riley Davis (a guard) and Grace Nasr (a center) scored 17 and 15 points, respectively. Nasr became a major factor in Notre Dame's success after being shut out in the first game against Germantown Academy. Hall contributed 11 points, and veteran Lizzie Halligan, a senior who'll play for the University of Scranton, scored nine points.

Two early three-pointers by GA senior Jessica Aponik (a Kutztown University signee) gave the Patriots a 6-4 lead, but later in the first quarter the Irish pushed ahead 14-10. A lay-up by senior Same Wade got the Patriots back within two points, and at the start of the second quarter junior Jessica Kolecki made two free throws for a 14-all tie.

Things went downhill for the visitors after that. AND's Nasr sandwiched two scores from the paint and a free throw around a basket off a rebound by Hall, and with this 7-0 run the Irish took the lead for good. GA only managed to score two points for the rest of the half and trailed 28-16 at the intermission.

The Patriots were only outscored 19-17 in the third quarter, but they started out  the period by falling behind 34-18 over the first two-and-a-half minutes. From a tally of 47-33 at the three-quarter mark of the game, Notre Dame continued to pull away in a 13-6 final stanza.

Senior Izzy Casey (Bucknell University) led the Germantown Academy offense, logging 12 of her 14 points after halftime, and she was followed in the scoring column by Aponik, with eight points, and Kolecki, with six.

Going forward into the Pa. Independent Schools Tournament, GA was seeded third, Penn Charter fourth, and Notre Dame fifth.

In a subsidiary Indy Schools tournament called the Commonwealth Cup, third-seeded Springside Chestnut Hill ended its season with a 68-55 loss on the road to the second seed, Agnes Irwin. Hobbled by injury, the Blue Devils finished with a record of 1-11 in the Inter-Ac league (splitting their series with Baldwin School) and 7-16 overall.

Also wrapping up the 2023-24 season with a 7-16 overall mark was Mount St. Joseph Academy, which ended its season in the Catholic Academies tournament with a 51-46 loss to Villa Maria Academy.