by Tom Utescher
PHOTO CAPTION - GFS sophomore Caroline Myran shoots the ball over Germantown High’s Rameira Tucker during last weekend’s tournament. (Photo by Tom Utescher)
Host Germantown Friends School and the girls’ basketball team from nearby Penn Charter both won on the second day of last weekend’s Germantown Community Tournament.
GFS suffered a close loss in the tourney opener on Friday, but the Tigers rebounded the next afternoon, winning the third-place game over Bodine High School for International Affairs, 49-17. PC rolled through its semifinal contest and then gave another convincing performance in the championship game on Saturday, knocking off Germantown High, 52-21.
In the first of Friday’s semifinal games (which were the 2011-2012 season openers for all four teams), Charter took charge quickly during a 14-0 first quarter and cruised to a 58-14 victory. Seniors Marykate O’Brien and Dianna Thomas-Palmer paced the Quakers with 16 and 12 points, respectively, and next in the scoring stats were Hannah Fox, with eight points, and fellow eighth-grader Ayanna Matthews, with seven.
Bodine’s Lady Ambassadors received most of their offense from Teneka Garvin, who chalked up 10 points.
The second semifinal was more competitive, with Germantown High pulling out a 40-36 win over the host Tigers. Rameira Tucker of the Lady Bears led all scorers with 20 points, two more than junior Katherine Walden registered for Germantown Friends. Imani Ross, a freshman guard, added nine points for GFS.
“We have to play as a team,” said Tigers head coach James Jordan. “We have a young group, and we don’t have that marquee player that we can go to when the game gets tight.”
Walden took her ACT exams the following day, missing much of the third-place game against Bodine. In this contest the Tigers didn’t need her, scoring the first seven points of the affair and going on to win by more than 30.
Sophomore forwards Caroline Myran and Isabel Ballaster provided the early offense for GFS, but five minutes in, Bodine was still in contention with the count at 8-4. Forcing numerous turnovers from the Ambassadors, the Tigers spread the score to 15-4 by the end of the opening period, then bagged two more field goals at the start of the second round. Hitting both lay-ups and medium-range jumpers, Myran accumulated 11 points by halftime, when the hosts were ahead, 28-12.
The scoring pace slowed during an 8-3 third quarter, then Walden arrived and netted all of her 10 points for the day on five consecutive field goals. Ross also finished with 10 points, and Myran came away with a game-high 15.
Ballaster ended up with five points and senior Alex Clarke with four, with two points added by junior point guard Sophie Mercuris. Sophomore forward Maddie Andrews completed the scoring for the winners, coming off the bench for three points. Both Andrews and Myran are goalies during the fall season, Andrews for the GFS field hockey team, and Myran for the soccer squad.
Bodine received seven points from Garvin in the tourney consolation game, and Sherrie Rucker and Crystal Carrasquill contributed four points apiece for the Ambassadors.
“I’m encouraging the girls to believe in themselves and in their teammates, and they did that today,” Coach Jordan commented. “These girls don’t play summer basketball, so everything they learn they have to learn when our school season starts. They’ve picked up a lot in a short time.”
In the tourney championship game, Penn Charter took a 16-0 lead before the Germantown Bears got on the board with a free throw from Tucker. The opening quarter concluded with a tally of 24-1. The Quakers’ Thomas-Palmer and fellow senior Danielle Sienko combined for 10 points in the paint while O’Brien, Fox, and Matthews each nailed a three-pointer.
As the second stanza got underway, Germantown High recorded its first field goal, a jumper from the right wing by Deona Durant. PC began the period with reserve players on the floor and Germantown made some headway, trimming a few points off its deficit for a 33-12 halftime score.
The Quakers gained ground in each of the last two quarters and Germantown’s offense suffered from the loss of the hard-driving Tucker, who had to leave the game with her fifth personal foul.
At the end the stats showed 10 points apiece for Thomas-Palmer, who was named MVP of the weekend event, and for O’Brien, an All-Tournament Team selection. Sienko posted a game-high 11 points, with Matthews adding nine points and Fox seven. Germantown received seven points from Tucker (another all-tourney pick) and five from Ashley Hargreaves.
The other members of the All-Tournament team were Walden of GFS and Garvin of Bodine.