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  December 25, 2008 Issue                                       

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Mount gets by Upper Dublin to stay undefeated
by TOM UTESCHER

Mount St. Joseph’s Steph Smith, a sophomore forward, was named MVP of the game in the Magic’s win at the Quaker City tourney last Sunday.  (Photo by Tom Utescher)

Appearing for the second year in a row in the Quaker City Girls Basketball Tournament at Philadelphia University, Mount St. Joseph Academy didn’t bring its best performance to the big show last Sunday, but the Magic fought off a solid Upper Dublin High School team, claiming a 51-40 win and going into the holiday break at 7-0.

Sophomore forward Steph Smith scored 13 points and pulled nine rebounds in a game MVP performance, while senior Elle Hagedorn posted 18 points, four rebounds and four steals. Upper Dublin junior guard Kristen Fuery, who joined the Fort Washington squad after transferring from Springside School last year, led the Cardinals with 16 points, all after halftime.

The Magic seemed to lack focus at some points during the game, missing a number of relatively routine shots.

“We took care of business,” said Magic coach John Miller. “We’ve been playing real good, and I thought we played well today but we didn’t play real good. We just didn’t really go strong and finish today for whatever reason.”

The Magic were coming off of a 52-14 romp over Sacred Heart that raised their record in the Athletic Association of Catholic Academies to 3-0. In that Thursday road game, the Mount enjoyed a 35-7 advantage by halftime. Mary Jo Horgan and Smith wound up with 11 and 10 points respectively, and were supported by Hagedorn (nine points), Tara Barr (eight), Shannon Bridges (five), Jen Sabia (four), and Meg Rothwell. Bridget Higgins, a freshman from St. Philip Neri in Lafayette Hill, made her first varsity appearance and scored two points for the Magic.

Over the first two quarters of Sunday’s game the Magic received eight points from Hagedorn and seven from Smith, while the Cardinals got seven apiece from guard Becca Courter and forward Danielle Derr. Supplemental scoring from Sabia, Horgan and Barr made the difference for the Magic as they led 21-14 at the break.

Upper Dublin’s Fuery scored a lone jumper early in the third round, but with almost six minutes gone in the period the Mount was up 30-22. The former Springsider would fire 14 points, including four three-point buckets, over the final 10 minutes of the contest.

“Maybe we got tired a little bit – I don’t know – but we didn’t stay as up-on-her in the second half as we did in the first half,” Miller said. “If you give her an opening, I mean, she’s putting it up, and she’s got great accuracy and she can shoot from great distance.”

MSJ’s Bridges hit a pair of lay-ups in the middle of the third round, but as the game crossed over from the third to the fourth quarter, Upper Dublin had the gap down to four points three times. After that, a lay-up by Derr got the Cards within two at 40-38 with 4:41 left to play.

The Mount avoided slipping into a tie. Smith made the first of two free throws and when she missed the second Hagedorn scored a follow-up lay-up. A bit later, the Cardinals were still only four points behind (44-40) when they called time out with three minutes to go. When play resumed they turned the ball over with a walk and then committed their seventh team foul of the half. Upper Dublin didn’t score again as the Magic closed out the game by making seven of eight free throws. Sabia finished up with nine points and four steals for the winners.