Defending champs open season with win at Germantown

by Tom Utescher
Posted 12/23/22

In the Inter-Ac League opener for both teams, defending champ Penn Charter started the 2022-23 campaign with a 55-37 victory at Germantown Academy last Tuesday.

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Defending champs open season with win at Germantown


In the Inter-Ac League opener for both teams, defending champ Penn Charter started the 2022-23 campaign with a 55-37 victory at Germantown Academy last Tuesday afternoon.

The visiting Quakers got out to an 8-0 lead and were up by a dozen points at the end of the first quarter. The Patriots got back within five points in the middle of the second period, but PC pulled away again to a 34-21 halftime lead and kept the margin in double figures the rest of the way.

Penn Charter, which has lost to two out-of-state opponents, came away with a 2-2 record, while Germantown also ended up at the .500 mark, at 3-3.

Penn Charter senior guard Aleah Snead, who had rung up 26 points in a big victory over Friends Central a week earlier, scored 13 of her 15 total points at GA during the first half. The high scorer was her senior classmate, six-foot forward Bella Toomey, who piled up 24 points by scoring in transition and also with several strikes from the three-point line.

"It was her best game of the year so far," remarked Quakers head coach Joe Maguire, who noted that the team works on its transition offense every day in practice. "That's always our goal, to get an easy shot."

Toomey ran the open floor ahead of the Patriots to score three of PC's first six field goals in Tuesday's tilt, displaying impressive control with her jump stops before releasing her shots.

"There aren't as many people Bella's size who are as fast as she is," Maguire said. "She'll probably play more on the wing in college [at Fairleigh Dickinson University], but at this level her size combined with her speed is her best asset."

Of course, Charter has plenty of speed at the guard spots, with Snead, sophomore Kaylinn Bethea, and eighth-grader Ryan Carter.

"They're all so fast to the ball," noted their coach.

On Tuesday the Patriots were led by junior guard Izzy Casey with 13 points. She hit some medium-range jump shots in the first half, then scored on lay-ups and free throws later in the game.

Although the season was still young, the two teams had already faced a common opponent. At one of the She Got Game showcases, Baltimore's St, Frances Academy defeated Penn Charter, 59-56, and beat GA, 67-38. Last Tuesday, the odds for GA appeared to grow longer just before the game with Penn Charter, as junior starter Jessica Aponik injured an ankle in warm-ups and was unable to play for the Patriots.

The previous weekend, the Penn Charter squad had undertaken a road trip and suffered a narrow loss (37-35) to Winston-Salem (N.C.) Christian School at a tournament in Virginia.

Snead was not able to make that journey, but on Tuesday she got the scoreboard rolling by quickly converting a steal into a lay-up. Two buckets by Toomey and one by Bethea had the visitors up 8-0 before GA senior post player Kendall Bennett got the Patriots on the board with a free throw almost two minutes into the game.

Early in the second quarter, the teams traded baskets to raise the score to 25-13, then the Patriots went on an 8-1 run that began with a score off a rebound by junior guard Sam Wade. Sophomore guard Jessica Kolecki scored in transition and put in a pair of free throws. PC's Snead got one point back from the foul line, but then Wade scored again to close up the score to 26-21 with three-and-a-half minutes left in the half.

Just after Snead scored the Quakers' first field goal in five minutes, PC called time-out with GA still just a few baskets behind.

"We knew that they weren't going to quit and that they'd go on a run," Coach Maguire said. "We weren't getting back on defense, and we wanted them to have to score against our defense. I think we got a little winded, and we weren't getting back in transition the way we needed to. They did a good job taking advantage of that and getting some easy shots themselves."

The visitors closed out the half with field goals by Snead, Toomey and Carter for a 34-21 advantage at the intermission, and the third quarter began with a baseline shot by senior Gracie Shoup that created a 15-point spread. The Quakers led by 17 at the three-quarter mark (48-31), then eked out a 7-6 advantage in a low-scoring fourth round as both teams sent younger players out onto the court.

For the winners, the scoring of Toomey and Snead was supplemented by Bethea, with eight points, Carter, with four, and Shoup and junior Aditi Foster, with two points apiece.

On GA's stat sheet Casey was followed by Wade (eight points), Kolecki (seven), Bennett (six), and sophomores Gabby Bowes (two) and CeeJay Thomas (one).