PC basketball looks to go undefeated in Inter-Ac play

by Tom Utescher
Posted 2/9/23

Last Tuesday at Penn Charter, the Quaker girls took on what was very likely the last team that could prevent them from making an undefeated run through the Inter-Ac League.

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PC basketball looks to go undefeated in Inter-Ac play


Last Tuesday at Penn Charter, the Quaker girls took on what was very likely the last team that could prevent them from making an undefeated run through the Inter-Ac League.

In the first round of league games, it was the Academy of Notre Dame which played PC the closest, falling 51-43 to the Quakers in early January. A year ago, Penn Charter won the Inter-Ac championship with its lone league loss coming against Germantown Academy. GA ended up tying Notre Dame for second place.

This season PC prevailed twice over the Patriots by margins of 15 and 18 points. Last week in their rematch with Penn Charter, the Irish of Notre Dame fared worse than they did the first time around, losing by 18 points instead of eight with a final tally of 63-45.

It was Notre Dame's third league loss while Penn Charter, still unbeaten, could no longer incur any more than two defeats. On Friday, the Irish would knock off Germantown Academy to give the Patriots their third Inter-Ac defeat, certifying the Quakers as 2023 league champions.

In Tuesday's game, PC senior guard Aleah Snead scored a dozen of her game-high 21 points during the first half, when the Quakers expanded upon a 16-7 advantage at the end of the first quarter to lead 31-18 at the break. Penn Charter's record rose to 10-0 in the Inter-Ac and 14-9 overall, while Notre Dame left School House Lane at 13-10, 7-3). The only league games left for the Quakers (both this week) pit them against two teams in the lower half of the Inter-Ac standings, Agnes Irwin and Baldwin.

Snead, fellow senior Bella Toomey, sophomore Kaylinn Bethea and eighth-grader Ryan Carter provided PC's early points last Tuesday as the Quakers ran the floor and scored in transition. A lay-up by Katie Halligan and a three-pointer by Chloe Knox helped Notre Dame stay close up to 6-5, then Charter outscored the visitors 10-2 in the remainder of the first quarter as senior Gracie Shoup also made her way into the scoring column.

Bethea, Snead, and Toomey continued to power the Penn Charter offense and with about three-and-a-half minutes remaining in the first half the Quakers were up 27-8. Looking back to PC's slim early lead at 6-5, the hosts had gone on a 21-3 run overlapping the first and second quarters.

The Irish perked up on offense near the end of the half, with a three-pointer by Lizzie Halligan and a transition lay-up by her sister Katie accounting for the final five points. Still, the visitors were down by 13 points at the break.

In gaining separation from the Irish, the Quakers had done most of the heavy lifting during the first two quarters. It was a case of maintaining the advantage the rest of the way.

After the third quarter ended at 46-32 and the fourth began with a Snead lay-up, Notre Dame got a lay-up from Lizzie Halligan and a three-pointer from Annie Greek to pull within 11 points of the leaders. Another Snead lay-up then started a 6-1 counterattack by Penn Charter that included two free throws and a score off a steal by Bethea. The margin was back up to 18 at the final horn.

Bethea came away with 15 points, and Toomey and Carter each had 11 while Shoup added five. Katie and Lizzie Halligan fueled Notre Dame with 12 and 11 points, respectively, and Greek finished with nine.


Playing at home again on Friday, Penn Charter recorded a big non-league victory over Cardinal O'Hara High School, winning 53-50 in double overtime after the teams were tied at 42-all at the end of regulation.

In their last game against a Philadelphia Catholic League power, less than two weeks earlier, the Quakers had lost to Lansdale Catholic by a score of 61-33. It was a considerable achievement for Penn Charter to step up to defeat an O'Hara team that had topped LC, 53-51.

Snead scored 13 points in the victory, Carter had 12, and Bethea and Toomey accounted for 10 points apiece. Carter, Snead, and Toomey each had six rebounds.

Speaking of Friday's contest, Penn Charter head coach Joe Maguire said, "Defensively we were a lot better than we were against Lansdale Catholic, and you've also got to give Lansdale credit for making a bunch of shots against us in that game.

"Offensively," he continued, "against Lansdale Catholic we tried to do a little too much one-on-one, and with O'Hara we did a better job sharing the ball, running our offense, and getting assists."

In both contests there was no shot clock, something which Penn Charter is accustomed to from playing in the Inter-Ac and in Pa. Independent Schools tournament games.

Maguire noted, "It's nice, going into the home stretch of the season, to be able to play a good competitive team and get a win."