For a number of years, girls' basketball teams in the area could have been forgiven for penciling in a "W" where Academy of the New Church appeared on the schedule. No more.
For a number of years, girls' basketball teams in the area could have been forgiven for penciling in a "W" where Academy of the New Church appeared on the schedule.
The Bryn Athyn ballclub was usually not a challenging opponent, but things appear to be changing, as Springside Chestnut Hill Academy found out last Friday. The visiting ANC Lions leapt to a 12-0 lead over the Blue Devils, and the SCH girls never caught up.
From a 14-point halftime deficit, the Blue Devils narrowed the gap to seven late in the third quarter, but the visitors pulled away again to win 53-32. The outcome gave SCH a record of 2-3, while ANC balanced its ledger at 3-3.
It was the Blue Devils' fifth game under new head coach Bartley Jeannoute, who has coached at Abington Friends School and the Philadelphia School. He is not a stranger to SCH, having coached the boys' JV team at the school from 2014-16.
Last Friday ANC's Teá Richards popped in a pair of three-pointers in short order, then a successful drive had the visitors up 8-0 with barely 90 seconds elapsed. Next, four-for-six free throw shooting had New Church ahead 12-0 before junior center Zahkiyyah Frazier put in the rebound of her own shot to get Springside on the scoreboard.
ANC had trouble stopping Frazier in the paint (she led SCH with 15 points), but the Blue Devils probably could've gotten more production by these means than they actually did. Most of the game, the hosts had little in the way of outside shooting to draw out the ANC defenders.
After the visitors took a 16-6 advantage out of the opening quarter, another trey by Richards was matched by SCH senior Faith Scally in the second, when Frazier hit two lay-ups and a free throw. However, transition baskets by the Lions allowed them to enjoy a 14-point halftime lead, 29-15.
The count seesawed to 31-17 early in the third quarter, then SCH had its best stretch of offense in the game, starting with a 15-foor jumper from the left wing by junior Katelyn Jaconetti. ANC got one point back from the foul line, then Scally stuck a three-pointer from the left corner. Senior Tatyana Hall made a trey from the top of the key, and with two minutes left in the period the Blue Devils had their deficit down to seven points, 32-25.
The rally soon fizzled, as SCH put the Lions' Xola Wade on the foul line twice to shoot four-for-four, and Wade followed this with a lay-up in transition. Round three concluded with a "three" and another transition lay-up for the visitors to make it 40-28, and now ANC's lead was back up in double digits for good.
The Lions' Wade finished with the game high of 16 points, one more than the Blue Devils' Frazier. Scally had six points and Jaconetti had five for the home team, while New Church had two more players in double figures, Richards (14) and Oniya Osborne (13).