Girls Basketball: Super 7, Jan. 9

 Photo by Paul Bogosian.

Junior guard Mollie Reynolds has the Fords soaring with 10 straight victories. (Photo by the great Paul Bogosian)

Make sure to pick up a copy of Friday’s edition of the Daily Times for the girls basketball notebook featuring a story on Marple Newtown senior Carley Hamilton.

Here is this week’s Super 7. Note that records are through Wednesday’s games.

1. Cardinal O’Hara (9-0)

The Lions returned home from Florida, where they dominated in the Rock Holiday Classic facing some of the nation’s best talent, including Louisville-bound Asia Durr, who, according to USA Today, is the No.-2 college recruit in the country. Back in Pa., the Lions defeated Hallahan to extend their season unbeaten streak to nine game. The schedule stiffens for all of the Catholic League teams, and the Lions are no exception. Next Tuesday they host the top team in the PIAA Class AAA, reigning state champion Neumann-Goretti (8-0). The Lions have passed every test so far, but Neumann-Goretti is undoubtedly their toughest.

Leading Scorer: Hannah Nihill, So. G., 15.7

2. Bonner-Prendergast (5-3)

The Pandas this week welcomed back two-time All-Delco Alyssa Monaghan, who was injured for the team’s first seven games. In her absence, senior guard Amber Ballinger and senior forward Shalina Miller held down the fort. The Pandas are built to win championships, and with the best player in the county back in the lineup, they’re about ready to take off.

Leading Scorer: Shalina Miller, Sr. C, 15.8 .

3. Episcopal Academy (8-1)

As I detail in my notebook this week, the Churchwomen have limited teams to a measly 30.1 points per game. They have reeled off seven straight wins, including a 34-30 decision over previously undefeated Allentown Central Catholic (a huge, huge win for a non-PIAA school), and are receiving solid production from sophomore forward Elodie Furey, senior guard Maria Kilcullen and junior guard Dylan Higgins. EA still has two dates against Germantown Academy on its schedule. The Churchwomen deserve way more recognition as a viable state power than they have received to this point.

Leading Scorer: Elodie Furey, So. F/C, 10.9 ppg.

4. Garnet Valley (9-1)

The Jags have recovered from an ugly loss to West Chester Rustin last Saturday with a pair of wins this week. They knocked off Strath Haven and Lower Merion in succession and seem poised to repeat in the Central League, which is as competitive as it’s been in years.

Leading Scorer: Maddie Ireland, Jr. G, 13.0 ppg.

5. Archbishop Carroll (5-4)

The Patriots have taken their lumps against stiff competition, as all but one of their losses have come against teams from outside the state, but  should be ready for the meet of their league schedule. Julia Gantz and Lexi Stover, both seniors, are the team’s backbone and most consistent scoring threats. Ann McKnight and Keara McNulty are savvy guards who distribute the ball and play lockdown defense. That’s always been the M.O. of a Chuck Creighton team — tremendous on-the-ball defense and 3-ball shooting. The Patriots, who  have drilled 70 3-pointers entering Thursday, might not get the same attention as a Neumann-Goretti or Cardinal O’Hara but don’t be surprised if they’re the last team standing in the Catholic League.

Leading Scorer: Julia Gantz, Sr. G, 11.4

6. Haverford High (10-1)

The Fords have reeled off 10 consecutive victories following a season-opening loss to Exeter H.S. Amanda Battista has stepped up and asserted her will in the low post, averaging 12 points over the last five games. Mollie Reynolds and Rosie O’Halloran continue to be one of the top one-two punches in the Central League, although neither is averaging double digits in scoring. Can the Fords consistently score in the 50s and 60s against the top teams in the Central (Garnet, Strath Haven, Marple, Radnor)?  They’ve hit the 50-point mark just once, which is probably a testament to the team’s great defense more than anything else, but something tells me it’ll take more than 50 to beat Garnet Valley in two weeks. Nevertheless, this is a very fun team to watch.

Leading Scorer: Mollie Reynolds, Jr. G, 9.6

7. Marple Newtown (8-3)

I know the Tigers had their six-game winning streak end at the hands of Ridley, which has played very well since Christmas, but the totality of MN’s accomplishments thus far outweight one blemish. I believe this is a different, better team than the one that lost by 18 points to Garnet Valley in the second week of the season.  The Tigers were able to beat Radnor and a previously undefeated Bishop Shanahan (in overtime), so they’ve had some very impressive wins. Of course it comes down to stopping senior guard Rylee Power and senior forward/center Carley Hamilton but the Tigers have more depth this year. Nicole Smythe has scored roughly five points per game, which doesn’t seem like much, but her two or three buckets are sometimes the difference between a win and a loss. Danielle Collins is a heady defender and Holly Nicolardi has been an important member off the bench.

 Honorable Mention

(Teams listed by alphabetical order)

Notre Dame (5-5): The Irish scored just 28 points in Tuesday’s loss to Episcopal. Junior guard Alex Kane averaged 13.8 ppg as of Thursday.

Penn Wood (5-5): The Patriots are a run-and-gun team, led by junior forward Dahnye Redd, who is second in Delco with 20.2 ppg. An exciting team, but point guard remains something of a mystery.

Radnor (8-2): Lauren Pacifico has totaled 14 3-pointers over her last three games. She’s averaged 17 points over that stretch.

Ridley (6-5): The Green Raiders have impressed since the holiday break with wins against Penn Wood and Marple Newtown. Guard Kristin Saraceni sored a season high 14 points in a loss to Merion Mercy last wee.

Strath Haven (9-2): The Panthers have lost two in a row (Penn Wood and Garnet Valley). Junior guard Katie Fisher and junior forward/center Rachel Vresilovic have carried the weight on offense.

Sun Valley (9-1): Sophomores Kate Lannon and Shannon Savage have the Vanguards off to a great start.


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