Womhoops Guru

Mel Greenberg covered college and professional women’s basketball for the Philadelphia Inquirer, where he worked for 40 plus years. Greenberg pioneered national coverage of the game, including the original Top 25 women's college poll. His knowledge has earned him nicknames such as "The Guru" and "The Godfather," as well as induction into the Women's Basketball Hall of Fame in 2007.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Guru Report: Philly/Suburban Summer League Season Opens

(Guru’s note: Julia Harmon makes her debut in a post above this one with a feature off of Tuesday night’s WNBA game in Newark, N.J., between the host Liberty and Atlanta Dream.)

By Mel Greenberg

The Philadelphia/Suburban women’s summer league opens its season Thursday night at the Kelly Bolish Gym, home of the AAU Renegades in Hatboro, Pa., near Willow Grove.

The Guru will have results Friday but will not be on the scene just yet because of heading to Washington for Thursday night’s single WNBA game between the host Mystics and Connecticut Sun.

Action will continue in the regular season until the playoffs take over with quarterfinal action on July 28.

There may have been a tweak or two in the last week and the Guru knows of at least one late addition per an inquiry made here last weekend. Commissioner David Kessler has said he’ll always try to help a kid so as we go along feel free to contact him if anyone still has interest in competing because sometimes players have to withdraw and unfortunately injuries have a way of extracting individuals to the sidelines.

Before noting opening night play, which will follow with directions to the site – admission free and there is a refreshment stand – the Guru notes that Plymouth Whitemarsh High graduate and former St. Joseph’s Hawk Jenna Loschiavo, a skilled three-point shooter who may have played in the league, has been named by Boston U. coach Kelly Greenberg, a former La Salle star and Penn coach, as director of basketball operations in Beantown, which is probably out of control at the hour this is being written because of the Bruins winning the NHL Stanley Cup over Vancouver Wednesday night.

Each Tuesday and Thursday night 10 of the 11 teams will play while one gets a bye on the schedule. There will be two doubleheaders on Courts 1 and 2 while a single game will be played on Court 3 at 8:15 p.m., the same time as all second games on twin bills. The first games begin at 7 p.m.

On Thursday night in the opening games Team Black will play Teal on Court 1; and Columbia Blue will play Purple on Court 2.
The games at 8:15 p.m. will see Cardinal Red against Royal Blue on Court 1; Gold against Orange on Court 2 while the single Court 3 game will have Kelly Green against Lime Green. White has a bye.

The complete schedule appears in an earlier post here.

Team Black vs. Teal - Court 1, 7 p.m.

In the Team Black-Teal game on Court 1, Black has a mixture of players from all three NCAA divisions, with the lone Division I player being Lehigh incoming senior star Emily Gratch.

Swarthmore newly graduate Kathryn Stockbower, who set the Division III record last season for career double doubles is also on squad as is sister Garnet players Elle Larsen (’15) and Madeline Ross (’13). Steve Flynn coaches, but not every team in the league has a coach listed on the official rosters.

The Teal squad is dominated by former Temple players from the coach Dawn Staley era: Khadija Bowens (’06), Ashley Morris (’08), Tynecia Pam (’04), Ari Moore (’05), and Stacey Smalls (’03), who is a Cheltenham High grad and was a La Salle assistant under former coach Tom Lochner.

Former Drexel star Michelle Maslowski, one of the Dragons’ all-time scorers from the Division I school, is also on the team.

Columbia Blue vs. Purple - Court 2, 7 p.m.

Columbia Blue in the game against Purple on Court 2 is composed entirely of Division II West Chester players, permissible under NCAA summer league sanctioning rules. Zona Smith is the only past graduate having matriculated with the Golden Rams through a year ago.

The Purple squad has recent La Salle graduate Ashley Gale, voted the Most Improved Player in the Big Five last season as a senior; incoming Temple sophomore Nikki Guynn (’14), incoming St. Joseph’s sophomore Erin Shields (’14) and incoming Hawks freshman Mariah Lesure (’15) and incoming Hawks junior Shelby Smith (’13).

Also on Purple is Nicole Curry of Goldey Beacom, the Division II school that ended local power Holy Family’s longtime home court win streak at Campus Center in Northeast Philadelphia and then upset the Tigers at the same site again in the Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference tournament, though both teams advanced to the NCAA regionals.

Cardinal Red vs. Royal Blue - Court 2, 8:15 p.m.

In the Cardinal Red-Royal Blue nightcap on Court 1, the Cardinal Red coached by Kisha Thompson, a 1998 Philadelphia University graduate, has a mixture of players highlighted by incoming Lehigh freshman Maryjo Horgan, incoming Mountain Hawks sophomore Lindsay Hawkins, and incoming Lehigh senior Alexa Willliams.

Lafayette incoming junior Alicia Manning is also on the squad as is incoming Holy Cross incoming sophomore Alex Smith.

Royal Blue is dominating by Division II Holy Family players: incoming junior Erin Mann, incoming sophomore Mary Ellen McCollum, incoming senior Meghan Gibson, incoming sophomores Maggie Serratelli and Carolyne Heston, and Ana Cruz, who played the last two seasons at Harcum College.

Gold vs. Orange - Court 2, 8:15 p.m.

Court 2’s second game between Gold and Orange features on the Gold team Addie Micir, the recent graduate of Ivy repeat champion Princeton and her Tigers teammate Megan Bowen, an incoming junior.

Keith Wood coaches the Gold squad, which has three Division II Kutztown players: Brittany Greaves, Ashley Wood, and Stephanie Zewe.

The Orange squad has Villanova incoming junior Rachel Roberts and her incoming Wildcats sophomore teammate Emily Leer. Two Lehigh players – Aly Borick and Marisa Repasch – are also onthe Orange team as is former Wake Forest star Cotelia Bond-Young.

Kelly Green vs. Lime Green - Court 3, 8:15 p.m.

Court 3’s single game at 8:15 between Kelly Green and Lime Green, the Kelly Green group features St. Joseph’s incoming junior Katie Kuester, the star of last summer’s action. Ted Hagedorn and Tom Freedman coach the squad.

Harvard incoming junior Elle Hagedorn is also on the squad as are Villanova incoming juniors Devon Kane and Megan Pearson. Though they will be Patriot League foes in Division I this winter, three Lehigh players – Marybeth Egan (’13), Kelly Peterson (’13) and Katie O’Reilly (’15) -- will be teammates this summer with four Lafayette players – Melissa Downey (’12), Emily Homan (’15), Kelly Loughney (’15) and Sarah McGorry (’12).

Though under NCAA mandated rules only two players from the same Division I school can play on the same squad in the summer, the exception to the count is anyone else who is a freshman, who is not considered yet enrolled.
Scranton incoming freshman Lindsay Fluehr is also on the team.

Lime Green is virtually the entire Philly University squad, whose school coach Tom Shirley won his 600th game last winter. The Rams contingent has such players as Samantha Morris (’14), Megan Finn (’14), Stephanie Agger (’14), Taylor Peltzer (’12), Kristen Blye (’13), and Christine Wooding (’13).

Incoming Central Michigan sophomore Kyra Holiday is the only non-Philly U. player.

How To Get There

Here goes to try to make this simple: Those who are forced to spend the toll money – and the price is now back on the toll tickets by public demand – get on the Pennsylvania Turnpike and exit at Willow Grove and then head south for a few miles on Route 611.

That route is also Broad Street in Philadelphia if anyone wants to follow it north all the way from Center City. Coming North out of Philadelphia, through Jenkintown and Abington, when approaching Willow Grove, make a right onto Davisville Road – it’s called Easton Road on the left side of the highway -- and follow it all the way out. After crossing Terwood Road, you will soon snake a bit and cross railroad tracks and then just before the Turnpike, make a left onto Turnpike Drive and follow it through the industrial park all the way till the end. If you cross the Turnpike you have gone too far, which you will know when you reach Byberry Road.

If you got off the turnpike, head south a bit on 611, make a left at the light on Fitzwatertown Road – shopping center will be on your right after the turn – and follow it across South York Road (Route 263) and it will then becme Terwood Road. Make a left on Davisville Road and continue a short stretch until you make the turn into the business park on Turnpike Drive as noted in the last sentences above.

From the Northeast, you may want to take Byberry Road, which runs from the Roosevelt Boulevard (Route 1) all the way out to Davisville Road and make a left. On Byberry, you will cross the turnpike once then after making the left cross it again. As soon as you do, make a right into the business park on Turnpike Drive.

You can also go up I-95 and take the Woodhaven exit and follow all the way West till the end, make a left and then the first street will be Byberry. Make a right.

Good luck.

-- Mel

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