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.

Friday, July 29, 2011

Guru's Summer League Report: Gold Rallies in Overtime in Quarterfinals

(Guru’s note: The WNBA report is above this blog.)

By Mel Greenberg

Two rallies, two routs, and, in terms of seeds, one upset, were the stories of Thursday night’s quarterfinals as the playoffs of the Philadelphia/Suburban Women’s NCAA Summer Basketball League got under way at the Kelly Bolish Gymnasium – home of the AAU Renegades – near Willow Grove.

The night’s most dramatic game was second-seeded Gold’s rally from 13 points to top seventh-seeded Orange 67-62 in overtime to advance to Tuesday’s semifinals.

Gold had beaten Orange last month on opening night 61-48.

But on this particular night coach Keith Wood had to make do for the second straight game without Bethune-Cookman senior Jasmine Elum, who is on a vacation cruise but will be back for the semifinals Tuesday night.

Elum is averaging 15.5 points per game in the 11-team in which three did not qualify.

Gold, featuring Division II Kutztown players and two from the two-time defending Ivy champion Princeton Tigers, lost its regular season final on Tuesday to White 68-62.

That allowed White, dominated by Division II University of Sciences players, to make the field, completing a 5-1 Cinderella recovery from an 0-4 start to finish as part of the five-way tie for fourth.

Gold had already locked up the two-seed prior to that game.

On Thursday Gold caught Orange at the finish in regulation and took over in the extended period as Kutztown junior Ashley Wood, Keith’s daughter, sored 19 points, Lehigh junior Becky Guman scored 13, recent Princeton grad Addie Micir scored 10 points, as did her former Tigers teammate junior Megan Bowen, and Lehigh sophomore Hilary Weaver scored eight.

Orange’s Aly Byorick, a Lehigh senior, scored 23 points and Marisa Repasch, a Lehigh sophomore averaging 16.9 points per game in the summer, finished with 14 points.

Meanwhile Kelly Green, which had finished 9-1 as the top seed, quickly fell eight points behind eighth-seed Royal Blue, a team with a strong sampling of Division II Holy Family players, rallied to a 66-58 win after having gained a 78-64 win during the regular season.

Kelly Green’s Katie Kuester, a St. Joseph’s senior, scored 17 points, while Lafayette senior Sarah McGorry scored 10, as did

Villanova junior Megan Pearson, Lehigh junior Kelly Peterson, and Villanova junior Devon Kane scored nine points.
Peterson averaged 15.4 during the summer, and Pearson averaged 11.8

Holy Family recent grad Meghan Gibson scored 16 points and Tigers junior Erin Mann scored 15 for Royal Blue.

A year ago a more populated Holy Family group advanced to the best of three finals losing to Kuester’s team 2-0.

Meanwhile by seed, but not by experience, sixth seed Teal, dominated by former Temple players, upset No. 3 Columbia Blue 68-60 in a game in which Teal took a big lead against the Division II West Chester group and held on at the finish.

Columbia Blue beat Teal 73-60 during the summer.

Teal’s Ashley Morris, a 2008 Temple graduated who also played at Central High, scored 22, one point less than her league-leading average, as did Michelle Maslowski, a 20021 Drexel grad and one of the all-time Dragons scorers. She averaged 18.3 in the summer.

On Columbia Blue, incoming West Chester freshman Kendall Benovy scored 12 points; Golden Rams senior Shmyra Hammond scored 11, as did juniors Meghan Kerrigan and Carly Strickland, while freshman Steph Keyes scored nine points.

Fourth-seeded Purple dominated the fifth-seeded White squad 96-62 following a narrow 76-75 win against the same team during the summer.

La Salle recent grad Ashley Gale had 26 points for Purple, above her 18.0 average, while St. Joseph’s junior Shelby Smith scored 23, Hawks sophomore Erin Shields scored 18, and Valparaiso 2009 grad Launa Hochstetler scored 16 points.
Shields averaged a second-best 20.1 mark during the summer.

In Tuesday’s semifinals, both games on Court 1, Kelly Green at 7 p.m. will meet Teal, which handed Kelly Green its lone loss 75-65 back on June 21, the second night of the season.

Then at 8:15 Gold meets Purple, which Gold beat 84-61 back on July 7th.

As Gold coach Wood was leaving Thursday night he exchanged pleasantries with Gale joking, “Looks like it will be Ashley vs. Ashley.”

The winners advance to the finals, all on Court 1, all at 7 p.m., with games set for next Thursday, August 4, the following Tuesday, August 9th, and, if necessary, finishing up on Thursday, August 11th.

-- Mel


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