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 12, 2013

Philly Summer League: Hunter Green's Three-Night Sweep Holds 1st and Gains Playoffs

(Guru note: Another more robust coverage look with same content and photos is over at http://philahoopsw.com.)

By Mel Greenberg

HATBORO, Pa. --
Ready to take the floor before Thursday's completion of a marathon three-night week in the Philadelphia/Suburban NCAA Women's Basketball Summer League, Hunter Green player/coach Katie Kuester, a former Saint Joseph's star, grinned about the amount of games and said, "This is wild. I don't think I have done this since I played AAU ball."

Kuester then went out and topped four players in double figures with 16 points as Hunter Green (7-1) held on to its return to first place by beating back nearby challenger Purple 74-64 to stay a half-game ahead of Team White (6-1) that became the second straight group following Gold (6-2) on Wednesday to gain a forfeit win when Royal Blue (1-6) failed to produce enough players.

Hunter Green had fallen out of first a week ago Tuesday before the July Fourth holiday break when it was upset by Gold and then faced the formidable task of not only having to play three straight nights this week, but also meet two of the better teams in the standings in White, then unbeaten, and Purple, after opening Tuesday night against Team Black, which is dominated by Division II Philadelphia University.

The rare three-night extrvaganza at Kelly Bolish Gym, home of the AAU Renegades, was forced on longtime league commissioner David B. Kessler, now in his 20th season in office, to make up for last Thursday's lost night because of the holiday.

In the big win over White on Wednesday, Saint Joseph's senior Erin Shields had a season-high 29 points.

"With Erin on fire like that, I just kept giving her the ball," Kuester said.

The Hawks incoming senior star only had 15 this time, but Shields' sister Kerri, a recent graduate of Boston College, added 11 to the Hunter Green total, while Kathleen Fitzpatrick, an incoming Saint Joseph's freshman, scored 10 points.

Once again across the league Saint Joseph's players continue to have strong performances.

Kuester, who just finished her first season as a basketball operations director at Lehigh of the Patriot League, played on two straight unbeaten teams in Philly summer league competition in 2011 and 2012.

"I love this league," Kuester smiled on draft night in late May. "I went through a slew of compliance directors to make sure I could be eligible to still play."

The win enabled Hunter Green to clinch the first, not necessarily top, playoff spot because only the teams in ninth and 10th could catch them if Hunter Green lost its remaining four games but Kuester's group already has wins over both to ensure owning the tiebreakers over Kelly Green (3-5) and Black (2-5).

As for Purple (5-2), which dropped into a fourth-place tie with Sky Blue, the dominated Division II West Chester team which had the nightly bye, Liz Sharlow, a Lehigh sophomore, had a game-high 21 points.

Megan Gallagher, a Division III DeSales senior, had 13 points, helped by shooting 5-for-5 from the line, and Alyssa Isler, a Division III Gettysburg senior, scored 11 points.

Gold had a difficult time beating off a challenge from winless Orange (0-7) before escaping in the final minute with a 63-59 win to move into third place a game behind Hunter Green as Sarah Fairbanks, a Saint Joseph's sophomore, had 15 points while Hawks junior star Natasha Cloud scored 13, and Bryant sophomore Maureen Leahy scored 12 points.

Devin Gold, a junior at Division II Caldwell College, scored 16 points for Orange -- good thing there was no public address system in this one announcing Gold scoring for Orange -- while Ryann Fiascki, a Division II East Stroudsburg junior, scored 11 points, and Danielle Derr, a recent Division II Bloomsburg graduate, scored 13 points.

Meanwhile, the nightly action featured a summer version of regular Division II Central Atlantic Collegiate Conference (CACC) local winter competition between the University of the Sciences of Philadelphia (Team Maroon) and Holy Family (Team Kelly Green).

In this one Maroon (5-3) held sixth place and is looking for more after rallying from a 15-point deficit to beat Kelly Green 59-56 as Devils star Brianne Traub scored 16 points, USP's Jessica Sylvester scored nine points, St. Peter's senior Theresa Corchado scored eight points and her total was matched by USP's Shannon Evans.

Carolynne Heston, a Holy Family senior, had 12 points for Kelly Green (3-5), which dropped to ninth a half-game behind the eighth and final available playoff spot, while Tigers junior Mary Ellen McCollum matched that total, as did incoming Juniata freshman Sarah Sherman, who got all 12 points off four 3-pointers, while Erin Fenningham, a Tigers sophomore, scored 11 points.

Kelly Green has a bye Tuesday while Maroon will meet Gold.

The Holy Family group of Kelly Green opened up a 15-point lead in the first half before the USP/Maroon squad came to life and closed the gap to six points at the half, trailing 29-23.

Kelly Green rebuilt a double-digit advantage at 10 points, however, Maroon's solid defense and patient offensive attack began fueling another rally.

Under the three-minute mark Traub's three-point play gave Maroon the lead 51-49 only to have Kelly Green strike back with a trey.

But in the final two minutes, Maroon capitalized on a putback by Traub and a layup from Bella Ross off a perfect backdoor cut to take command as the clock wore down.

Maroon sealed its fourth straight win as Traub and USP's Kate Schmid each sank a foul shot.

The remaining two games played are in the recaps section down below.

Looking Ahead

Team White (6-1) and Purple (5-2) meet next week at 7 p.m. on Court 2 on
Tuesday in a game between teams in the upper part of the standings.

Maroon (5-3) will try to make some more headway when it meets Gold (6-2) on Court 1 at 7 p.m.

Five nights of regular-season competition remain thru July 30th to determine the eight playoff teams and seeding position, as mentioned, though some teams who have yet to serve their byes, have just four games left.

Next Tuesday's complete schedule with team records is listed next followed by a list of Thursday action.

Tuesday, July 16

7 p.m. Sky Blue (5-2) vs. Heather Grey (2-6), Court 1
Hunter Green (7-1) vs. Navy Blue (3-4), Court 2
Purple (5-2) vs. White (6-1), Court 3

8:15 p.m. Maroon (5-3) vs. Gold (6-2), Court 1
Orange (0-7) vs. Black (2-5), Court 2
Red (3-4) vs. Royal Blue (1-6) , Court 3
Bye: Kelly Green

Thursday, July 18

7 p.m. Kelly Green vs. Gold, Court 1
Maroon vs. Black, Court 2
Orange vs. Royal Blue, Court 3

8:15 p.m.Sky Blue vs. Hunter Green, Court 1
Navy Blue vs. White, Court 2
Purple vs. Red, Court 3
Bye: Heather Grey

Thursday Overall Recaps With More Detail

Navy Blue 68, Heather Grey 65: Geena Gomez, an incoming Saint Joseph's freshman, had 17 points and was 6-for-6 from the line for the winners (3-4), who are tied for seventh with Red just inside the final playoff slots if the season ended today, while Kelsey Berger, a Saint Joseph's senior, scored 13 points.

Heather Grey (2-6) got 21 points from Lehigh sophomore Kerry Kinek, who was 4-for-4 from the line, while Kayla Burton, an incoming Lehigh freshman, had four 3-pointers to account for all 12 of her points.

Red 65, Black 57: The winners (3-4) , dominated by Division III Scranton, snapped a tie with Black (2-5), and moved into a seventh-place tie with Navy Blue, which is playoff country at the end of the regular season, as Lafayette junior Emily Homan scored 12 points for Red, Stephanie Keyes, a Scranton junior, scored 10 points, and Royals senior Kate Sherry and her junior teammate Lindsay Flueh each scored nine points.

Black, also dominated by Division II Philadelphia University, got 17 points from Rams junior Monica Schacker and 10 points from her sophomore teammate Mary Newell.

Hitting the Milestone

On Thursday night, two players hit the individual 20-points or more standard for the first time this season as Purple's Liz Sharlow in a loss to first-place Hunter Green and Heather Grey's Kerry Kinek in a loss to Navy Blue each scored 21 points to bring this season total to 22 players with four or five games remaining, depending on schedules, in the regular season.

Kinek and Sharlow are sophomores at Lehigh University.

Sky Blue's Brittany Sicinski of West Chester, whose team had the nightly bye on Thursday, and Hunter Green's Erin Shields have each hit the milesstone four times.

Injury Report

Royal Blue's Gabi Whitmer, a native of Pittssburgh who plays at Division III Emory in Georgia, who was sidelined during Tuesday's action, was pleased to learn she did not suffer a torn ACL.

The knee was hyper-extended and Whitmer's doctor advised/ordered her to not play the rest of the summer.

As it is with two straight forfeits by Royal Blue this week, including Thursday, it could be the unit may not play the rest of the summer, though some players assigned to the squad through the preseason draft, would still like to play.

Usually, as was the case Thursday, players on other teams are rested enough to want to play some pick-up game, such as what happened when they went against White, which got the night off because of the forfeit.

In an undetermined injury early in the Hunter Green-Purple game, Thursday, Division III Gettysburg junior Jenna Swope of Purple was helped off the floor after hurting her knee and the comissioner's office hopes to have a determination Friday as to the extent of the diagnosis.

Explaining the Standings

This time around the standings are still in their natural tiebreaking state for the moment in terms of seeding order if regular season play ended today, though not everybody has yet to play the same number of games because of the nightly byes.

Right now Hunter Green, White and Gold hold the first three spots all alone because of records while the fourth-place tie between Purple and Sky Blue puts Purple in front based on its head-to-head win between the two teams.

Maroon is alone in sixth and the seventh-place tie between Navy Blue and Red, who have yet to meet, is broken for now with Navy Blue getting the nod because of its more valued triumph beating Gold as the best win between the two teams.

The remaining of the 13 teams are each standing alone in their position untied because of their respective records.

The running grid is now in proper order to look at tiebreakers for seeding and making the eight-team field, though while the big gridlocks have been reduced to small knots, enough games are left to either create some headaches at the pre-playoff finish or everything may be resolved without much angst caused to the commissioner and the Guru, his standings consulting officer.

Also, continued special thanks to Tom Utescher for providing pictures that will enable this report to switch over to being housed in PhilahoopsW and a duplicate of this report here is now over at http://philahoopsw.com to see what the future of coverage may be.

The Guru will tweet @womhoopsguru when photos and coverage at philahoopsw are in play.

Standings

Team, Won-Loss, Pct., GB, Pts., Opp. Points

%-1-Hunter Green, 7-1, .875, ---, 549, 495
2-White, 6-1, .857, 0.5, 386, 292
3-Gold, 6-2, .750, 1.0, 408, 379
4-Purple, 5-2, .714, 1.5, 418, 403
4-Sky Blue, 5-2, .714, 1.5 , 458, 395
6-Maroon, 5-3, .625, 2.0, 421, 429
7-Navy Blue, 3-4, .429, 3.5, 383, 416
7-Red, 3-4, .429, 3.5, 408, 391
9-Kelly Green, 3-5, .375, 4.0 , 481, 495
10-Black, 2-5, .286, 4.5, 387, 417
11-Heather Grey, 2-6, .250, 5.0, 457, 465
12-Royal Blue, 1-6, .143, 5.5, 258, 328
13-Orange, 0-7, .000, 7.0, 308, 424
%-Clinched playoff spot

Running Grid
This becomes the tracking tie-breaker and seeding guide in a few weeks for the eight-team playoffs, which will begin after the regular season ends July 30.

1-Hunt. G. vs. Red (W), vs. Orange (W), Maroon (W), vs. Kelly G (W), vs. Gold (L), vs. Black (W), vs. White (W), vs. Purple (W)
2-White vs. Red (W), vs. Orange (W), vs. Maroon (W), vs. Kelly Green (W), vs. Gold (W), vs. Hunt. G. (L), vs. R.B. (W-Forfeit)
3-Gold vs. Purple (W), vs. N.B. (L), vs. Sky B. (W), vs. Heath. Grey (W), vs. Hunt G. (W), vs. White (L), vs. R.B. (W-Forfeit), vs. Orange (W)
4-Purple vs. Gold (L), vs. Black (W-OT), vs. R.B (W), vs. N.B. (W-OT), vs. Sky B. (W), vs. Kelly G (W), vs. Hunt. G (L)
4-Sky B. vs. Maroon (W), vs. Kelly G (W), vs. Gold (L), vs. Black (W), vs. R.B. (W), vs. Purple (L), vs. Orange (W)
6-Maroon vs. Sky B. (L), vs. Heath. Grey (W), vs. Hunt G. (L), vs. White (L), vs. Red (W), vs. Orange (W), vs. N.B. (W), vs. Kelly G. (W)
7-N.B. vs. Kelly G. (L), vs. Gold (W), vs. Black (W), vs. R.B. (L), vs. Purple (L-OT), vs. Maroon (L), vs. Heath. Grey (W)
7-Red vs. Hunt G. (L), vs. White (L), vs. Orange (W), vs. Maroon (L), vs. vs. Kelly Green (L), vs. Heath. Grey (W), vs. vs. Black (W)
9-Kelly G. vs. N.B. (W), vs. Sky B, (L), vs. Heath. Grey (W), vs. Hunt G. (L), vs. White (L), vs. Red (W), vs. Purple (L), vs. Maroon (L)
10-Black vs. R.B. (W), vs. Purple (L-OT), vs. N.B. (L), vs. Sky B (L), Heath. Grey (W), vs. Hunt. G (L), vs. Red (L)
11-Heath. Grey vs. Orange (W), vs. Maroon (L), vs. Kelly G. (L), vs. Gold (L), vs. Black (L), vs. R.B. (W), vs. Red (L), vs. N.B. (L)
12-R.B. vs. Black (L), vs. Purple (L), vs. N.B. (W), vs. Sky B. (L), vs. Heath. Grey (L), vs. Gold (L-Forfeit), vs. White (L-Forfeit)
13-Orange vs. Heath. Grey (L), vs. Hunt G. (L), vs. White (L), vs. Red (L), vs. Maroon (L), vs. Sky B (L), vs. Gold (L)

Top Individual Peformances (20 or more points)

29 Pts.: Erin Shields, Hunter Green, (W) vs. White, July 10
27 Pts.: Kathryn Stockbower, Heather Grey (W) vs. Orange, June 18
26 Pts.: Brittany Sicinski, Sky Blue (W) vs. Black, June 27
25 Pts.: Brittany Sicinski, Sky Blue (W) vs. Royal Blue, July 2
25 Pts.: Erin Shields, Hunter Green (W) vs. Red, June 18
25 Pts.: Erin Shields, Hunter Green (W) vs. Orange, June 20
24 Pts.: Ciara Andrews, Navy Blue (L) vs. Maroon, July 10
23 Pts.: Katie Kuester, Hunter Green (W) vs. Red, June 18
23 Pts.: Catherine Carr, White (L) vs. Hunter Green, July 10
22 Pts.: Alyssa Bonenberger, Royal (L) vs. Purple, June 25
22 Pts.: Kelsey Watson, Royal (L) vs. Sky Blue, July 2
21 Pts.: Kendall Benovy, Sky Blue (W), vs. Black, July 2
21 Pts: Ashley Wood, White (W) vs. Kelly Green, July 2
21 Pts.: Erin Shields, Hunter Green (L) vs. Gold, July 2
21 Pts.: Ciara Andrews, Navy Blue (L-OT)., vs. Purple, July 2
21 Pts.: Brittany Wood, Kelly Green (L) vs. Purple, July 10
21 Pts: Liz Sharlow, Purple (L) vs. Hunter Green, July 11
21 Pts: Kerry Kinek, Heather Grey (L) vs. Navy Blue, July 11
20 Pts.: Ciara Andrews, Navy Blue (W) vs. Black, June 25
20 Pts.: Camille McPherson, Maroon (W) vs. Red, July 2
20 Pts.: Brittany Sicinski, Sky Blue (L) vs. Purple, July 9
20 Pts.: Brittany Sicinski, SkyBlue (W) vs. Orange, July 10

Till next report

-- Mel


- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad

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