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, August 15, 2014

Philly Summer League: Crisler Leads Gold to Championship Over Maroon

By Mel Greenberg

HATBORO, Pa. --
Call the 2014 season the Summer of Gold in the Philadelphia/Suburban Women's NCAA Summer Basketball League.

Keith Wood's top-seeded Gold squad rallied from a three-point deficit at the half and went on to a 66-57 victory over sixth-seeded Maroon Thursday night at Kelly Bolish Gym, home of the AAU Renegades in lower Bucks County.

Gold went nearly unblemished the entire way through the 12-game schedule in the 13-team league that got under way in late June before going 3-0 with some challenges in the playoffs that began in the quarterfinals a week ago.

Pink, which was the Division II University of the Sciences of Philadelphia squad, dealt Gold its lone setback, though the frontrunners were never out of first place the entire way.

The Pink squad was one of six teams finishing in a tie for fifth with a 6-6 record and lost out in the systematic tiebreakers to determine the eight teams in the postseason.

"If we had Natasha Cloud here, who I think was the best player in the league, we might have won the playoffs easy," Wood said afterwards.

"But Maroon was a good team. You could see them start to get real good last year."

Gold beat Maroon 85-68 on the regular schedule last time around, so Thursday's challenge could be seen as an improvement.

Cloud, who will be an incoming senior at Saint Joseph's this fall and is a graduate of Cardinal O'Hara, had to take an already scheduled vacation as did many other players who come almost right out of the previous collegiate season into league play.

This season, the league had to start a week later because of a red tape issue with the NCAA, pushing the finish into mid-August.

"Currently, the NCAA doesn't allow any league play before June 15," longtime commissioner David B. Kessler said of the normal start date.

"It would be great if we could start earlier and end earlier," he continued. "We lose too many players in August due to vacations, etc.

"The Penn players had a trip to Italy with their team that began Monday and the Saint Joe players went home after finishing summer school to see their families before beginning their fall semester."

The Penn players, though, were eliminated a week ago when Orange lost in the opening round.

In terms of performance, Lauren Crisler, an American University sophomore out of North Penn High, topped all scorers on both teams, scoring 17 points for Gold.

If we were picking an all-league squad, which would be dominated by Saint Joseph's players, Crisler would certainly be on it off her consistency along the way.

Alex Smith, a recent graduate of Holy Cross out of the Peddie School, was also in double figures for Gold with 12 points.

"I think Alex could play somewhere, if not in the WNBA," Wood said. "She's a good shooter and teams certainly could use that skill."

The Maroon squad was mostly composed of the Division II East Stroudsburg team of players who are from this area.

Rachel Falkowski, a sophomore out of Central Bucks South, led the way for the second straight night, scoring 11 points fueled by three 3-pointers.

Molly Rubin, a Kenyon College junior out of the Princeton Day School, was one of three players adding nine points to the Maroon attack.

Ryann Fiascki, an East Stroudsburg senior out of Archbishop Carroll, and Courtney Brown, an East Stroudsburg sophomore out of Council Rock South, were the other two and all of Brown's points came off of three treys.

As always, the commissioner concludes with hopes that everyone had fun and got something out of their experience to help them when they return to college for the 2014-15 season.

Certainly, the Guru has seen that trend occur over the years and it will be interesting to see what happens this time around.

Saint Joseph's has been to the NCAA tournament for the past two seasons with many players in the league, including an Atlantic 10 title in 2013 that broke a 12-year drought.

Speaking of the Hawks, with former star Katie Kuester moving on to North Carolina as a video coordinator last season, and now as a new assistant coach at Loyola of Maryland, this was the first time in five years the winning roster did not contain Kuester's name.

Playoffs Schedule

Thursday's (Aug. 14) Result

Championship

(1) Gold 66, (6) Maroon 57

Tuesday's (Aug. 12) Results

Semifinals

(1) Gold 75, (7) Kelly Green 68
(6) Maroon 48, (5) Black 42

Thursday's (Aug. 7) Results

Quarterfinals

(1) Gold 81, (8)Orange 69
(5) Black 58, (4) Hunter Green 54
(7) Kelly Green 60, (2) White 43
(6) Maroon 69, (3) Sky Blue 59

Top Playoffs Scorers

31 pts. -- Ashley Wood, Gold (W) vs. Kelly Green, Aug. 12
26 pts. -- Amanda Fioravanti, Orange (L) vs. Gold, Aug. 7
24 pts. -- Najah Jacobs, Black (W), vs. White, Aug. 7
21 pts. -- Sarah Fairbanks, Hunter Grn (L) vs. Black, Aug. 7
20 pts. -- Alex Louin, Kelly Green (L) vs. Gold, Aug. 13
19 pts. -- Alex Smith, Gold (W) vs. Orange, Aug. 7
19 pts. -- Maureen Leahy, Hunter Green (w) vs. White. Aug. 7
19 pts. -- Alex Smith, Gold (W) vs. Black, Aug. 12

Final Regular Season Standings

Team, W-L, Pct., G.B., Pts., Opp Pts.

+%@*^-Gold, 11-1, .917, --, 914 696
*-fw-White, 10-2, .833, 1.0, 803 583
*-Sky Blue, 7-5, .583, 4.0, 639 559
*-fw-Hunter Green, 7-5, .583, 4.0, 650 706
@*-fw-Black, 6-6, .500, 5.0, 573 594
%@*-fw, fl-Maroon, 6-6, .500, 5.0, 715 597
@*-fw,fl(2)-Kelly Green, 6-6,.500, 5.0, 497 555
*-fw-Orange, 6-6, .500, 5.0, 695 700
fw-Pink, 6-6, .500, 5.0, 562 544
fl(2)-Purple, 6-6, .500, 5.0, 570 525
Navy Blue, 5-7, .417, 6.0, 709 696
Red, 2-10, .167, 9.0, 589 834
fl(2)-Royal Blue, 0-12,.000, 11.0, 574 789

* -- Clinched playoff slot
@ -- Semifinalsts
% -- Finalists
+ -- Playoff champion
^ -- Clinched top seed
fw -- includes forfeit win, fl - includes forfeit loss

IMPORTANT DATES IN 2015`

Wednesday April 1, 2015 – application for NCAA certification
Thursday April 2, 2015 - league applications e-mailed to players
Thursday April 30, 2015 - deadline for registration
Thursday May 21, 2015 - player draft (coaches only) 7:30 at Renegades’ gym
Monday June 1, 2015 - shirts ordered
Tuesday June 16, 2015 - shirts distributed, league begins

That's it for now and for the entire Guru league coverage this summer on the blog.

For regular season finish stats scroll to the blog of Aug. 6. All of the league coverage begins with a Philly Summer League if you are scrolling through this blog.

Thanks to the Commissioner David B. Kessler, Deputy Commissioner Steve Michielli, and Tom Utescher for supplying the Guru with info when he was out of pocket on his WNBA coverage schedule as well as for other times to enhance these reports.



- Posted using BlogPress from the Guru's iPad

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