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.
By Mel Greenberg - @womhoopsguru
USA Women’s Olympians Coming to Delaware
BULLETIN – Before moving forward with Wednesday’s results in the Philly Summer League, the Guru would like the locals to know if you haven’t that on July 27th, a Wednesday night when play is idle, the USA Basketball Women’s National Team will be playing a friendly at Delaware’s Bob Carpenter Center in Newark against France at 7:30 p.m.
That will be the second game of a double header beginning at 5 featuring Australia and Canada in the first night of a three-city hop on the East coast on the way to Brazil for the 2016 Summer Games.
Playing at Delaware provides a homecoming for former Blue Hens star Elena Delle Donne, the 2015 WNBA Most Valuable Player, and also an area homecoming for three members of the coaching staff – head coach Geno Auriemma out of Connecticut, assistant coach Dawn Staley out of South Carolina these days but Dobbins Tech in her formative years, and Cheryl Reeve, a former La Salle star out of South Jersey who has coached the Minnesota Lynx to three WNBA titles in the last five years, including last summer.
On. Tuesday her Lynx set a WNBA record reaching an 11-0 season start, one ahead of the Los Angeles Sparks who on the same night set a franchise record with a 10-0 start.
The two meet in Los Angeles for the first time this season on Tuesday and both could still be unbeaten.
The USA squad is basically a pseudo WNBA All-Star team, though some sensations such as Los Angeles’ Candace Parker are not on the team.
The Guru is mentioning this because he may be able to get a discount for the league so there is plenty of time, price details are not out yet, but if any of you in the league – the Guru guesses you can put your friends and family in the count – email either me email@example.com or the commissioner David Kessler firstname.lastname@example.org, but not both so we can start compiling a count.
That said, the Guru now returns you to opening night coverage.
Summer Play Is Under Way
HATBORO, Pa. – Recent Saint Joseph’s graduate Ciara Andrews scored 25 points, leading an explosive Sky Blue team to a 90-66 win over Kelly Green, while Andrews’ former Hawks teammate, junior Chelsea Woods, matched her individual league high night of last summer with 32 points, but Woods’ Purple team was edged by Pink, 72-65, in the first night of play in the Philadelphia/Suburban Women’s NCAA Certified Summer Basketball League.
Woods was named the Philadelphia Big Five’s most improved player this past season.
Another high scorer was Saint Joseph’s freshman Avery Marz, who had 19 points and played in the league in 2014 but suffered a stroke and missed the last two winters of Hawks competition.
Marz’s performance is evidence that her comeback is nearly complete.
Play is normally Tuesdays and Thursday through the end of the July before the playoffs begin in what is a 12-team league, one down, for this year, so all 12 will play each night across three sets of doubleheaders beginning at 7 p.m. and continuing at 8:15 p.m., at Kelly Bolish Gym, home of the AAU Renegades.
Competition is Wednesday and Thursday this week because Wednesday was the first date allowed by the NCAA under its rules of certification.
With some still in school or working or having high school graduation, there was a forfeit right off the tip with Red picking up a 2-0 win over Orange.
Some brief words about coverage here – the league also has a page on Facebook. The Guru will always tweet at his account @womhoopsguru when a new post covering the league has gone to press here so following him, if you don’t, may be easier than unnecessarily coming back here a bunch.
The structure will normally be a written roundup, the standings, running results for the whole season, the upcoming schedule, for the moment, just this week’s but the Guru will try to get way ahead, players who score 20 or more points, and a running tiebreaker that eventually will sit in actual seed order if the playoffs began at that moment once there are a solid amount of games.
Here are the recaps of the five games played, the sixth having been the aforementioned Red topping Orange.
Also if a class identity is attached to a player it will be where they are this fall when school resumes.
Division II and III teams from schools are allowed to play as a unit per NCAA permission but only two representatives from the same Division I school can be on the same summer team if they are still an undergrad.
Longtime commissioner David Kessler flashes the results to the Guru who then gives you his own spin and nights the Guru is out of pocket covering the WNBA he will file from afar and you will know he wasn’t on the scene because there won’t be a dateline at the beginning.
That said, if anyone wants to write features or cover a night, especially when the Guru is away, feel free to contact him, though there is no payment right now for coverage. He will pick up your snacks next time at the stand, which has tasty items.
The teams who have virtually their whole squad on the same color squad are UScience, Philadelphia, West Chester, East Stroudsburg and Kutztown.
West Chester is the Red team that got a win off a forfeit Wednesday night.
Now, on with the skinny.
Sky Blue 90, Kelly Green 66 – As mentioned Ciara Andrews had 25 points for the winners, while Jessica Gerber, a Kenyon sophomore out of Council Rock North, had 21 points, fueled by five 3-pointers, while Avery Marz’s 19 points was aided by three 3-pointers. Ayanna Matthews, a freshman heading to Princeton out of Penn Charter had 17 points.
Elizabeth Radley, a Holy Family freshman out of Bishop Eustace, had 19 points for Kelly Green, while Nicole Smythe, a Delaware Valley sophomore out of Marple Newtown, fired three treys on the way to 14 points, and Zoe Hahn, a Stevens Tech out of Kingsway Regional, scored 12.
Hunter Green 48, White 44 – In the closest outcome of the night, Julia Glantz, a Bloomsburg junior out of Archbishop Carroll, had four treys on the way to 21 points, while Sarah Payonk, a Scranton senior out of Spring-Ford, scored seven points.
White was led by Alexandra Heck, a Philadelphia U recent grad out of Archbishop Wood, who scored 14 points, while Sierra Taylor, a Kutztown freshman out of Camden Catholic, scored nine points.
Pink 72, Purple 65 – Lauren Rothfeld, a Salisbury senior out of Upper Dublin, scored 19 points for the winners, and Hannah Fox, an Amherst freshman out of knocked down four treys and scored 18 points.
As mentioned, Chelsea Woods repeated her 2015 summer setter with 32 points for Purple, and Samantha Hicks, a Bryn Athyn College sophomore out of Archbishop Ryan, scored nine points.
Gold 63, Black 52 – The traditionally powerful Gold squad struggled to get players but enough showed to avoid a forfeit and they downed the Philadelphia U group as Alex Smith, 2014 Holy Cross grad out of the Peddie School, scored 18 points, Jazmin Horne, a Saint Joseph’s senior, 15, and Michele McCaughern, a 2012 La Salle grad, scored 14 and was 6-for-6 from the line.
Gold continues to be coached by Keith Woods, one of the few who guide teams from the sidelines.
Rachel Day, a Phila. U. junior out of Archbishop Wood, scored 15 points, and her Rams teammate, Jacqueline McCarron, a senior out of Lansdale Catholic, scored 14.
Maroon 62, Royal Blue 55 – The USciences squad that was a runnerup last summer got off to a winning start as Alex Thomas, a Devils freshman, scored 16 points, Alyx McKiernan, a sophomore, scored 14 points, fueled by three treys, and Hadiya Tucker, another sophomore, scored 12.
K.T. (Katie) Armstrong, a Saint Joseph’s freshman out of Perkiomen Valley, scored 21 for Royal Blue and Noelle Powell, a sophomore for the predominantly East Stroudsburg group, scored 12.
As teams try to get into early separation or avoid that fate on Thursday night to compete the first week, in the 7 p.m. games Sky Blue and Hunter Green, both unbeaten, meet on Court 1, while in a similar matchup Red meets Maroon in an 8:15 p.m. game on Court 3.
Orange, looking to avoid a second forfeit, will meet Purple at 7 p.m. on Court 3 with both teams having started out at 0-1. Similarly record-wise, Royal Blue meets Kelly Green at 8:15 p.m. On Court 1, with each team looking for their first win.
(Thru June 15)
Team, W-L, Pct., G.B., PF, PA
Gold, 1-0, 1.000, --, 63 52
Hunter Green, 1-0, 1.000, --, 48 44
Maroon, 1-0, 1.000, --, 62 55
Pink, 1-0, 1.000, --, 72 65
%-Red,1-0,1.000,-- , 2 0
Sky Blue, 1-0, 1.000, --, 90 66
Black, 0-1, .000, 1.0, 52 63
Kelly Green, 0-1, .000, 1.0, 66 90
@-Orange, 0-1, .000, 1.0 0 2
Purple, 0-1, .000, 1.0, 65 72
Royal Blue, 0-1, .000, 1.0, 55 62
White, 0-1, .000, 1.0 44 48
%-includes forfeit win
@-includes forfeit loss
Sky Blue (1-0) vs. Hunter Green (1-0), Court 1
Black (0-1) vs. Pink (1-0), Court 2
Purple (0-1) vs. Orange (0-1), Court 3
Royal Blue (0-1) vs Kelly Green (0-1), Court 1
Gold (1-0) vs. White (0-1), Court 2
Red (1-0) vs. Maroon (1-0), Court 3
Wednesday, June 15
Hunter Green 48, White 44
Sky Blue 90, Kelly Green 66
Pink 72, Purple 65
Gold 63. Black 52
Maroon 62, Royal Blue 55
Red 2, Orange 0, forfeit
Individual Scoring 20 Or More Points
32-Chelsea Woods, Purple, L, vs. Pink, June 15
25-Ciara Andrews, Sky Blue, W, vs. Kelly Green, June 15
21-Julia Glantz, Hunter Green, W, vs. White, June 15
21-Jessica Gerber, Sky Blue, W, vs. Kelly Green, June 15
21-K.T. (Katie) Armstrong, Royal Blue, L, vs. Maroon, June 15
Seed Tracker (not yet in order)
Gold (1-0) vs. Blk (W)
Hunter Green (1-0) vs. White (W)
Maroon (1-0) vs. RB (W)
Pink (1-0) vs. Purp (W)
Red (1-0) vs. Org (%-W)
Sky Blue (1-0) vs. KG (W)
Black (0-1) vs. Gold (L)
Kelly Green (0-1) vs. SB (L)
Orange (0-1) vs. Red (@-L)
Purple (0-1) vs. Pink (L)
Royal Blue (0-1) vs. M (L)
White (0-1) vs. HG (L)