Monthly Archives: December 2011

Undefeated Trumbull Wins Masuk Girls Basketball Tournament 43-40

Trumbull – 2011 Masuk Girls Basketball Holiday Tournament Champions

Tourney MVP Alexa Pfohl (1) hits a crucial 3-pointer in the 4th quarter

(Monroe) Undefeated Trumbull (7-0) defeated Masuk (5-3) in the 30th Annual Masuk Girls Basketball Holiday Tournament, 43-40, on Friday night.

This game provided plenty for both sides to cheer about and it wasn’t until Michelle Wu’s last-ditch, 3-point attempt missed that this one was settled.

The Eagles started strong and were up by eleven (24-13) two minutes into the second quarter.  The Panthers rallied all the way back keyed by consecutive treys by Thomese Holman and grabbed a 33-30 lead two minutes into the final period.

A Danielle Adams shot on an inbounds play pushed Masuk further ahead, 38-34, with 4:20 to go.

Michelle Wu (19 points) puts up a jump shot.

The rest of the way Alexa Pfohl put on a performance that rightly earned her tourney MVP.  While Masuk couldn’t buy a basket over the next four minutes, the Eagle junior had a hand in all nine Trumbull points during the same time frame.

After several teammate missed shots, Alexa put in a rebound (Trumbull trails 38-36).  Then she assisted on Dani McGillicuddy’s layup (score tied at 38-38).  Then she drilled a three from the right (Trumbull leads 41-38).

Her next basket was the killer for Masuk.  The Eagles had been killing the clock for a minute plus after Trumbull had gotten the lead.  The Panthers forced the ball out of bounds with twenty-seven seconds left down by three.  The play for Masuk, from in front of the scorer’s table, was to either steal the inbounds pass or foul the pass receiver.  You had to assume that Trumbull would play it safe and try to get the inbounds pass into the hands of their best free throw shooter probably in the backcourt.  Instead, while her teammates stayed at midcourt, Alexa broke for the basket and was totally unguarded.  She was so clear that no Panther had a chance to foul her as she attempted the layup.

That basket gave Trumbull a five-point spread (43-38) with twenty-two seconds left.  Michelle Wu answered with a layup of her own but there just wasn’t enough time after that for Michelle to get a better look at that final 3-point attempt.

Michelle Wu (19 points) was very impressive – quick, smooth, and athletic.  She scored eleven in the 3rd when Masuk recovered from the 11-point deficit.  I thought early on that she was too unselfish opting to pass rather than take the ball to the basket.

The three Pfohl sisters started and all of them can play.  I liked their toughness.

Thomese Holman gets set to fire a 3rd-quarter three

Note my picture of Thomese Holman about to shoot from the corner.  In the stands behind her is Christian Terrell who drilled several long ones from the same area the night before against Norwalk.

Trumbull box score

Masuk box score

(The pictures enlarge to normal size if you click on them.)

Erin Moore (32) in traffic

Kate OLeary (10)

Michelle Wu (30) in lane

Victoria Pfohl (23) screens for sister Amanda

Alexa Pfohl

Lauren Maile & Michelle Wu

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Filed under Masuk, Trumbull

Norwalk Wins the 2011 Masuk Holiday Boys Basketball Tournament 57-48

Norwalk Bears – 2011 Masuk Holiday Tournament Champions

Christian Terrell (16 points) fires a long one.

(Monroe)  The Norwalk Bears (4-1) ran ten straight points in the third quarter to gain separation from the Masuk Panthers (2-3) and win the Masuk Holiday Tournament, 57-48, on Thursday night at Masuk High School.

The outsized Panthers relied on the long ball and stayed in contention trailing just 31-30 with 5:50 left in the third quarter.  The next 3 ½ minutes the game got away from Masuk.

Rasheen Thompson and Roy Kane got in close for baskets (Roy added a free throw) and then tourney MVP Ra’Von Shular hit from long range and then from medium range.  That offense-from-everywhere gave the Bears the cushion (41-30) they needed.

The Panthers outscored Norwalk, 18-16, the rest of the way but could never get closer than eight points.

Tourney MVP Ra’Von Shular floats in for two of his fifteen points.

Ra’Von Shular was tourney MVP.  He finished with fifteen points against Masuk.  Freshman Roy Kane (6-5) also had fifteen.

In my humble opinion, the MVP in this game was Rasheen Thompson (12 points).  He had five assists (by my count), several steals, and really ran the Norwalk offense.  The senior guard did not have any turnovers despite having the ball often against pressure.

Part of the Masuk struggles came as top scorer Matthew Gerak (22 points in the first round) got into first half foul trouble and seemed to lose the effectiveness he had at the beginning of the game.  He made a couple of baskets late to end up with eleven points.

The long-range shooting of Christian Terrell (four 3’s) kept this one interesting until the Norwalk run.  Christian (16 points) hit several of the treys from in front of the very appreciative Masuk student section.

Norwalk’s four wins are as many as they had all last season.  They appear headed for a very good season.

Norwalk box score

Masuk box score

(If you click on the pictures they become normal size.)

Rasheen Thompson & Ra’Von Shular

Christian Terrell (22) & Bobby Stringfellow (4)

Nick Davies (32) & Roy Kane (22)

Masuk coach John DeGennaro

Masuk All-Tourney Nick Davies & Christian Terrell

Rasheem Thompson

Norwalk coach Tom Keyes

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Fast Start Enough as Souderton Girls Win Wissahickon Holiday Basketball Tournament over Gwynedd-Mercy Academy 50-38

Caitlyn Steinly, Carley Kendall, Liz Mower, and Gabby McAndrews with championship plaque

Libby Wetzler (21) passes inside to Carley Kendall (14)

(Ambler) Souderton separated from Gwynedd-Mercy Academy with a run of eleven unanswered points in the first quarter and went on to capture the girls division of the Wissahickon Holiday Basketball Tournament, 50-38, on Wednesday at Wissahickon High School.

Indian point guard Bianca Picard (35 points in the two-game tournament) was the tourney MVP. Teammates Libby Wetzler and Liz Mower made the All-Tourney team.

Souderton (3-2) jumped on the Monarchs (5-7) early and held a 13-2 lead after six minutes. GW Academy could never get closer than six points (19-13) the rest of the way.

The Indians extended the lead to 37-24 early in the fourth quarter before a Monarch 12-6 run (Taylor Sweeney had two free throws and a three) made it a seven-point game (43-36) with 1:43 left.  Souderton wisely kept the ball in Bianca Picard’s hands the rest of the way.  The sophomore made seven of nine free throws to seal the championship for the Indians.

First quarter Souderton defense.

Souderton’s dominance inside keyed the run of eleven straight early on.  Three of the five baskets were after offensive rebounds by Allison Gallagher (2) and one by Libby Wetzler.

The Monarchs struggled to run organized offense against the trapping and pressing Indians.  All that work to get good shots did a number on the GW Academy shooting accuracy.

High scoring Caroline Shimrock drew denial defense from a number of Souderton players including Carley Kendall.

The Indians were efficient enough to run an organized offense on most possessions and turned up more high percentage shots than the Monarchs, especially around the basket.  Credit point guard Bianca Picard for a lot of that smoothness.

Libby Wetzler led all scorers with fourteen points including ten in the decisive first half.  Bianca Picard added twelve.

Taylor Sweeney paced GW with eleven while the Indian defense held high-scoring Caroline Shimrock to only six points.

Bianca Picard (25) and Allison Gallagher (3) apply pressure

The Dome at Wissahickon High School is one of the best basketball sites I have been in.  The lighting, seating, and floor are all high quality.

The Souderton/Gwynedd Mercy Academy girls game was easily the quietest game I have been to this year.  There was a decent crowd on hand.  Maybe they were just unusually polite??

Souderton box score

Gwynedd-Mercy Academy box score

(The pictures enlarge to normal size if you click on them.)

Bianca Picard (Tourney MVP)

Liz Mower (All-Tourney)

Carley Kendall shoots

Christa Giordano (11) & Katie OConnor (10)

Caroline Shimrock shoots – Libby Wetzler defends

Erin Casey

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Palisades Routs Quakertown 49-26 With Strong Second Half in Girls Basketball Christmas Tourney

Ashlee Ruzicka (15) tries to deny pass to Joey Noonan.

Kirby Funt (41) fouls Brittany Taylor (33)

(Quakertown) Winless Palisades blew open a close game in the second half and decisively defeated Quakertown, 49-26, in the opening round of the Quakertown Christmas Girls Basketball Tourney on a rainy Tuesday night.

This game was hardly decided four minutes into the third quarter when two Ashlee Ruzicka free throws cut the Pirate advantage to, 25-21.

However, the next seven minutes stretching into the fourth period did in the Panthers.  It sure didn’t help them to have three of their best players (Brittany Taylor, Katie Kelsall, and Monica Ervin) foul out during this segment.  The loss of these players was most noticeable on defense.

It took Palisades (1-5) twenty minutes to get their first 25 points.  Over the next seven minutes they poured in 16 points turning this game into a 41-22 blowout with just three minutes left.

Samantha Sharo tries to shoot over Monica Ervin (54)

During the memorable run of Pirate scoring there was a lot to like for the folks from Kintnerville.  The Panthers overplayed 6-2 Joey Noonan on an inbounds play and that left Emily Odle all alone for an easy layup.  Joey was on the layup end of nice passes from Katie Salva and Kirby Funt.  Lizzie Sessinger made a layup just before the end of the 3rd quarter fed nicely by Marylee Hendricks.

When all this dust cleared Palisades had put together a 16-1 run to build up a 41-23 spread.  The reserves from both squads carried the action the rest of the way to a 49-26 final.

Sophomore Joey Noonan led all scorers with fourteen points.  Samantha Sharo added twelve.

Brittany Taylor topped Quakertown with seven points despite fouling out with 4:26 to go in the third period.

Palisades relentlessly pressured/trapped the Quakertown guards after they crossed half-court.  Turnovers of all flavors resulted.  Most of the violations were for traveling.  I was at a game recently where such a violation set off the student section chanting, “Where you going!”

Ashlee Ruzicka (15) fouls Joey Noonan (25)

Down the other end the Pirates were very intent on getting the ball inside to Joey Noonan.  Credit undersized Ashlee Ruzicka for keeping Joey from doing too much damage.

The defense that worked the best for Quakertown (1-5) was a zone that they used in the second quarter.  Denied the inside the Pirates struggled from the outside.  Quakertown was able to turn a 16-6 deficit early in the 2nd quarter into a much more manageable 21-19 deficit at halftime.

The Panthers hit 9-of-12 free throws during that second quarter.

Freshman Marylee Hendricks injured a knee at the start of the final quarter and came back later on crutches with an icepack on her knee.

Quakertown has one senior (Katie Kelsall) while Palisades has two (Amberli Delimit & Kirby Funt).

I was surprised to see another photographer roaming around taking pictures of players DURING the National Anthem.  Maybe this game was nationally televised?

Palisades box score

Quakertown box score

(The pictures enlarge to normal size if you click on them.)

Joey Noonan rebounds

Emily Odle

Samantha Sharo

Katie Kelsall (50) & Kate Salva (23)

Joey Noonan

Becca Robison

Ashlee Ruzicka defends

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Newtown Overcomes Fast Pomperaug Start 62-47 in Boys Basketball

Mike Daubert heads for the basket after a steal.

Kyle Wilcox – 23 points including 18 in the second half

(Southbury) Pomperaug (0-2) came out red hot but flamed out after a quarter and visiting Newtown (2-1) was able to catch up and pull away in the second half for a 62-47 win on Thursday night at Pomperaug.

The Panthers connected on four long ones in the first four minutes to bolt ahead 15-5.  They still had that 10-point spread at period’s end (22-12).

Newtown cut into that lead in the second quarter as Reid Schmidt sparked a 7-point run but Pomperaug still led, 27-23, at the half.

The Night Hawk defense seemed to get tighter as the game wore on and the Panthers made just one trey in the second half.  Carl Gatzendorfer had that one in the first minute to keep the Panthers on top, 30-25.

The rest of the way it was all Newtown.  The Panthers made few shots and the Hawks ran with every rebound getting a bunch of layups.

The numbers back up the second half domination.  Newtown outscored Pomperaug, 37-17, over the last fifteen minutes of the game.

Leading the Newtown surge was Kyle Wilcox.  Limited to five points in the first half, he erupted for eighteen in the second half.  He had a three in there but most of the points were in transition.

It was a Connor Quinn baseline drive that gave Newtown the lead for good, 32-31, with 4:45 left in the third and the Hawks never looked back from there.

Nathan Rubenstein (13 points)

Nathan Rubenstein (13 points) paced Pomperaug hitting three 3’s in the first half.

Jake Ball picked up a technical foul just before halftime.

Mike Foley went down hard defending a drive.

Why was Connor Quinn taking the ball to the basket very late in the game with a ten-point lead?  A hard foul would have made perfect sense.

Another game for me with no program.  Maybe everyone in these parts knows each other??

Newtown box score

Pomperaug box score

(The pictures enlarge to normal size if you click on them.)

Jake Ball swarmed by Carl Gatzendorfer (15) and Lucien Fortier

Mike Foley (22) shoots over Mike Davis (20)

Sam Rubenstein (10 points)

Mike Foley (22) drives

Connor Quinn (3) fouled by Nathan Rubenstein (34)

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Moriber and Lightman Lead Barlow Past Oxford 62-57 in Boys Basketball

Liam Rooney (3) passes Jake Lightman (33) to a second half layup.

Phil Moriber challenges JT Vankamerick.

(Easton) Great back-and-forth action between Barlow (2-2) and Oxford (1-2) on Wednesday night at fog-shrouded Barlow.  The Falcons broke loose from a one-point lead in the last two minutes for a 62-57 win in non-league action.

The victorious Falcons were carried by juniors Phil Moriber and Jake Lightman.  Both (6-3) players dropped twenty-three points on the visitors.

Phil struck from just about everywhere and drew box-and-one coverage early on.  Jake hustled his way to points in close against taller Wolverines converting four offensive rebounds along the way.

Barlow dominated early as first-half leads of 12-4 and 26-16 suggest.  That last lead came with 2:52 left in the first half.  Phil Moriber had ten of Barlow’s first twenty points despite concentrated coverage.

The last three minutes of the first half, however, was totally Oxford’s led by senior guard Tyler Gruttadauria.  The Wolverines rolled up fourteen unanswered points to gain a 30-26 halftime lead and Tyler (17 points) was the catalyst.  He contributed a layup, two free throws, and two long ones.

Tyler Gruttadauria (17 points)

With both teams showing good moments in the first half any guess on the second half outcome was about as foggy as conditions were outside…..and they were very tough for a newbie to this area getting to and from Barlow. This game was a poster child for owning a GPS!

Five minutes into the second half, Oxford still held a four-point lead (36-32) after two JT Vankamerick (11 points) free throws.  But the rest of that third quarter was nearly all Barlow’s.  The only offense for Oxford was a last-second three by Caithan Pratt.

Barlow’s late run of twelve points included five in the last 36 seconds.  Highlights here for Barlow were Jake Lightman rebounding his own missed free throw and making a layup. Later teammate Phil Moriber took a steal the length of the court.

This flurry gave Barlow a 44-39 advantage going into the final quarter.  That lead was extended to 50-41 with five minutes to go as the Falcons seemed to be separating from the Wolverines.  Junior Liam Rooney set Jake Lightman up beautifully with passes for layups in this run of good Barlow basketball.

Oxford, however, rallied back to within one (54-53) with two minutes left thanks to a jump shot and long one from Seth Calvanese.

Oxford was still only a productive possession away (57-55) with 42 seconds left.  Then Phil Moriber added a free throw (58-55) while Steve Mahoney missed a three.  This forced Oxford to foul.  Jake Lightman made the first (59-55), missed the second, but, and this was crucial, Phil Moriber found the rebound and he was fouled.  The junior made both shots (61-55) with twenty seconds left to seal this one for Barlow.

Jake Lightman (23 points) finishes inside

Barlow (2-2) used a 1-3-1 zone quite a bit and did plenty of trapping.

At Newtown on Tuesday night there was no program.  At Barlow there was a program but the list of Oxford names has no numbers beside them.

Barlow box score

Oxford box score

The pictures enlarge to normal size if you click on them.

Phil Moriber shoots

Jason Mraz (11 points) shoots over defenders

Chris Vankamerick drives lane

Phil Moriber rejects Tyler Gruttadauria shot

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Filed under Joel Barlow, Oxford

Newtown Wins 4th Straight Easily Defeating Weston 68-45 in Girls Basketball

Riley Wurtz (1) on fast break with Jess Lynch (10) just about to get a pass for a layup.

Cassie Ekstrom (5) puts some defense on Morgan Moubayed.

(Newtown) Undefeated Newtown (4-0) overwhelmed winless Weston (0-3), 68-45, in nonleague girls action at Newtown High School on Tuesday night.

The twenty-three point margin doesn’t begin to tell the story of how one-sided this game was.  No sign of the Hawk starters after the third quarter – they were ahead, 59-27.

From the start you could see that the Newtown full-court pressure was going to be trouble for the visitors.  That pressure seems to work best in the half-court and every turnover (25+?) became a fast break in the other direction.

Riley Wurtz (7 points) shot poorly but more than made up for it with steals and assists.

Jess Lynch (17 points) was on the breakaway end after many of the Lady Trojan giveaways.

Riley Wurtz (7 points) on clean break away.

Another successful Hawk maneuver was an instant answer to every Weston basket.  Newtown had several long-pass layups after baskets.

Newtown jumped out to a quick, 7-0, start with a Bridget Power three at the end of it.  Weston responded with three baskets led by Ellie Martin and the score was, 11-6, with three minutes left in the first period.

The next fifteen minutes of playing time, stretching through four minutes of the third quarter were all Newtown.  They outscored the visitors, 42-10!  Jess Lynch had fifteen points during the big run.

Weston had just three bench players and early on it was clear that keeping up with the non-stop Hawks was going to wear down the Lady Trojans.  Fortunately, NHS coach Jeremy O’Connell used reserves early and often and they weren’t quite as adept at creating the turnovers and getting breakaways.

Ellie Martin (left) and Sam Stemlie (11) chase loose ball

With the NHS starters on the bench, Ellie Martin (23 points) had a nice final quarter getting Weston’s last eleven points.

First look at Newtown’s basketball setup.  Terrific lighting.

I was on hand for the Newtown/Masuk football game.  Less said about that, I suppose, the better.

Cheerleaders were impressive.  They were so good that I didn’t worry about them falling.

This was Newtown’s home opener.  No programs???

If you click on the pictures they enlarge to normal size. 

Bridget Power (23) Riley Wurtz (1) Morgan Moubayed (2)

Jess Lynch (10) shoots over Anna Mahoney (50)

Maddy Good (14) ties up Anna Mahoney

good times on the NHS bench

Newtown box score

 

Weston box score

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