FORT WASHINGTON — Now that 2017 is in the rearview mirror and 2018 is still fresh, some will be throwing around the phrase, “new year, new me.” It is pretty self-explanatory, with a new year comes changes to oneself. However, there were no changes with the Germantown Academy girls basketball team.
The Patriots returned to campus for the first game of the new year against Penn Charter after playing four games in Arizona, and did not miss a beat. GA’s offense was humming and the defense stifled the Quakers, resulting in a 55-31 win.
“I think Arizona helped us a lot,” Jaye Haynes ’20 said. “We got to see a lot of different teams play so we were ready and prepared for the Inter-Ac competition.”
While they may have been ready for the competition, things would be slightly different when they took the floor. GA was without two starters in Alexa Naessens ’18 and Maddie Vizza ’20. However, that proved to be no problem, as seven different players scored for the Patriots.
Stepping in for Vizza and Naessens were Caitlyn Priore ’20 and Rachel Balzer ’19, who combined to score 13 points. In addition to the scoring, Balzer added three rebounds, two assists, two steals and two blocks. Priore did not miss a field goal and also crashed the boards, grabbing four rebounds.
“We have a very long bench and it’s very talented,” Haynes said. “We’re all capable of adding something special to the team and as long as we play our roles I think we’ll do great.”
Head Coach Sherri Retif was also confident in her team, although she did have some questions. Ultimately, the team answered.
“We weren’t sure how the girls would respond,” Head Coach Sherri Retif said. “We can usually go two or three practices without putting the starters together because we have so much talent and depth. We always say we have six, but today we proved that we have seven starters on this team.”
That talent showed early — especially on the defensive side of the ball — as GA held Penn Charter scoreless until 2:52 remained in the first quarter. By the end of that frame, the Patriots were ahead, 14-5.
Eight of those 14 points were scored by Jaye Haynes ’20, who missed only one shot in the first quarter. Haynes was the leading scorer on the night for the Patriots with 16 points.
“Jaye Haynes, I can’t say enough,” Retif said. “She plays excellent defense, she’s our leading scorer and she’s just in the right place all the time. She’s just a very coachable young lady.”
The second quarter was much of the same for the Patriots, except it was Elle Stauffer ’20 doing a majority of the scoring. Stauffer made all four of her shots in the quarter, helping give GA a 33-10 halftime lead. Stauffer finished the game with 10 points and nine rebounds.
Penn Charter was able to keep things close in the second half, but the early deficit was too much for them to overcome.
Germantown Academy is now 10-2 overall (1-0 in Inter-Ac play) and will face Episcopal Academy at home on Jan. 5. Haynes says that the team is preparing for the league game just like it’s any other match.
“We’re practicing a lot,” Hayens said. “We’re going over our defense, reading all the plays and just keeping up with what we’re doing.”
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