FORT WASHINGTON — Over the past few seasons, Germantown Academy and The Shipley School have had their fair share of matchups. On Friday, the two teams will once again share the floor in the Pennsylvania Independent Schools Athletic Association Tournament semifinal game.
GA got to this point by defeating William Penn Charter, 60-44 on Feb. 17. It was the third time this season that they downed the Quakers.
“It’s hard to beat a team three times in one year because you know each other really well at that point,” Head Coach Sherri Retif said. “I was pleased with the way the girls responded. The girls really just stepped it up.”
Although they have only played Shipley once this year, the Patriots are very familiar with their opponent. Since 2014, the Gators have knocked GA out of the PAISAA tournament four times, three of them coming in the championship game. The Patriots were also a higher seed in three of the four losses.
However, in the contest earlier this year, it was the Patriots that emerged victorious with a 53-45 win. Retif said that the win gives the team some confidence heading into the upcoming game, but it comes with a grain of salt.
“We know what to expect, but it was so early in the season,” Retif said. “They’re running a lot of different sets now and everyone had gotten better. I think it’s something nice to tuck in the back of our minds, but our focus is on this game.”
According to Retif, Shipley plays a physical game and has a lot of talent. They average 53 points per game, but only three players average more than five points per game.
The Patriots on the other hand have a more balanced offense, with five players averaging seven points per. GA also scores about 63 points per game. Retif believes that her team can match Shipley’s play, even though she considers her team to be “more finesse.”
“We know when we step up the energy and toughness that we can be successful,” Retif said. “It was a comeback win the last time we beat them. We notched a win, but it was a dog fight the whole way through. We were able to play very physical in the fourth quarter and that helped us a lot.”
UPDATE: The game will be played at Westtown School on Feb. 23 at 6:00 p.m. With a win, the Patriots will in the PAISAA Final for the second straight year.