Haynes, Balzer pace Pa­tri­ots past Arch­bishop Car­roll

The Review - - SPORTS - By An­drew Robin­son arobin­[email protected]­tu­ry­media.com

WHITEMARSH >> Ger­man­town Academy girls bas­ket­ball coach Sherri Retif of­ten tells her play­ers they are a team of stars.

Her point is that the Pa­tri­ots don’t need to rely on just one or two play­ers to score ev­ery point, grab ev­ery re­bound or make ev­ery pass. Any one of them can turn things up in a given game, so they can keep op­po­nents guess­ing too.

On Dec. 11, it was Jaye Haynes and Rachel Balzer’s turn and they more than de­liv­ered as GA turned in a strong se­cond half to de­feat vis­it­ing Arch­bishop Car­roll 59-41.

“Coach Retif says af­ter ev­ery game and ev­ery prac­tice that this is a team of stars and it’s go­ing to be one per­son’s night one night and some­one else the next night,” Balzer, a se­nior guard and Ge­orge Ma­son re­cruit, said. “We have so many weapons on this team that if one team tries to stop one of us, some­one else is just go­ing to go off.”

Car­roll, which is on the younger side this year but not lack­ing in tal­ent, started out great and worked its of­fense well to build a 10-2 first quar­ter lead. The PCL Pa­tri­ots, led by re­turn­ing starters Har­lem Jen­nings and Erin Sweeney, ran their of­fense con­fi­dently for most of the first half.

Even af­ter Balzer, who led GA with 19 points, got hot to start the se­cond quar­ter, Car­roll man­aged to match GA. A stick­bak by Kharli Dougherty at the se­cond quar­ter buzzer had Car­roll down just 27-24 at the break.

“The ball move­ment was re­ally good,” Car­roll coach Re­nie Shields said. “The first half, we did a re­ally good job mov­ing the ball around. In the se­cond half, when you’re not mak­ing shots, things start to get tight and the court gets re­ally small. I think we made the court re­ally small in the se­cond half.”

Haynes had a quiet first half but she caught fire to start the third quar­ter. The ju­nior guard scored the first seven points of the first half and her team’s first 13 as the Pa­tri­ots outscored Car­roll 13-4 to start the third.

One of the main things Haynes worked on this sum­mer was in­creas­ing her range and the guard, an all­state pick last year, showed that off by hit­ting a pair of 3-point­ers dur­ing her scor­ing spree.

“I didn’t want to let this win go and I felt like I could dom­i­nate where I am right now and I got re­ally pas­sion­ate about it,” Haynes said. “We’re so strong to­gether and have such a good core. We trust each other, which I love, be­cause we have such good chem­istry. Peo­ple may think be­cause we’re younger, we only have one se­nior and mostly ju­nior, we may not be as com­pet­i­tive but we al­ways show up.”

The high­light of the half for Haynes though was her layup af­ter a long in­bound pass by Balzer. While her older brother Jon, a se­nior wide re­ceiver at North Penn, is the fam­ily foot­ball player, Jaye showed her route run­ning skills on the post pat­tern and catch as Balzer hit her in stride for two of her 17 points.

“Our coach says we’re a team full of stars and we be­lieve that up and down the bench,” Haynes said. “Lind­say (Put­nam) can get hot, Sarah (DiLello) has amaz­ing de­fense, Maddie (Burns) is so com­pet­i­tive and Becca (Booth) has im­prove so much. It’s no one per­son’s team, it’s all of us.”

Car­roll made a good ad­just­ment af­ter Balzer’s se­cond quar­ter spurt by switch­ing Jen­nings over to guard her. While the se­nior sharp­shooter didn’t score in the third, she blew the game open in the fourth quar­ter.

Help­ing the cause was GA’s de­fen­sive pres­sure. Car­roll still gen­er­ated some qual­ity looks, but the vis­it­ing Pa­tri­ots weren’t able to hit them the same way they did in the first half. GA also forced some turnovers, led by point guard Maddie Vizza’s quick hands, that turned into tran­si­tion scores.

“Once you start miss­ing shots, that’s when every­thing else goes out the win­dow,” Shields said. “You stop play­ing de­fense, you lose peo­ple in tran­si­tion. We shot enough over the sum­mer I know we’ll get back to shoot­ing well, this was a bad shoot­ing day.”

Shields noted that Balzer’s shoot­ing spree, which saw the se­nior score eight straight to open the frame as part of an in­di­vid­ual 10-2 run, was what fi­nally did her team in.

A step-back three by Balzer put GA up 53-34 and when the se­nior was lifted a few min­utes later, she and Retif shared a hug be­fore she took a seat on the bench. Last year, Balzer strug­gled through a back in­jury that ended up re­quir­ing off­sea­son surgery and by her own ad­mis­sion started this sea­son slow, but felt re­ally good af­ter the day’s ef­fort.

“I feel faster, I’m able to ex­plode off my right leg a lot more, I’m just able to move a lot bet­ter,” Balzer said.

“Coach Retif and I watch film all the time and me from my sopho­more year to ju­nior year was a huge dif­fer­ence and now ju­nior year to se­nior year is also a huge dif­fer­ence. I feel great.”

GA’s endgame is the PAISAA ti­tle that’s eluded them the past few years, but they’re also look­ing to re­peat as In­ter-Ac cham­pi­ons and once again have a pretty loaded sched­ule of non­league games.

“Right now, I love how we trust each other the most,” Haynes said. “Our trust is there. None of us feel bad if we make a mis­take, we all have each other’s back and we’re all there for each other.”

GA 59, Arch­bishop Car­roll 41

GER­MAN­TOWN ACADEMY 9 18 27 14 – 59

ARCH­BISHOP CAR­ROLL 12 12 13 4 – 41

GA: Elle Stauf­fer 3 0-1 6, Maddie Vizza 3 0-0 8, Jaye Haynes 7 1-1 17, Rachel Balzer 7 1-3 19, Becca Booth 2 0-0 4, Maddie Burns 1 0-0 2, Lind­say Put­nam 1 0-0 3. To­tals: 24 2-5 59

AC: Mary DeSi­mone 1 3-4 5, Hope Sy­ron 1 0-0 2, Erin Sweeney 3 0-0 7, Grace O’Neal 5 0-0 12, Har­lem Jen­nings 4 2-2 10, Kharli Dougherty 1 0-0 2, Rose Henry 1 0-0 3. To­tals: 16 5-6 41 3-point­ers: GA – Balzer 4, Vizza 2, Haynes 2, Put­nam; AC – O’Neal 2, Sweeney, Henry

GENE WALSH — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Ger­man­town Academy’s Jaye Haynes reaches for a loose ball near Car­roll’s Erin Sweeney.

GENE WALSH — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Car­roll’s Har­lem Jen­nings pulls up to shoot against Ger­man­town Academy.

GENE WALSH — DIG­I­TAL FIRST ME­DIA

Ger­man­town Academy’s Becca Booth goes to shoot as Car­roll’s Hope Sy­ron de­fends.

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