Josh Verlin (@jmverlin)
Germantown Academy has eight seniors on their roster, starting five boys who are headed off to college next year. The Phelps School, meanwhile, starts two sophomores and two juniors.
That wealth of experience played a big role in GA’s 74-43 win on their home court on Tuesday afternoon, as three D-I bound seniors scored in double figures to lead the Patriots over the Lions.
After a tough weekend down in Washington, D.C., where they split a pair of games against Sidwell Friends (57-63) and Archbishop Carroll (51-49), this one went much easier for Germantown Academy (3-2). The Patriots scored the first 10 points of the game and led by as many as 18 in the first half, never letting Phelps (4-2) within single digits after taking a 15-4 lead midway through the opening quarter.
“We took a gamble by going down to D.C. and playing some great teams and you do that all the time to try to prepare you for what we’re going to see in the league,” GA coach Jim Fenerty told CoBL. “It was important for us to just kinda understand that the reason you play good teams is that you get tougher and you get better yourself.”
Julian Moore, headed to Penn State next year, had 18 points to lead all scorers, chipping in at least seven rebounds and four blocks. The 6-9 forward/center played a big role in GA’s defensive domination but also showed off a nice offensive game, hitting more than a couple of mid-range jumpers and even throwing in a crossover or two out on the perimeter.
“I figure if you’re gonna get physically beaten up the whole time, which is what big men do in high school basketball in Philadelphia, we’re gonna let you pop out every once in a while,” Fenerty said. “(Moore) is coming along and we made some adjustments to try to get the ball more to him in a spot down low, which is where Penn State’s gonna play him. Because he’s got skill, he can do some things.
“When we do our practices, everybody’s a guard. So they all have to develop that skill.”
The Patriots also had a strong performance from Nick Lindner, who’s going to Lafayette next year. The 6-1 point guard had 14 points and at least five assists, controlling the tempo extremely well–pushing the ball when the opportunity was there but also understand when to slow things down and run his team’s offense.
“Lindner is the spark plug that gets us going,” Fenerty said. “I thought he did a terrific job, he ran the floor, he made good decisions, he was aggressive, he got the big boys the ball when they needed to.”
Lindner did a good job defensively on Phelps’ point guard Marcus Floyd, a sophomore who was at his best out in transition where he could best utilize his speed. At 5-11, Floyd still needs to grow a bit and add some muscle to his frame but he’s already garnering interest from schools including Xavier and Miami.
“Today (Floyd) went against a kid, Nick Lindner, who’s a strong guard,” Phelps coach Brian Shanahan said about his main ballhandler, who finished with 12 points to lead his team. “Hopefully moving forward he’s gonna be one of the premier guards in the Philly area, it just matters on how dedicated he is to becoming a lead guard and being a leader when he has the basketball.”
Also playing well for Germantown Academy was yet another senior, 6-5 wing Greg Dotson, who contributed 16 points and six rebounds while playing great defense on Phelps junior Terry Larrier. Dotson, who holds offers from Delaware, Lafayette, Boston University, Quinnipiac and four or five other schools according to Fenerty, is waiting on making his collegiate decision.
“He’s just trying to figure it all out right now in terms of what he wants to do,” Fenerty said. “Honestly I think if he had his druthers, if he could stay close to home, because his parents come to all the games…he would love to do that.
One local coach was in the gym, as Temple’s Fran Dunphy walked in just after halftime to check out Larrier, a 6-8 New York native who’s in his first season at Phelps, but it was Dotson who came away with the win.
“I think (Dotson) got a little nervous when Fran Dunphy walked in the building, but he played defense, and I thought he played really well,” Fenerty said. “I had called Fran Dunphy because I love the kid and I know Dunph likes kids that can play defense and also can score, and will work hard to improve their game.”
Germantown Academy is back in action on Friday night when they host undefeated Lawrenceville Prep (N.J.). Phelps also plays on Friday, at Woodlynde.