Jeff McDevitt (@JeffMcDev)
Two of Germantown Academy’s starters, Nick Lindner and Greg Dotson, knew they were going to have to play through injuries against the only other undefeated team in the Inter-Ac League on Tuesday afternoon.
The Patriots standouts sure looked to be healthy, as they were aided by 20 points and 10 rebounds from big man Julian Moore and defeated the Haverford Shool 60-57.
“I felt today we got some really courageous performances,” GA head coach Jim Fenerty told CoBL. “Nick Lindner is playing with a high ankle sprain. Greg Dotson is playing with a sore calf muscle. Even with that he said he was going to cover Alston, and that’s what he did.”
“In practice, coach knows my knees are hurt, and I like to jump a lot so I’ve been icing my knees in practice and saving them for the games,” Dotson said.
The injuries and missed practices did not seem to slow down him one bit. Eight points, eight rebounds, three assists, and maybe most importantly two huge blocked shots rounded out a full days work on the stat sheet for Dotson. Those two blocks along with a monstrous put-back slam in second half by the hyper-athletic senior ignited the crowd and stretched the Germantown Academy (12-3, 4-0) lead to 11 points.
Dotson’s defense on Inter-Ac leading scorer Shawn Alston never let the normally high-scoring Haverford School (12-4, 3-1) offense get in a rhythm, as they ended up dribbling and passing 25 to 30 feet from the hoop on many possessions.
“I knew he (Alston) is a great scorer. My goal was to stay in front of him and keep him out of the lane, and contest all his shots,” Dotson said.
Twice in the third quarter, as one of the Fords were going in for a routine layup, out of seemingly nowhere came Dotson, smacking the ball away at the rim, and sending the Patriots on another fast break.
“I just love blocking shots, whenever I see an opportunity for a block I just light up. It ignites not only my game but the entire team,” Dotson said.
Lindner was hampered by a high ankle sprain and was not 100%, but still chipped in twelve points including a perfect eight-for-eight from the line. Four of those free throws came at the end of the game to stretch the Patriot’s lead from one to two possessions and put the game on ice, so Lindler could do the same to his ankle.
Rounding out the scoring for the Patriots, sophomore Sam Lindgren and senior James Drury each had 11 points.
For the visitors, Haverford’s big three of Shawn Alston, Eric Anderson and Sema’j Reed combined for 49 of the team’s 57 points, with big man Reed leading the way with 22 points and nine rebounds. Reed, a 6-7 senior, showed his range by hitting two three-pointers in the first quarter in the face of 6-10 Julian Moore.
“Sema’j gets up for these matchups, he did the same thing last game against McGlinchey (Mike McGlinchey, Penn Charter big man and Notre Dame football commit). He gets excited to compete against those guys and we need him to continue to be the horse he’s been,” Haverford coach Henry Fairfax said.
The 6-3 shifty sophomore guard Shawn Alston had 19 points, but struggled through the first three quarters as he was stifled by the stronger senior guard Gregg Dotson. Alston had 12 of his 19 points in the 4th quarter, getting steals and pushing the ball up the floor to keep the Fords in the game.
“Dotson’s length and athleticism was good for Sean to see. He also saw it against St. Benedict’s early on in the season,” Fairfax said.
Junior sharp-shooter Eric Anderson finished with 10, but was frustrated as he had many three-point attempts rim out on him.
“I just wasn’t hitting shots,” Anderson said. “I still think we’re the better team.”
“That’s what happens on the road. If he makes those shots it’s a different game,” Fairfax said. “When you’re on the road and those shots aren’t falling you have to strap up and just guard.”
Today’s game was Haverford’s first loss in the Inter-Ac, and made Germantown Academy the lone undefeated team left in the league. Clearly today’s match up was one of the biggest league games of the season, and the two teams will match up again on February 1st at Haverford. With the young talent that they have, Germantown Academy coach Jim Fenerty hopes that February 1st is the last time he has to coach against Haverford for a few years.
“You don’t stop Alston and Anderson, They are two really great young players, I think what we’re going to try to do is drop them from the schedule but I don’t think the league will let us do that,” Fenerty joked.
“That’s the Inter-Ac for you. We have highly contested games at 3:15 in the afternoon after the kids are sitting at a desk for eight hours. But they did what they had to do, they held serve, and now they have to come to us,” Fairfax said.
Germantown Academy already has two Division I commits in their starting lineup in Lafayette commit Nick Lindner and Penn State bound big man Julian Moore. In the coming months, Greg Dotson will be joining them once he decides where he wants to play in the fall.
“I am not decided yet, I am still open. Penn was here today, and I may take an official visit to Sacred Heart soon. Those are the two schools that are on me the hardest right now,” Dotson said about his recruiting.
Standing 6-6, Haverford School guard Eric Anderson struggled to find his stroke Tuesday afternoon in the unfamiliar Germantown Academy gymnasium, but this season Anderson has been shooting the ball well, and averaging 12.7 points per game according to TedSilary.com. This shooting stroke coupled with a knack for rebounding, blocking shots and the ability to score on smaller defenders on the block has Division I coaches keeping their eye on Anderson.
“Still looking at the same schools,” Anderson told CoBL. “I visited Yale a couple of weeks ago. I’ve already seen Princeton, Penn, St. Joe’s Temple, most of the schools around Philadelphia. I’ll be looking forward to cutting down my list after the season.”
Both teams are back in Friday with Germantown hosting Springside Chestnut Hill and Haverford hosting Episcopal.