GERMANTOWN ACADEMY 57, PENN CHARTER 52
With Germantown Academy losing all five starters from a squad that went 22-6 and claimed top Inter-Ac League honors in perfect fashion, juniors Sam Lindgren and Tim Guers heard considerable talk about possible rebuilding pains.
"It makes us play hard," Lindgren said. "We don't want anybody thinking we're going to have a down year." Added Guers, "We were looking to prove the doubters wrong. We believed in each other."
So much for a major drop-off. With Lindgren and Guers combining for 29 points, the Patriots downed host Penn Charter, 57-52, Tuesday afternoon to register their seventh consecutive victory and improve to 2-0 in Inter-Ac play.
GA (10-5) lost three standouts - Julian Moore (now at Penn State), Greg Dotson (Morehead State), and Nick Lindner (Lafayette) - to graduation. Lindgren and Guers were the only returnees with real experience.
"As soon as those guys were gone, we heard, 'GA is down. It's going to be a long year for them,' " Patriots boss Jim Fenerty said. "I think Sam and Tim took it to heart. I think they got tired of hearing how bad we were going to be."
Lindgren, a 6-6, 195-pound swingman, led the way against the Quakers with 18 points, including a pair of first-half treys, and five rebounds.
"Tim and I have tried to be leaders," Lindgren said. "Setting a good example, with the number of young guys we have, is important. They see what you do and they want to do the same thing."
The 6-3, 180-pound Guers, a wing guard, totaled 11 points, five boards, four assists, and two blocks. He defended Sean O'Brien, PC's catalyst, most of the way. The Colgate signee finished with 22 points, but was held to eight in the first half.
Guers and O'Brien trained together last summer at GA with former Patriots and Villanova star Alvin Williams. "I had a good idea about the moves he likes to make," Guers said. "A big thing was me matching his energy."
With a 10-2 spurt at the end of the second quarter, GA was in front, 28-20, at the break. The run included Evan-Eric Longino's follow, Guers' driving layup, and Kyle McCloskey's bomb from up top.
Down by 39-30 late in the third stanza, PC (5-6) battled back and cut the gap to 41-39 on Patrick McCain's floater early in the fourth. The comeback ended there, as GA went 13 for 16 from the line over the last seven minutes.
McCloskey chipped in 10 points and five boards; Devon Goodman, who missed the early part of the season with a broken thumb, recorded 12 points; and Longino managed nine boards and three assists.
For the Quakers, who slipped to 0-2 in the Inter-Ac, O'Brien (seven boards, two assists, two steals) was supported by Demetrius Isaac (13 points) and sixth man Anthony Campanile (seven caroms, three assists).
In the fourth quarter, after the Quakers had inched to within a bucket, McCloskey drilled a right-baseline trey to make it 46-41 with 3:35 to go.
Coming off the bench for the Patriots, sophomore guard Bailey Whitman contibuted three assists and a blocked shot.
Germantown Academy 15 13 13 16-57
Penn Charter 14 6 17 15-52
GA: Devon Goodman 12, Kyle McCloskey 10, Evan-Eric Longino 6, Tim Guers 11, Sam Lindgren 18.
PC: Sean O'Brien 22, Alex Schwarz 5, Micah Holloway 2, Demetrius Isaac 13, Malcolm Elashari-Rashed 2, Anthony Campanile 4, Julian Johnson 2, Patrick McCain 2.