FORT WASHINGTON >> It didn’t take long for the Germantown Academy girls basketball team to build a comfortable lead in the PAISAA quarterfinals against the Hill School Monday afternoon.
The Patriots led by 13 after the first quarter and the advantage stayed in double-digits the rest of the way as they cruised to a 56-32 victory at Germantown Academy.
Jaye Haynes was at the front of the fast start. She started the game shooting 4-for-4 and had nine of the team’s first 11 points.
“I was shooting before the game and some shots weren’t falling and others were,” Hayes said. “So I found where I specifically wanted to hit shots during the game. That helped.”
Haynes also helped lead an impressive defensive effort for the No. 3 seeded Patriots. They held the No. 6 seeded Hill School to single digits in three of the four quarters and just five total made field goals in the game.
“We watched game film and we knew what they were doing,” Hayes said. “It was easier to find out what they were doing. Personally, for me and the guards, we knew we could probably jump passing lanes and pressure them a lot.
“Defense is my favorite thing for basketball. I kind of find advantages when teams maybe have a weak or tight offense. It’s good to be out there, just have to pressure the ball and jump passing lanes.”
“We were playing a lot of man-to-man defense,” GA coach Sherri Retif said. “Just keying on their strengths. I thought Elle Stauffer did a great job. She came in and stopped (Bridget Mayza) — who is one of their leading scorers and came down with 11 rebounds.”
Offensively the Patriots had a very balanced attack. Haynes and Alexa Naessens each scored 12 points, Rachel Balzer had 11 and Maddie Vizza nine. In all, eight different players scored.
“The kids share the ball,” Retif said. “They work together. The chemistry is good. I think we’re peaking at a good time.”
The Blues played much better after the first quarter, but it was too little, too late. They had their best offensive quarter of the game in the second with 11 points, but the 13-point deficit grew to 22 at halftime. They played within two points — 10-8 — of GA in the third quarter and both teams scored nine in the fourth.
Hill’s Alexa Giacche scored a game-high 15 points. She made three of the team’s five field goals and went 9-for-10 from the free-throw line.
As a team, Hill shot 22-for-28 from the charity stripe.
Germantown Academy advances to the PAISSA semifinals Friday where it will face rival Episcopal Academy. When the teams met earlier in the season, they split their two games, each winning at home.
“It’s going to be interesting with the two of us in the bottom part of the bracket,” Retif said. “We’re up for the challenge. I think we’re peaking at the right time. The kids just keep getting better and better.”
Germantown Academy 56, Hill School 32
Hill School 4 11 8 9 — 32
Germantown Academy 17 20 10 9 — 56
Hill School: Dunn 0 1-2 1, Roberrson 0 0-0 0, Percy 0 1-2 1, Mayza 1 2-4 4, Lockhart 0 6-6 6, Giacche 3 9-10 15, Delahaye 0 0-0 0, Ebner 1 3-4 5. Total 5 22-28 32.
Germantown Academy: Stauffer 1 0-0 2, Vizza 2 4-4 9, Topley 1 4-4 6, Burns 1 0-0 2, Starzecky 0 2-3 2, Morrissey 0 0-0 0, Priore 0 0-0 0, Balzer 4 1-1 11, Naessens 5 2-4 12, Hayes 5 1-3 12. Total 19 14-19 56.
Three-point goals: GA: Vizza, Balzer 2, Hayes.
Top Photo: Germantown Academys Alexa Naessens drives past Hill Schools Kelly Ebner during their PAISAA quarterfinal on Monday, Feb. 20, 2017. (Gene Walsh/Digital First Media)