Studious Mayer has Ridley on right course

NEWTOWN SQUARE >> Hailee Mayer looked as though she was walking to class rather than toward the exits and onto the Ridley team bus Thursday night.

The senior guard was holding a large binder that appeared to be meticulously organized. On top of that binder was a thick textbook.

“It’s my AP calc. stuff,” said Mayer, who wants to study engineering in college.Mayer, D’Ambrosio lead Mayer, D’A

Ridley’s percentages of winning increase when Mayer is scoring points and facilitating, as was the case in a 47-34 Central League victory over Marple Newtown.

Mayer scored her team’s first nine points — including all six in the first quarter — and finished with 16 points on 4-for-9 shooting. All of her field goals came from beyond the arc.

“Coach (Bryant McCombs) tells me that I don’t shoot enough, but when I do it’s the smart shots,” Mayer said. “I try to get everyone else involved

Dana D’Ambrosio scored 11 of her game-high 17 points in the fourth quarter to help Ridley defeat Marple Newtown, 47-34.

before I think about myself.”

Selflessness and advanced placement-level smarts are good characteristic traits to have for a high school point guard.

“She’s our senior captain,” said junior Dana D’Ambrosio, who was clutch in the fourth quarter and led all players with 17 points. “It’s not that we look up to her… ”

D’Ambrosio stopped mid-sentence, then continued.

“OK, it is,” she said.  “She gets it going and gets us all started.”

Mayer was the hero in Ridley’s win Tuesday night, a thrilling overtime decision over Haverford. She had the only point of the extra session from the free-throw line.

“I’ve known her since she was in fourth grade and had the opportunity to coach her during in a spring league. She’s always been a player,” McCombs said. “Not every shot is going to go in, like I tell the kids, don’t stop shooting. I told her tonight to shoot her first shot from her spot. She has that confidence to hit those shots.”

Mayer helped the Green Raiders (2-4, 2-2) to their second win, but took a backseat in the second half as fellow guards D’Ambrosio and Paige Gabriele (four points, three steals, two assists) and senior forward Izzy Hamlin (six points, nine rebounds, four steals) emerged down the stretch. Mayer had four points —  all from the foul line — in the fourth quarter.

“Coach Britt (Brittany Battinieri) is always telling Dana and I that we’re the point guards, so go be the leaders out there,” Mayer said.

D’Ambrosio had 11 of her 17 points and shot 6-for-8 from the free-throw line in the final stanza.

“I’ve been struggling on the foul line a little,” D’Ambrosio said. “Once I start making them, it gets my confidence up. It helped. I’ve been really working on my foul shots.”

McCombs said D’Ambrosio needed a solid performance Thursday to snap out of her recent malaise.

Izzy Hamlin goes to work inside the paint Thursday night against Marple Newtown. Hamlin and the Green Raiders claimed a 47-34 win.

“I think Dana needed that boost because the last couple of games, she’s been a little off,” McCombs said. “She needed a game like that to get her basketball game back. Another part of it was that she wasn’t playing with foul trouble, so she wasn’t worried about that, either. It was almost like a perfect storm for her, so she could concentrate and play an aggressive style of basketball and not have to worry about, ‘Oh my gosh, I’m going to pick up my fifth foul.’ She’s very good when she’s playing her game.”

Holding a 28-26 lead after three quarters, the Green Raiders scored the first five points of the final period and never looked back. The Tigers cut their deficit to three points on a putback by Natalie Ayoub (seven points, nine rebounds), but the Green Raiders responded when D’Ambrosio drilled a 3-pointer to go up by six points. Ridley overcame an 11-0, first-quarter run by the Tigers (2-3, 1-3) and erased a 16-6 deficit in the second.

“Coaches are always telling us to play as a team, to play as a family,” Mayer said. “I think we’ve showed that in our past two games. Our losses came from falling apart as a team, and these last two games we really struck together and played as a team. That’s been the difference.”

Devon Adams had eight points, seven rebounds and two blocks to lead Marple Newtown. Halle Robinson added six points, five rebounds and four assists.

In other Central League action:

Springfield 34, Haverford 22 >> Jordan D’Ambrosio paced the Cougars (5-1, 3-1) with 12 points and five steals. Maggie O’Connell and Belle Mastropietro (six steals) each chipped in with six points.

Erin Doherty led the way for the Fords (2-5, 1-3) with eight points.

Radnor 56, Lower Merion 47 >> The Raiders erased a 14-point deficit with a 22-7 run in the third quarter. Maura Holst scored all eight of her points in the second half and Nicole Massimino (13 points) outscored the Aces by her lonesome in the third quarter, 11-7.

Audrey Rosenblum netted a career-high 19 points for the Raiders, topping her previous high of 14 set Tuesday, and had five steals. Allison Lanzone contributed 10 points and seven steals for Radnor (3-2, 2-1).

Garnet Valley 62, Strath Haven 17 >> Emily McAteer had 19 points and Brianne Borcky netted 15 for the Jaguars (5-0, 4-0).

In nonleague action:

Cardinal O’Hara 55, Elizabeth Seton (Md.) 51 >> The Lions (2-2) finished 1-2 at the Nike Tournament of Champions in Phoenix. All-Delcos Mary Sheehan (16 points), Kenzie Gardler (13) and Hannah Nihill (10) scored in double figures.

Sacred Heart 38, Christopher Dock 12 >> Eileen Piombino scored 12 points and Kyra Quigley tossed in seven for the Lions (6-1), who led at halftime, 19-0. Katie Gillin had a career-high six points.

Notre Dame 52, Villa Maria 43 >> Casey Walsh scored a team-high 17 points and grabbed five rebounds for the Irish (5-2). Many McGurk added 10 points, seven assists, five rebounds and four steals, while Jill Kane poured in 11 points.

In the Ches-Mont League:

Great Valley 43, Sun Valley 36 >> The host Patriots shots 10-for-12 from the charity stripe in overtime to upend the Vanguards (1-4, 0-3). Sadie Buzan converted an and-1 play late in regulation to tie the game for Great Valley after Claire Howley hit two free throws to put SV ahead by three with 20 seconds to play.

Kate Lannon and Abby Seasock paced the Vanguards with 11 points apiece.

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