Photos/Videos: John Knebels, Krystal Williams, Mel Caruso, Donna Eckert & Mark Zimmaro
By: John Knebels
SPRINGFIELD, PA – Before she had even walked onto the floor in a varsity uniform, quadruple digits had already been predicted.
Four years later, clairvoyance prevailed.
After Cardinal O’Hara’s Sydni Scott swished a 19-foot jumper with 7:23 remaining in the third quarter of the Lions’ 68-43 Philadelphia Catholic League win over visiting St. Hubert on Jan. 11, the senior guard became the 16th player in program history to reach 1,000 career points. She would finish with a game-high 16.
“When she was in eighth grade (at St. Eugene’s in Primos) we said, ‘Syd, your name would look great on that 1,000-point banner,’” said O’Hara coach Chrissie Doogan. “It’s a goal that she had. It’s a big deal. You have 16 players who have ever done it in our program. It’s a nice group to be part of so. I’m really proud of her.”
Doogan’s name is also on the banner. The 1993 graduate poured in 1,446 career points, the second most in O’Hara history behind legendary 1997 grad Kristen Clement, who finished with a ridiculous 2,256.
“I came to O’Hara freshman year and my coach knew I was going to get 1,000, so she always believed in me,” said Scott. “And my teammates believed in me, and I believed in myself.
“I work on and off the court. I lift. I hit the gym with my team. I’m in the gym off the court. I worked hard for it. It wasn’t easy at all. My freshman year, I thought I was never going to see the floor, but I worked hard at practice.”
A combination of a tenacious Hubert defense and an understandable case of the nerves held Scott to only two points over the first eight minutes.
After she was subbed late in the first, Scott took some deep breaths. When she returned in the second quarter, Scott resembled the player who has been named a first-team All-Catholic three straight seasons.
Over a span of five minutes, the Marshall University-bound Scott drilled four baskets – one a three-pointer – and a free throw to place her to within two points of the coveted 1,000 heading into halftime.
“The first quarter, I was kinda overwhelmed,” said Scott. “My coach sat me down said don’t worry about the points, just play your game. She was the one that calmed me down. I regrouped and I hit three in a row.”
In the opening minute of the third quarter, the electrified crowd anticipated the big moment. As photographers and videographers prepared to capture history under the baseline, O’Hara senior Kristen Kutufaris passed to senior Maggie Doogan.
Dribbling to her left, Doogan handed off to Scott at the top of the key. With Hubert junior Mia Tobin doing everything possible to distract her, Scott avoided a hand in her face and secured points 13 and 14.
The previous Lion to score 1,000 had been 2021 alum Amaris Baker, who finished with 1,078. Ironically, Doogan assisted on the 1,000th point by both Baker and Scott.
“I’m insanely happy for her,” said Doogan, a first-team all-state selection last year. “She works her butt off every day in practice. She comes in and pushes her teammates. She’s done it for four years. Seeing her name on that banner is going to be amazing.”
Now playing at Kennesaw State University, where she registered a career-high 11 points against Florida Gulf Coast University on Jan. 12, Baker was thrilled to learn that her former teammate’s name would be just below hers on the 1,000-point banner that hangs in the O’Hara gymnasium.
“I’ve known Syd and have been playing with or against her since we were about 10 years old,” said Baker. “I’ve just been happy to grow with her and be surrounded by her. She works very hard and I’m extremely proud of her.
“I knew she was going to get her 1,000th point her senior year, and now that it’s happened, there are no other words to express how happy and proud I am of her. Let’s go, Syd!”
In addition to Scott’s 16 points, Doogan scored nine of her 13 points in the third quarter. Freshman teammate Molly Rullo finished with 12 points. Senior Annie Welde chipped in with seven more.
But this night belonged to Sydni Scott.
“With Syd’s personality, it’s hard not to be happy for her,” said Chrissie Doogan. “She has that ability to raise people up with her personality and they are happy for each other. The kids are great kids. They just want what’s best for each other.”
Though St. Hubert’s lost the game, the Bambies earned respect from a Cardinal O’Hara team expected to be among the league’s top three when the playoffs begin.
St. Hubert senior Gianna Grassifulli and head coach Dave Schafer - PSD Photo by Krystal Williams
After O’Hara senior Sydni Scott had reached her 1,000th career point in a 68-43 loss on Jan. 11, the Bambies displayed their class.
“When I scored, they all said congrats to me,” said Scott. “I feel like they were happy for me to get 1,000.”
O’Hara coach Chrissie Doogan complimented Hubert coach Dave Schafer for Hubert’s preparation and trademark tenacity.
“He’s a tremendous coach,” said Doogan. “He gets the most out of his kids. They play super hard and they don’t back down. They’re Philly kids. They’re not going to back down from anybody.”
Schafer was happy for Scott.
“She’s a good kid,” said Schafer. “She deserves the honor. It’s quite a feat.”
Though not able to prevent Scott from reaching 1,000, the Bambies achieved two team goals.
“We wanted to hold them to under 70 and score 40 or more,” said Schafer. “Having only six healthy players and for our lack of height, we did pretty good. These kids gave me everything.”
Seniors Gianna Grassifulli (15 points), Charlotte Pugh (11 points), and junior Kate Patterson (six points and a ton of hustle off the bench) helped the Bambies keep O’Hara’s second-half advantage to a more-than-respectable 28-23.
“O’Hara is a very good all-around team and I think we played well,” said Grassifulli. “We fought hard until the end of the game.
“I have been playing against Sydni through AAU and high school over the last four years, and she is a very good player. That is a huge accomplishment, and I’m very happy for her.”
Lansdale Catholic (2-0) remains one of the PCL’s four undefeated squads. The major reason? Junior Gabby Casey.
In a 75-51 win at Bonner-Prendergast, Casey scored 30 points. Two nights later, Casey did even better, scoring a career-high 36 points as the Crusaders overwhelmed West Catholic.
Eclipsing her previous career high of 33 points is an experience Casey will never forget.
“The feeling was surreal and it made it even better that my team supported me and was cheering me on,” said Casey. “We have had a great start to the season. We got some very good new freshmen and transfers. If we continue to keep working hard and growing as a team, the future looks bright.”
Senior Lauren Edwards agrees.
“We came into this season super motivated to prove ourselves after a disappointing season last year,” said Edwards. “Just focusing on the fundamentals and working together as a team has helped us get off to this great start, and we look forward to seeing how far it can take us.”
Archbishop Carroll’s 3-0 PCL start has been fueled by consistent scoring and lights-out defense. The Patriots have only surrendered an average of 26 points.
In an impressive lopsided win at Conwell-Egan, senior Grace O’Neill (16 points), junior Taylor Wilson (13 points), and sophomore Brooke Wilson (12 points, eight rebounds) ignited a 49-17 halftime lead.
In raising their overall record to 9-3, Carroll finished with seven three-pointers, helping offset a team-high 10 points by C-E sophomore Brooke McFadden.
Archbishop Carroll senior Grace O'Neill had 16 points in win vs. CEC - PSD Photo by Krystal Williams
“The girls have been playing hard and disciplined,” said Carroll coach Renie Shields. “This is a result of the efforts they put forth each practice.”
Defending league champion Archbishop Wood is off to a 2-0 start. After hosting Little Flower on Jan. 18, the Vikings have a rugged stretch during which they face Archbishop Carroll, Cardinal O’Hara, and Neumann-Goretti over a span of eight days.
The Vikings have taken full advantage of their early schedule by affording substitutes significant court time.
In a victory over visiting Archbishop Ryan on Jan. 11 that Wood coach Mike McDonald labeled “a great night,” the Vikings placed 16 players in the stat column.
In addition to senior Bri Bowen, junior Delaney Finnegan, and junior Allie Fleming each scoring 11, senior Shannon Morgan added eight.
Freshman Emily Knouse grabbed a team-high seven rebounds. Freshman Reynah Rattliff, sophomore Lauren Greer, and freshman Keira Brennan all scored their first varsity points.
Before the game, Archbishop Wood recognized senior standout Ryanne Allen for scoring her 1,000th point back on 12/29.
“It was awesome,” said Allen, a first-team all-state guard who recently committed to Vanderbilt University. “Having my friends and family there to support me, and students and administration, too, was awesome.
“My team and coaches especially made it special. It was an awesome night and moment to be a part of.”
Bonner-Prendergast notched its first league victory, defeating host Archbishop Ryan, 54-49, in a back-and-forth affair.
Senior Bridie McCann scored 26 points. Two nights earlier, McCann established a career high in points by scoring 32 in a loss against visiting Lansdale Catholic.
“It was definitely huge for us to get a win under our belt,” said McCann. “The PCL is very tough this year. We have all of our starters right now and we’re a very young team, so it’s important for us to keep moving forward and improving each game.”
In Little Flower’s loss to Cardinal O’Hara, junior Gabby Dever and sophomore Haydon Johnston both scored six points. Sophomore Meg Colfer added five.
“I see a lot of improvement in the girls,” said Little Flower coach John Dever. “They’re practicing hard and are competing. We’re playing a lot of freshman and our future looks bright. Love going to practice every day.”
West Catholic is 1-2 in the league and has dropped three straight overall, but coach Messiah Reames is focused on the big picture.
“The message to our players has been to stay the course,” said Reames. “Yes, these games will be recorded as losses, but there are always valuable lessons for us to learn from in these games. Tough times don’t last; tough people do.”
Tag(s): Home Schools Philadelphia Catholic Girls Basketball Philadelphia Catholic League Arch. Carroll Girls Basketball Arch. Ryan Girls Basketball Arch. Wood Girls Basketball Bonner & Prendie Girls B-Ball Cardinal O'Hara Girls B-Ball Conwell-Egan Girls Basketball Lansdale Cath Girls Basketball Little Flower Basketball Saint Hubert Basketball Neumann/Goretti Girls B-Ball West Catholic Girls Basketball