Runnin' Rebels finish 3d in AAU tourney Girls' Basketball Notebook

Posted: July 20, 2001

The Philadelphia Runnin' Rebels enjoyed a strong run, finishing third among 68 teams in the 16-and-under girls' AAU championships last week in Winston Salem, N.C.

The team, which went 9-3, consisted of players (who had to be 16 by Jan. 1) from the Philadelphia area, including five from South Jersey.

"I've been doing this 11 years, and this is the best talent we ever faced," Rebels coach Bill McDonough said. "The California team had six players who eventually will be in the WNBA."

The California squad beat the Rebels twice and didn't even win the tournament, finishing second to West Texas.

Four of the local players will be seniors this fall: forward Katie Scherle of Clearview, center Sarah Beato of Pitman, guard Jen Daniels of Holy Spirit, and guard Cara Murphy of Haddon Township. Also on the team was junior forward Ikea Witt of Sacred Heart.

"All five of the South Jersey players played very well," McDonough said. "I think every one of them will be getting Division I scholarships."

Murphy has made a verbal commitment to Fairfield. She broke her right thumb midway through the tournament and will be sidelined for about three more weeks. Before that, Murphy was averaging three three-point field goals per game.

Scherle averaged seven points and eight rebounds, and Beato was a defensive presence, with nine blocked shots in one game. Daniels ran the team at point guard and Witt provided offense and rebounding off the bench.

No wins, good experience. The Penn Jersey Panthers were far from demoralized after going 0-3 during the AAU 18-and-under girls' national championships that began last week in Orlando, Fla.

"We played everybody almost equally," said Ken Dunek, who coached the team with Pat Maguire. "Our goal going down there was to get girls who hadn't committed, some college looks. We also wanted to have fun. The competition was unbelievable."

Ashley Dunek, a recent Lenape graduate, averaged a team-high 19.3 points in the tournament. The 5-foot-11 Dunek will attend Holy Family on a basketball scholarship. Looking to improve her perimeter game, she hit 10 three-pointers.

Ann Maguire, a 5-7 senior-to-be from Holy Cross, averaged 15 points and had 12 three-pointers. "She played very well," Ken Dunek said.

Among the other players on the team were recent graduates Erika Jones (Riverside), Becca Earl (Moorestown), Ramenta Warren (Burlington Township), and Jen Weldon (Maple Shade).

Lenape graduate Christina Mason, who will be a sophomore at Stockton, was also on the team along with seniors-to-be, Eileen Rhoads of Sacred Heart and Kathleen Brennan of Holy Cross.

Marc Narducci's e-mail address is mnarducci@phillynews.com.

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