Mount’s Horgan named Inquirer player of year

Posted: March 29, 2011

For Mount St. Joseph senior guard Mary Jo Horgan, it was like a busman's holiday.

Horgan and Magic coach John Miller found themselves spectators at the PIAA Class AAAA girls' basketball semifinal between Boyertown and Archbishop Carroll last week at Spring-Ford.

Both of them wished they were on the court with a chance to advance to Friday night's state championship game at Penn State.

But they were in the stands because of a 42-41 loss to Boyertown in the quarterfinals.

"It was a disappointing loss," the 5-foot-8 senior said, "but it was an exciting year and we can't let the loss overshadow what we accomplished. We won the Catholic Academies championship, the District 1 championship, and finished in the [PIAA] Elite Eight. We were 28-4.

"The fact that we had the weekend after the loss made it a little easier to handle. We did some uncharacteristic things in that game, like missing key free throws."

Like her team, Horgan had a list of accomplishments this season that can't be overshadowed by the loss to the Bears. She is The Inquirer's Southeastern Pennsylvania player of the year in girls' basketball.

Horgan became a 1,000-point scorer this season along with teammate Steph Smith. All of Horgan's 1,086 points (15.3 per game), including 22 in the loss to Boyertown, came in three seasons.

Entering this season, she needed 404 points to reach 1,000. She ended the season with 490.

"She hit double figures in every game but two," Mount assistant coach Joe Sweeney said.

Horgan shot 47 percent from the field and 37 percent from three-point range in her high school career. She averaged four steals and three assists.

In her three seasons, the Mount compiled a 108-14 record. She recently was honored by the Markward Club with its Ferguson Award for both her accomplishments on the court and in the classroom.

"She had a very successful junior season," Miller said. "I couldn't have imagined her having a better one, but she had a phenomenal season this year."

Miller was in his second year at the Mount when he met Horgan, a freshman.

"I don't go out and recruit players," Miller said. "I've only seen two CYO eighth-grade games since I came to the Mount."

Miller could see he had raw talent in Horgan when she was a freshman. She moved to the varsity as a sophomore.

"I remember we played Freire Charter in a tournament at Shipley," Miller said. "She scored only one point in the game and was frustrated, but she had a very good game in the next one."

Miller began to groom her almost immediately to take over for point guard Jen Sabia, who was due to graduate.

"I told her if we were to be successful she had to be ready to take over the point," Miller said. "She had never played it before."

Horgan, an excellent student who enjoys solving a math challenge as much as she does a matchup zone defense, will be playing for Lehigh next season. The Mountain Hawks reached the Patriot League semifinals this year.

"Lehigh has good basketball and good academics," Horgan said. "It's a nice size and not too far away. I'm a homebody."


Contact staff writer Don Beideman at 267-815-0733 or dbeideman@phillynews.com.

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