Young Radnor team not letting adversity slow it down

Posted: January 08, 2012

After senior leader Hannah Ross Nussbaum went down with a season-ending ankle injury in a game against Marple Newtown on Dec. 23, a young Radnor girls' basketball team decided to dedicate the season to her.

Before and after each game they give a cheer for Nussbaum, who was ordered to bed rest for the injury. The game wasn't two minutes old when she was injured.

With the loss of Nussbaum and fact that they are young, the Red Raiders weren't expected to be a major factor in the Central League race. They have only one other senior, Hannah Schug. But through their first nine games they have surprised some people, including themselves. They haven't lost since falling to Haverford High, 54-34, in their season opener. Their latest victim was Penncrest on Saturday. Three of the wins in their eight-game winning streak have come after Nussbaum went down. The biggest one was a 41-40 triumph over defending league champion Lower Merion last Tuesday.

"We've really come together," said sophomore Myonie Williamson, who has stepped into a leading role for the team. She had 13 points in the win over Penncrest and 17 in a 48-47 win over Marple Newtown. It was her basket on a pass from junior Shannon Quinn that beat the Tigers.

Quinn hit a basket with three seconds left to beat Lower Merion.

"We do play well together," Quinn said. "I was skeptical about what this team could do before the season started."

Both Williamson and Quinn say activities designed to bond team members have really worked.

"We do a lot of things together," Williamson said. "We're always together."

One of the things the team did was go see a movie together. The movie? The latest Mission Impossible.

Tough road. From Baltimore to Atlanta to Phoenix, the Germantown Academy and Archbishop Wood girls have done some traveling this season. It's meant some tough games and perhaps more losses than they would like to see on their respective records at the moment.

The Patriots, ranked No. 1 by The Inquirer, have five losses in 14 games while Wood, down from No. 1 in the rankings to No. 9, is 4-3, but those losses have been to some of the country's top programs. Their coaches, Sherri Retif of Germantown Academy and Jim Ricci of Wood, like stiff competition combined with the travel.

"We've been very fortunate," said Retif. "We love the travel experience and the opportunity to be together. It's a chance to grow both on and off the court. You learn to appreciate your teammates more, to let things go when someone makes a mistake. We want to be able to play the best talent out there."

Ricci took his Vikings to Baltimore for the Beast of the East Tournament, then to Phoenix for a Nike tournament. They ended the two tourneys with a 2-3 record.

They were scheduled to play on Long Island Sunday.

"We wanted to see what we had right away," Ricci said, explaining the tough opening stretch. "We wanted them to see what kind of talent it takes to go Division I. We're not interested in ratings. We're interested in players getting better individually."

On tap Tuesday. There are some big games Tuesday night that could go a long way in determining some races.

Unbeaten Council Rock South (9-0) visits rival Council Rock North (6-3) in the Suburban One League National Division. The Golden Hawks, led by Alex Wheatley and Alexis Hofstaedter, are looking for some payback for the Indians' dominance in this rivalry.

In the Central League, Ridley visits Radnor in an effort to break up the log jam at the top.


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

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