Garnet Valley has a “Best Ever” wall at the school that celebrates every sports team based on winning percentage.
Though the Jaguars fell to Peters Township, 62-49, in the PIAA Class 6A title game at Hershey’s Giant Center on Friday, they’ll be on that wall forever as the school’s best girls’ basketball team ever.
The Jaguars finished this season 30-2, won the Central League title and their first District 1 title, and appeared in the school’s first state championship game.
“You could tell how much they care, with all the tears out on the court and all the tears in the locker room," coach Joe Woods said. “We’re all disappointed, but there’s nothing to be ashamed of.”
Garnet Valley clinched the No. 1 seed out of District 1 and got past Cedar Crest and Bethlehem Freedom with ease. The Jaguars then beat Council Rock North and Neshaminy by a combined margin of five points to reach the final.
But they ran into a buzzsaw when they met Peters Township. Garnet Valley fell behind, 11-2, to start the game, mostly because of the Indians’ pressure defense.
The Jaguars trailed by eight points at halftime and went down by as many as 19 in the third quarter. Garnet Valley had no answer for Peters Township senior guard MaKenna Marisa, who led all scorers with 29 points, seven rebounds and seven assists.
“She might be the best basketball player I’ve seen all year,” Woods said. “The thing that makes her great is that she makes the players on her team even better.”
Garnet Valley cut the lead to 11 on a few occasions in the fourth quarter but was never really a match for the Indians.
Brianne Borcky, a Drexel recruit, did all she could, leading the Jaguars with 21 points, shooting 3-of-4 from three-point range. The senior forward said she will never forget all that her team accomplished.
“I was crying during the game at the end because, obviously, it’s sad," Borcky said. “But I was more glad and proud with how far we’ve come. I’m not upset with how we played, just upset with the outcome. But I’m proud of everyone on the team.”
Emily McAteer added 15 points. After the game, Woods had his daughter and another former player he coached speak to the team.
“I asked them to talk [to the team] just to let them know that thousands of players would love to be in this spot, with the season they had,” Woods said.
Peters Township 20 9 18 15 -- 62
Garnet Valley 11 10 9 19 -- 49
PT: Mackenzie Lehman 3, MaKenna Marisa 29, Isabella Mills 14, Journey Thompson 16.