GERMANTOWN ACADEMY 54, CONESTOGA 52
It was during a busy day of AAU basketball when Germantown Academy's Tim Guers ran out of clean short-sleeved T-shirts and had to turn to the long-sleeved version.
"I played pretty well when I wore it, so I kind of stuck with it," the senior wing guard said. "I guess you could say I'm a bit superstitious."
Sporting a long-sleeved black T-shirt under his same-colored GA jersey, Guers netted a game-high 20 points as the Patriots nipped Conestoga, 54-52, Friday night in the opener of the Upper Dublin Invitational Tournament.
"We got off to a slow start last year, including an overtime loss to Conestoga," Guers said. "We were determined to start out stronger."
The 6-foot-3, 190-pound Guers shot 6 for 10 from the field, including 2 for 3 from beyond the arc, and the same from the line. He added five rebounds and a steal.
"He's got more grit than anybody I've coached in a long time," longtime GA coach Jim Fenerty said, "He just does not want the team to lose."
The Patriots (2-0) will play for the title at 7 p.m. Saturday against Upper Dublin, which knocked off fellow Suburban One League member North Penn in Friday's nightcap.
Last season, while averaging 17.1 points and drilling 37 treys, Guers led GA to a 19-8 overall record and the Inter-Ac League title. He was voted the league's most valuable player.
"I'm trying not to rely as much on the three-pointer this season," Guers said. "I want to get into the lane more and create other scoring opportunities."
Against Conestoga, GA recovered after falling behind by 10-1 in the first quarter. Down by 36-30 in the third, Guers and company went on a 15-3 run.
"I think we hit a lull defensively," Pioneers boss Mike Troy said. "They were able to get penetration and some offensive boards."
Patriots sophomore guard Kyle McCloskey (three on offense) chipped in 12 points and 10 boards. Sam Lindgren, a 6-7 senior forward bound for Colgate, notched nine points, seven boards, and two blocks.
GA junior guard Devon Goodman pitched in eight points, four steals, three boards, and two steals.
Ahead by 47-45, Evan-Eric Longina nailed a left-baseline try to give the Patriots a six-point cushion with 2 minutes, 10 seconds to play.
Guers will continue his hoops career at St. Anselm, a Division II program in New Hampshire. "I wanted to go to a school where I could play right away and also compete for a national championship," the Langhorne resident said.
Senior wing guard Andrew Diehl and junior floor general Daryl Caldwell paced Conestoga (0-1) with 19 and 14 points, respectively.
Germantown Academy 6 14 18 16-54
Conestoga 13 11 14 14-52
GA: Devon Goodman 8, Kyle McCloskey 12, Sam Lindgren 9, Evan-Eric Longino 3, Tim Guers 20, Bailey Whitman 2.
C: Daryl Caldwell 14, James VanDeventer 5, Dan Vila 4, Andrew Diehl 19, Martin Dorsey 7, M.J. Lezanic 3.