Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Pa. girls' basketball preview: Jonassen and Hamm intimidate for Perkiomen Valley

"Whoosh." That's the sound John Strawoet made as he enthusiastically demonstrated his earliest memory of Meg Jonassen on the basketball court.


That's the sound John Strawoet made as he enthusiastically demonstrated his earliest memory of Meg Jonassen on the basketball court.

Now he is the Perkiomen Valley varsity coach. But at the time, Jonassen was in seventh grade, and Strawoet was in charge of the PV Middle School West program.

He still remembers the moment and has the gestures to go along with it.

As the shot by the opposing team missed and the rebound went away from Jonassen, Strawoet said, she reached out with one hand and jumped in the direction of the ball.

Then "whoosh," Jonassen brought it in with two hands and her team transitioned down the floor on offense.

It was a sight you saw often last season as No. 43 hit the boards hard on both ends of the floor, grabbing rebound after rebound, possession after possession.

The same could be said for Jonassen's teammate, No. 45, Taylor Hamm.

Two highly skilled post players, together Jonassen and Hamm are the toughest matchup in the area as each forward stands 6-foot tall and has a penchant for rebounding.

"There's the intimidation factor," Hamm, also a junior, said. "Not a lot of people, not a lot of teams, have a ton of height. When you have two tall people, woah."

But the pair have so much more than height.

They're physical. They're tenacious. And as sophomores, both have the ability to take over a contest.

"We are kind of two different post players," Hamm said. "She is really good at scoring the ball. I'm good at passing. She's a very strong finisher. She knows how to go into the contact. I need to work on that. She's so tough. It's tough to get fouled and it not result in an 'and one' because she always finishes."

For now, though, their first appearance together of the 2016-2017 campaign is to be determined as Hamm is out with a fractured patella she suffered Oct. 16. She is rehabbing and hopes to return soon.

She isn't alone in that feeling.

"I'm really looking forward to Taylor coming back," Jonassen said. "I know she's so excited, but I'm just as excited, maybe more. I love playing with Taylor. She's a great player. I feel like the two of us together are unstoppable. It'll be great for the team."

Great might be an understatement.

Last season, Jonassen averaged 13 points and almost 13 rebounds a game, while Hamm averaged five points and eight boards for the reigning District 1 champs. Both came on especially strong in the postseason.

"The connection that we have is kind of rare. I feel like it is such an advantage," Jonassen said. "Just how tough she is and how willing she is to leave everything out on the court. It's hard to find that in players."

Another thing that's hard to find? The way they rebound. A year ago, the pair combined for 627 rebounds in 31 games.

"It's such a big asset to the game," Jonassen said. "You can score 20 points a game, but offensively rebounds are such a key to the game. And if you are willing to put in the extra work, extra jump to get the ball, it just separates you from other players."

On Tuesday, the Vikings traveled to West Chester Henderson for their final scrimmage before the regular season started.

Jonassen spent her time on the floor hitting the boards and making life tough for the opposing post players.

Hamm sat on the bleachers in street clothes with a clipboard on her lap, keeping track of her team's shot selection.

There's an excitement surrounding the Vikings and their season. And more excitement surrounding Hamm's return to the floor.

As for the prospect of Jonassen and Hamm in the paint together for the Vikings? You can almost hear the "whoosh."