The Seneca Valley Screaming Eagles boys basketball team had a difficult game against Quince Orchard on Saturday morning. Although the Eagles were riding a five-game win streak, the task of playing one of the elite teams in the County with zero practice due schools being closed all week was daunting enough. Add to that the addition of the heavy hearts due to the loss of one a member of the Seneca Valley basketball family and that task became too much.
On Thursday the Seneca Valley basketball community was stunned by the news of the death of James Humphrey, the team’s scorekeeper and father of Seneca Head Coach Brian Humphrey.
The game was moved to Saturday morning because of the snowstorm and the Eagles seemed out of sorts most of the game. Quince Orchard came into the Seneca gym tied for the best record in the county at 11-2 while the 9-3 Eagles were hoping to show the County that they could hang with one of the top teams.
After a moment of silence to honor James Humphrey, the Eagles took to the floor but without their coach, who instead chose to honor his father by keeping the book, and left the coaching to his assistants.
Seneca Valley Athletic Director Jesse Irvin said, “We were surprised he came to the game. He didn’t want to coach the game; he wanted to do the book. His father kept the book for us for the last two seasons and also did it at Damascus for eight years when Coach Humphrey was an assistant there. Coach wanted to honor his father by doing the book.”
But on this Saturday, the Eagles could not fly and fell to the Cougars 60-43, in an emotional game for the Seneca Valley family.
Quince Orchard had three players in double-digits, John Fierstein led all scorers with 17 points. Matt Kelley finished with 15 points, and Uric Fandalor added 11 points to secure the victory. The Cougars were 15-for-21 from the foul line, shooting 71 percent.
The Eagles were led by Kareem Matthew, who finished with 11 points and Quentin Twyman who added 10 points. Seneca Valley shot 92 percent from the foul line making 12 of 13 free throws.
After ending the first quarter trailing Quince Orchard by just one point 11-10, Seneca Valley’s offense collapsed in the second quarter, as the Cougar defense held the Eagles to just four points. The opportunistic Cougar team jumped out to score 16 in the second period.
A large portion of the Cougars points came on from transitions, as Quine Orchard applied a trapping defense in the second half, which resulted in numerous Seneca turnovers which led to fast break points for the Cougars.
The loss drops Seneca Valley to 9-4 while Quince Orchard improves to 12-2. The Eagles will have three opportunities to get back into their winning ways this week as they will host 9-4 Clarksburg on Monday evening, and the second round of the Battle of Germantown takes place on Wednesday as the Jags come to play at Seneca Valley. The Eagles will finish the week on the road against Watkins Mill on Friday evening.
The family of James Humphrey has set up a Go Fund Me account for anyone interested in donating in his memory instead of flowers. All proceeds will go directly to the Seneca Valley Boys Basketball program to help players attend camps, receive new equipment, and other team activities.
Top: Quince Orchard’s Jack Ropewieski (12) gets his shot rejected by Seneca Valley’s Quentin Twyman (11). Seneca Valley would lose 60-43.
Next: Seneca Valley’s Kareem Mathew (4) led all Eagles scorers with 11 points.
Next: Quince Orchard’s John Fierstein (3) led all scorers in Saturday’s game with 17 points.
Photos by Germantown Pulse.