Washington Township's Jenn Natale...

Washington Township's Jenn Natale... Washington Township's Jenn Natale Earns Milestone Win  

Jenn Natale was a standout basketball player at Washington Township and she has continued as the head coach of her alma mater.

Natale recorded a significant milestone when the Minutemaids beat Timber Creek, 52-43 last week. That improved her career record to 200-93.

Now in her 11th season as head coach, Natale guided the Minutemaids to Olympic Conference American Division titles in 2007, 2012, 2013 and 2014. She has also led Washington Township to four South Jersey Group 4 championships in 2009, 2011, 2012 and 2013.

Her team in 2011 was a longshot but earned one of the more improbable championships in recent South Jersey history.

The Minutemaids beat top seeded Cherry Hill East to win the South Jersey title. During the regular season, Township has lost two games convincingly to Cherry Hill East.

It was also the beginning of an impressive run. That upstart team had freshmen twins Kylie and Kelly Giedemann manning the backcourt. The two sisters, currently competing for Holy Family College, were like their team that year, getting better during the second half of the season.

It was a team with an interesting mix of the two freshmen and three senior starters—center Kelsey Brown and forwards Gianna DiPietro and Della Mercurio.

The season ended for Washington Township with a 66-46 loss to South Jersey's top team, Rancocas Valley.

The Minutemaids, who were the 11th seed in the South Jersey tournament, ended their season with a 16-14 record.

Still, that might have been among the more impressive coaching jobs in recent state tournament play.

As it turns out, that team and the Giedemann twins were catalysts for three consecutive South Jersey titles.

This year the Minutemaids won't be the Group 4 favorite, but a contender nevertheless.

A 48-35 win over Delsea improved Washington Township to 8-4 and gave Natale her 201st career win, beginning the run toward 300.

Township could also make a run in the American Division but the Minutemaids have lost to Cherokee and Lenape. They will play both Burlington County schools in February rematches.

Washington Township's history under Natale is to improve as the season progresses, just like the 2011 season.  

Natale is a 1995 Washington Township graduate. She scored 1,033 career points and was a two-time first-team all-South Jersey selection. In addition, she was a three-time first-team all-Group 4 and all-Olympic American selection. 

She then enjoyed an outstanding college career at Fairfield University and has continued that success in the coaching ranks.

Photo by Marc Narducci: Natale poses with WTHS Principal Ann Moore (left) and Board of Education president Ginny Murphy (right) following the win.

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Author: Marc Narducci; Photo by Marc Narducci

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