Playing high school basketball less than five miles away from one another, a pair of former high school standouts from the Midcoast are now playing on in the collegiate ranks and are contributing mightily for their new school.

Ashley Geel, a 2008 graduate of Georges Valley High School, and Allie Parent, a 2007 graduate of Camden Hills Regional High School, are now playing side-by-side as members of the Saint Joseph’s College women’s basketball squad. Both Geel and Parent are starters this season for the Monks, with Parent starting all 16 games thus far this season and Geel starting in 12-of-16 contests.

Thus far this season, Geel has tallied 160 points (10 average), is shooting 48 percent from the floor and is 24-of-38 (63 percent) from the free-throw line. She also has 111 rebounds (7 average) on the year and also has 39 blocks, 19 assists and 11 steals.

Parent, who transferred to St. Joseph this year from Rivier College in Nashua, N.H., has 132 points (8 average) on the season, is shooting 42 percent from the field and has connected on five 3-pointers. She is also 27-of-46 (59 percent) from the free-throw line this season, has 106 rebounds (7 average), 58 assists and 35 steals.

Geel has been the top points scorer for the Monks on three occasions, scoring 11 points in a 90-54 loss at Colby College of Waterville Nov. 21; tossing in 16 points Dec. 2 in a 88-60 home victory over Thomas College of Watervile; and a 15-point effort against Skidmore College of Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Jan. 3. She was also the top rebounder in 10 games this season, with a season high of 12 in a home victory over Gordon College of Wenham, Mass. Nov. 24.

Parent has also been the top rebounder in four games this season, pulling down 11 caroms twice in two games this season against Thomas College. She has also scored in double figures seven times this season, including a personal best of 14 points against Simmons College of Boston, Mass. on Jan. 23. She also netted 12 points against her former college Jan. 16.

Geel and Parent’s accolades on the court at the high school level were well documented, with Parent earning player of the year honors in the Kennebec Valley Athletic Conference Class B division for Camden Hills her senior year and Geel being named the local newspaper’s female player of the year during her junior and senior seasons. Both young women were also named first-team newspaper all stars for three straight years.

The Monks are 7-10 on the season competing in the Great Northeast Atlantic Conference.

Last season, the Monks finished 13-13 and were eliminated in the first round of the GNAC playoffs by top-seeded Emmanuel College of Boston, Mass. Ironically, Geel was the top scorer against the Saints (13 points) in only her second career start.

While it has undoubtedly been a transition for Geel going from high school athletics to collegiate at the basketball level, it has likely been a bit smoother for her on the softball diamond.

Geel, along with former Georges Valley teammate Brittany Worcester, both of whom were integral parts of the back-to-back state Class C softball championships for the Buccaneers, played well in their first seasons with the Monks.

Geel, a first baseman, started in 13 of 24 games last season, going 11-of-48 (.229 average) at the plate with six singles, four doubles and a triple. She also knocked in 13 runs and had a slugging percentage of .962.

Worcester, a second baseman, started in three of 24 games last season, going 2-of-13 (.154 average) and rapping a double and a single, along with three RBIs.

Geel was also a three-time newspaper all star in softball, while Worcester was a one-time honoree.

The Monks were 29-14 last season competing in the GNAC conference. The Monks fell to Emerson College of Boston, Mass. in the GNAC championship before falling to Plymouth State of New Hampshire 2-1 in the first round of the Eastern College Athletic Conference (ECAC) playoffs. Geel also knocked in the lone run in that contest.

Village NetMedia Associate Sports Director Mark Haskell can be reached at 207-594-4401 or by e-mail at mhaskell@villagesoup.com.