Girls Basketball Takes on Roselle in the First Round of the UCIAC

Guy Kipp

Marilyn Keating, staff writer

The Girls Varsity Basketball team played in the first round of the Union County Conference on Tuesday, February 18. The girls ended up winning the game 68-35, blowing their opponent, Roselle, out of the tournament. Though this win means a lot for the girls, the tournament is not yet over, and so there are still a lot of challenges ahead. 

Leading up to the game, the New Providence Pioneers, with a record of 20-2, were favored to win against the Roselle Rams, with a record of 14-5, however the girls did not let this affect their mentality.  

Freshman, Meghan Lamanna, the leading scorer in this game with 18 points, commented, “Going into the game we were prepared and ready to play. We knew that our press would help a lot and cause turnovers. We were also confident going into the game. We knew we had to come out strong and not take this team lightly.” 

Pioneers head coach, Mr. Pazdera, started the game out playing junior Lindsey Kinum, freshman Lamanna, junior Amy Maurer, senior Kaitlyn Cumiskey, and senior Alexa Boyle. 

Kinum opened up the game by scoring in the first 20 seconds. The Pioneers played a full court press where they trapped and tried to steal. The girls then dropped into a man to man defense in the half court. Their high press resulted in many turnovers, which the Pioneers were able to convert to points a majority of the time. Due to the team’s success and the score, the Pioneers dropped into zone defense. 

Though the outcome of the game seemed to be decided before it had been over, favoring the Pioneers, the Rams did not give up. By the end of the game, junior Maddison Vaughn, came up with 12 points, the same as second leading scorer for the Pioneers, Kinum. 

According to senior starter, and co-captain, Boyle, “The biggest takeaway from the game is that in the beginning of the game we have to make teams play up to us, and making sure that we don’t play down to them. When we started picking up the energy and playing the way we normally play, we blew them out.”

The Pioneers played a hard fought game and earned the victory. However, it’s only going to get harder from here. 

“The girls are continuing to work on the execution of their defense and making smart decisions on offense,” said Coach Pazdera.

Regarding the challenges that the girls will have to face, Coach Pazdera commented, “We are now getting into the “win or go home” part of the season.  Moving forward we have to make sure we are giving our best effort and executing on both sides of the floor (offensive and defensive sides).”

The girls move on to the Quarterfinal Round of the UCIAC and will be facing Governor Livingston, Friday, February 21. Though Governor Livingston will be a tougher opponent than Roselle, the girls already defeated them in their regular season 50-42. Either way, it’s expected to be a good game, as the teams are rivals and are closely matched.