Bordentown girls’ basketball clinches spot in state playoffs

By: Sean Moylan
   This season the Bordentown Regional High School girls’ varsity basketball squad did not wait to test fate.
   Instead it went out and clinched a playoff berth early with a 58-29 home victory over Palmyra last Friday.
   Last Season a snow storm in the NJSIAA playoff cutoff date, left the Scotties one win shy of qualifying for the post season. But this year not making the playoffs was never a consideration because the Scotties have played great from the start of the season.
   In fact, Bordentown posted a thrilling 56-53 win at Cinnaminson last Thursday.
   "The Cinnaminson game was awesome. Randi (Temple) scored on two foul shots to seal it," said Bordentown head coach Sharon Conover.
   While she scored 13 points, Temple was not Bordentown’s leading scorer in the contest. That honor went to Latoya Taylor, who netted 22 clutch points in a big game and Jillian Phillips added 13 points to Bordentown’s final tally.
   With forward-center Tochi Shilow out last week because of the school play, Bordentown’s bench came up big in both the Cinnaminson game and the win over Palmyra.
   Against Palmyra, Temple sparked the Scotties to victory with a 17-point effort, which included a trio of treys. However, Taylor (a dozen points) and Phillips (11 points) came up huge again and Emily Napolitano had a sterling seven-point game.
   "Everybody scored. Rosie Fendak came in off the bench and had a good game (four points)," added Coach Conover.
   Taryn Lynch (two points), Alison Genus (four points) and Lauren Nucera (one point) all made the Bordentown score sheet in the playoff clincher. Amazingly, Bordentown led the contest 32-8 at the half.
   Tuesday’s home battle versus Westampton Tech was a tougher game, but the Scotties still prevailed, 65-54.
   "We were down at halftime by eight, but we won by 11," said Coach Conover. "It took our whole team to come back."
   It also took a career-high 25 point game by Taylor to secure the triumph for Bordentown.
   "She’s (Taylor) playing well. She’s maturing (as a player)," Conover noted.
   With Taylor’s blazing speed, she’s nearly impossible to stop off the dribble.
   Philips (five points) and Temple (12 points) were also very sharp against a very good Westampton Tech club. Napolitano (six points), Shilow (four points) and Lynch (two points) also joined the Scotties’ scoring party.
   "We’ve gotten where we are because of our team play. We’re learning how to win now," said Coach Conover, whose Scotties are 11-3.
   Bordentown is scheduled at Holy Cross on Friday and it is scheduled to host Ewing on Saturday. On Tuesday it is scheduled at Burlington City.
   "When we break the press, we win," Florence Township Memorial High School girls’ varsity basketball head coach Vince Cipriano recently stated.
   Unfortunately, this past Tuesday evening the Flashes had trouble breaking the Burlington City Blue Devils press and the consequently lost a 66-29 decision at Florence.
   "They (Burlington City) had a ton of points off of steals and breaks," noted Coach Cipriano, whose team surrendered over 10 fast break buckets.
   Nonetheless, the effort was there from start to finish for the Flashes.
   "I was kind of proud of the kids. They truly played better than they did in the first half of the year (the Flashes had lost to the Rams on opening day)," said Coach Cipriano, who judges his team by the things it does on the court.
   "Everybody played well in spurts and everybody played poorly in spurts."
   The Flashes, however, were at their best in the third quarter when they outscored the Rams 12-11.
   Super freshman Caitlin Fitzpatrick (10 points) and Felicia Bonsanto (nine points) accounted for 19 out of Florence’s 29 points.
   Also scoring for the Flashes were Lauren Jacobsen (five points), Anna Cook (four points) and Kim Ostrander (one point). Ironically all but Ostrander (a junior) were freshmen too. Nevertheless upper classmen like Stephanie Borota, Jessica Carroll, Amber Tolifero and Stephanie Muni offer leadership every time they take the hard wood.
   On the Riverside side, the great Sabra Wrice scored 26 points. But nobody can stop her when her game is on.
   Florence has last Thursday’s game versus New Egypt postponed until February 2.
   Florence (5-4) is scheduled at Burlington City on Thursday and at McCorristin on Tuesday.

   The countdown has officially begun in Erin Walton’s pursuit of Erica Davis’ Northern Burlington County Regional High School girls’ varsity basketball scoring record.
   Walton scored a game-high 21 points in leading NBC to an overwhelming 57-36 triumph over Gloucester City in Monday’s Cougar Classic played at Cherry Hill East High School.
   She now needs only 80 points to tie Davis record of 1258.
   However, NBC head coach Terry Jennings seemed to be just as impressed with Walton’s 13 rebounds, five assists and three steals as her scoring on Monday.
   "Erin Walton had a nice game. She was posting up," said Coach Jennings, who’d like to see her sharpshooter score more points in the paint. Walton has great inside moves.
   The victory was a total team effort with the Greyhound’s team defense being the ultimate star.
   "Our defense did fine. Our press worked. We just played the zone the whole time. But they had two outside shooters we had to make sure we slid out on," said Coach Jennings, whose team held Gloucester to just 13 first-half points (27-13).
   Jaimie Walton (10 points), Andea Alford (nine points) and Arielle Alford (five points) scored enough to keep Gloucester from using a box-and-one on E. Walton.
   Kourtney Gibbs (two points) and Rachel Walder were both under the weather, but each played significant minutes and delivered their customary brand of stifling defense for the greyhounds. All in all, it was a great Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
   With its upcoming schedule being so difficult, NBC (7-4) must grab every victory it can in order to qualify for the playoffs. NBC is scheduled at Delran on Thursday. Then NBC is scheduled to host Burlington Township on Monday.