NBC girls’ basketball makes it back to playoffs

By: Sean Moylan
   Most of this entire season, the defending championship Northern Burlington County Regional High School girls’ varsity basketball squad has been embroiled in a quest to rediscover its identity as a team.
   Happily, over the last couple of games, the Greyhounds "found" themselves just in time to qualify for the playoffs.
   "These past two games we’ve been playing like the old Northern Burlington team," remarked NBC head coach Terry Jennings, whose NBC squad qualified for the states for the sixth year in a row with Saturday’s 49-38 win at Lenape.
   NBC played smothering defense against Lenape while making 21-out-of-24 shots from the foul line. Careful not to put their playoff hopes in jeopardy, the Greyhounds broke out to a 19-7 first-quarter lead and then cruised to victory.
   As usual, Erin Walton was NBC’s big gun with 21 points, including a pair of winners from three-point land. Kourtney Gibbs chipped in with 10 points while Andea and Arielle Alford each tallied four points in the win. Rachel Walder (three points), Jess Gibbs (a three-pointer), Danielle Patrick (two points) and Erika Sensbach (two points) also scored for NBC. Walton made 11-out-of-13 attempts from the charity stripe.
   The Greyhounds followed that victory up with a quality 47-30 win over the Pirates at Cinnaminson on Tuesday night.
   "We were tied at halftime 16-16. Then we made some defensive adjustments, controlled the tempo of the game, rebounded well and made some foul shots. We played like Northern Burlington," Coach Jennings explained.
   Walton poured in a team-high 15 points. She is now only 30 points away from Erica Davis’ career scoring record. By working hard on both ends of the floor, NBC’s Erika Sensbach got the Pirates center to foul out. Sensbach had a sterling eight-point game. Walder netted seven points (including a five-for-seven performance from the line) and K. Gibbs had a half a dozen points. Arielle Alford scored seven points too.
   Last Thursday at Willingboro, the Greyhounds got off to a short-lived 6-0 lead before the Chimeras, led by Crystal Langhorne’s 34 points, awakened and ran away with the contest 54-30.
   "We just have to play with more confidence and control," said Coach Jennings, who club had actually entered the second quarter tied with Willingboro (14-14).
   Walton led NBC with 10 points while K. Gibbs and Arielle Alford each contributed eight points.
   NBC (9-6) is scheduled to host Rancocas Valley today and Florence on Monday. On Tuesday, NBC is scheduled at Moorestown.

   The Bordentown Regional High School girls’ varsity basketball squad edged Delran 63-59 last Thursday on the road.
   For a while it looked as though the Scotties were going to blow away the Bears as they took a 55-40 lead into the final quarter. But the Bears clawed their way back into the game only to be stopped for good by a dazzling lay-up by Latoya Taylor (six points) in the final few seconds of the contest.
   Bordentown superstar Randi Temple led al scorers with 20 points. Jillian Phillips scored 16 points, while Emily Napolitano (eight points), Tochi Shilow (eight points), Lauren Nucera (a three pointer) and Taryn Lynch (two points) also scored for Bordentown.
   On Monday, despite a brilliant 18-8 third-quarter run by the Scotties, Burlington City beat Bordentown, 64-51. Nonetheless, Phillips (15 points), Temple (10 points), Shilow (nine points), Napolitano (eight points), Taylor (four points), Nucera (three points) and Lynch (two points) all scored in the road loss.
   On Tuesday, Burlington Township defeated Bordentown, 64-51, at Bordentown. Phillips was the only Scotties player to reach double figures with 12 points. However, Taylor connected for a quartet of field goals and Temple and Napolitano each chipped in with seven points. Shilow (three points) and Nucera (two points) also tallied in a losing cause.
   This last stretch of games has produced the Scotties (13-6) first mini-slump of the season. But they say you learn more from losses than wins. Hopefully Bordentown can respond with a home win over Maple Shade on Saturday. On Tuesday, Bordentown is scheduled to host Cinnaminson. Other makeup games could be added to the schedule.

   The Life Center Academy girls’ varsity basketball team won two out of three games this past week.
   LCA held Villa Victoria to just 13 points in each half in last Thursday’s 41-26 victory.
   Samantha Weer led a balanced Warriors’ scoring attack with a dozen points. Sarah Cintron (10 points), Jackie Steffen (eight points), Stephanie Reitzel (four points), Ashley Birney (four points), Divinia Davis (two points) and Melissa Sabatino (a point) were the other Warriors to get on the scoreboard.
   On Friday, Florence topped LCA, 38-28, in spite of a 10-point effort by Cintron, nine points by Weer, four points by Reitzel, two points by April Hatcher and a point by Ashleigh Murtaugh.
   Then on Tuesday, LCA defeated Akiba Hebrew School, 51-39, at Florence. However, it took a strong late push by the Warriors to secure the "W."
   "At one point they (Akiba) were up by one in the fourth quarter. That was kind of scary, but we came back," said LCA team statistician Maryanne Brown.
   Of course, Weer’s 19 points helped out tremendously. Moreover, Cintron had 13 points, while Hatcher and Steffen each collected six points. Kaitlyn Antolic (four points) and Birney (three points) also tallied.
   LCA actually led 24-11 at the half, but Akiba was able to make the game seem closer with its 13-8 third quarter.
   LCA is scheduled to host Mercer Christian on Friday. On Saturday, LCA is scheduled at Burlington City. It is scheduled at Pine Forge on Monday. And on Tuesday LCA is scheduled to host Wishikin. As usual, nobody plays more games than LCA.