Red Raider girls advance to prep tourney quarterfinals

Girls basketball

By: Mike Molaro
   After The Pennington School defeated Solomon Schechter 34-10 in the quarterfinals of the state Prep B Tournament on Feb. 11, Red Raiders coach Dean Waters didn’t have to say much to his team about the triumph.
   "This was one of the worst games we played all year," Waters said. "We didn’t play with any focus or concentration. We must’ve thrown the ball away 25 times.
   "We played very sloppy as a team. The girls knew it. The coaches didn’t have to say anything."
   The Red Raiders (17-5) straightened things out quickly by closing out their regular season the next day with a dominant 70-33 home triumph over The George School.
   "The girls played very well," Waters said. "They put their game back into high gear. It’s good for the girls to know that they played badly the day before."
   Second-seeded Pennington held Solomon Schechter scoreless in the first two quarters and held a 22-0 halftime advantage. Freshman forward Meghan Reed led the way with eight points, while senior forward Gabby Wallace and junior guard Kylee Rossi each added six.
   "It was a nice way to start the state tournament," Waters said. "We didn’t know what to expect since we didn’t see Solomon play this season. I wasn’t pleased with our execution, but it was a win."
   The Red Raiders advanced to the semifinals earlier this week and are looking to return to the Prep B title game, where they fell last year to Rutgers Prep, the top seed in this year’s tournament.
   Senior forward Anitra Tucker led all scorers with 16 points against George, while freshman forward Keri Washington added 14, and Reed contributed 10. Pennington blew things open with a 30-7 first-quarter blitz and never looked back.
   Pennington is also seeded second in the Mercer County Tournament and received a first-round bye. Yesterday, they hosted seventh-seeded West Windsor-Plainsboro South.
   "It’s tough to go back-and-forth from the states to the county tournament," Waters said. "We put more weight in the state tournament. We try to use to use the county tournament games to play better. The MCT is a good test for us."