CHATHAM, N.J. - The Governor Livingston girls' basketball team utilized a 16-2 run at the end of the first half to dismantle the Columbia Cougars, 54-28, in Wednesday's Chatham Cougar Invitational game.
The Highlanders improved to 4-1 with the victory.
"I thought early on we had some trouble getting the ball in the hoop, but we settled down and we made some shots, we played good defense," Gov. Livingston head coach Andy Silvagni said. "We're just trying to get better everyday and today is just a step in the right direction."
The game started off slow, with both teams struggling to make baskets in the first quarter. After the first eight minutes, the teams combined for only three baskets, with the Highlanders up 4-2.
In the second quarter, the Highlanders turned on their offensive prowess, scoring 24 points, while only allowed eight points on two baskets and four free throws.
When Columbia tied the game at 9-9 with 4:20 to play in the first half, Gov. Livingston responded with a 16-2 run, jumping out to a 25-11 lead at the half. Four different players scored during the streak, with forward Erin Ferguson leading the pack with eight points during the stretch.
After Columbia opened the second half with a turnaround jumper from Sierra Bastien, cutting Gov. Livingston's lead to 25-13, the Highlanders scored 14 unanswered points to jump ahead 39-15 with 3:10 to play in the third quarter.
Silvagni emptied his bench for the rest of the game, giving the second team a chance for some "competition."
"Its good for everybody to get a good run," he said. "We breed competition in practice and everybody has a shot to play. At any point, anybody can go in the game, is what we always tell the kids. In the fourth quarter, our kids did a good job of handling the pressure, and played well."
The game got tense in the fourth quarter, with numerous fouls being called as Columbia tried to pressure the Highlanders into making mistakes.
Ferguson said she was happy the team played together and didn't turn the ball over.
"I thought we definitely played really well as a team together," she said. "We definitely limited the turnovers but it was a physical game. Luckily nobody got hurt, but I thought we played really well."
The Highlanders return to the Chatham Cougar Invitational on Friday as they take on Hunterdon at 2 p.m., while Columbia will face Chatham at 6 p.m.