January 11, 2013 at 1:10 AM
PLAINFIELD, N.J. - The Governor Livingston girls' basketball team led by 11 points in the second quarter of Thursday's game at Plainfield. The Highlanders saw that lead dwindle to nothing in the fourth quarter, only to comeback and beat the Lady Cardinals 58-55.
"There's a lot to learn from a lot of things," Governor Livingston head coach Andy Silvagni said. "We have a lot to work on. Right now we'll watch tape and figure out what we did wrong and try to get better."
Leading 50-46 in the fourth quarter, after Highlander guard Alyssa Cranston converted on an "and-one" opportunity with 5:27 to play in the game, the Highlanders gave up back-to-back baskets to Plainfield's Winter Drew and Spencer Brearo to tie the game.
GL had a chance to immediately take the lead, when Brearo was called for a technical foul for taunting, but Mallory George missed both free throws.
On the Cardinals next possession, Drew was fouled on a missed 3-pointer. She converted on all three free throws to give Plainfield their first lead of the game with 4:30 to play.
George responded with a layup through the lane, but Drew answered back with her own layup to put the Lady Cards back up three.
The ensuing Highlander possession saw Cranston knock down a straight-away three ball to tie the game.
"I just kind of figured out my foul shots and my [regular] shot is coming along a little bit better too," Cranston said. "It was a little rough in the beginning. It was a big shot."
Governor Livingston hit three free throws in the final two minutes to build a 58-55 lead, however Plainfield had one last possession looking to tie the game.
With under 20 seconds to play, the Cardinals had four chances from outside the arch to tie, but all four fell short, giving the Highlanders their eighth win of the year.
"I was disappointed in how we played," Silvagni said. "I was disappointed in how we finished. We should have made free throws and ended the game. We should have rebounded the ball and ended the game. We didn't. We're just lucky to get out with a win."
The Highlanders will now begin to prepare for their "Super-Saturday" showdown with rival New Providence on Saturday.
Cranston said there will be no surprises because of how familiar the teams are with each other.
"We've seen each other a lot," she said. "We both know each others stuff. Its not going to be any big surprise. We've scrimmaged each other, played each other forever."
Tip-off for the girls' varsity game is at 1:30 p.m. The Highlander boys' varsity team will also host the Pioneers. Their tip-off is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. Both games will be in Governor Livingston High School's "Blue Gym." Additionally, sub-varsity games between the Highlanders and Pioneers will occur throughout the day at the Berkeley Heights school.