February 28, 2014 at 2:06 AM
LIVINGSTON, NJ - On an evening where five seniors who brought much success to the program were honored, the Livingston High School girls’ basketball team lost a tight game to the Golden Eagles of Morris Knolls, 47-45, yesterday in Livingston. Junior guard Nicole LaRusso’s desperation 3-pointer at the buzzer was off the mark as the girls fell just short, in what was an evenly played game.
Before the game began, the five seniors on the team—Catherine Callaghan, Katie Horiuchi, Sam Leshinsky, Sam Rothenberger, and Gianna Vaccaro were honored in a ceremony. The underclassmen on the team spoke of fond memories of their senior leaders and flowers were presented to the girls’ parents. The seniors were also given gift baskets from all three teams in the basketball program.
Once the game started, it became apparent that the teams playing were evenly matched. The game was a well-played back and forth affair where the largest lead of the night for either team was a six-point Morris Knolls advantage in the fourth quarter. In the first half, Livingston was paced by some hot shooting from Callaghan and LaRusso, as the teams traded baskets and went into the locker room tied at 24.
During the second half, Livingston continued applying strong half court man-to-man pressure, while trying to contend with Morris Knolls’ junior forward Caroline Dunn, who was a formidable presence in the low post. Rothenberger and Emily Waldenberg both did solid work in attempting to neutralize Dunn. Sarosha Parsons played extremely hard on both ends of the floor as well, as the game remained tight.
Late in the fourth quarter, the Golden Eagles built their largest lead of the night by taking a six-point lead, with less than three minutes remaining. However, clutch 3-pointers from Parsons and Callaghan brought the girls back. Down two at 45-43, a Parsons steal led to a Rothenberger layup to knot the score at 45. However, that was as close as the girls got, as two late Morris Knolls’ free throws finished the scoring, causing the Lady Lancers to loose in another heartbreaker. Callaghan finished with a team high of 15 points, while Rothenberger added 12 in defeat.
The girls’ final regular season game is on Friday vs. Pequannock High School in Pequannock, with a 5 p.m. start time. The girls begin play in the state playoffs, with a road game at North Bergen, on Tuesday, March 4, at 7 p.m.