January 27, 2014 at 6:55 AM
LIVINGSTON, NJ – On Saturday, in a game that they controlled from the opening tip-off, the Livingston High School (LHS) girls varsity basketball team rolled to a 59-19 victory over Irvington in preliminary round action of the Essex County Tournament.
From the start of the game, it was clear that the Irvington Blue Knights were not going to be able to handle the full court pressure applied by the Lancers. Leading the way defensively were Sam Rothenberger and Sarosha Parsons, whose length and athleticism were too much for Irvington to deal with.
The Lady Lancers went on to score the game’s first 23 points before Irvington’s Lakeitha Johnson hit a 3-point basket in the closing seconds of the first quarter to put the Blue Knights on the scoreboard. Leading the way offensively for Livingston were tri-captains Katie Horiuchi, Catherine Callaghan, and Nicole Larusso as the Lancers built a twenty point cushion. Gianna Vaccaro came off the bench and played aggressively on both ends of the floor.
The 2nd quarter saw coach Patty Kaes giving her starters some well-deserved rest and an opportunity for some reserves to see quality playing time. The bench did not disappoint as Livingston outscored their opponent 12-3. Lexi Berliner, Sam Leshinsky, and Emily Waldenberg paced the Lancer scoring in the period, aided by some assists from Julie Kane. Mykala Healy and Katrina Descorbeth added solid defense and rebounding, as Livingston lead by 29 at the break.
The 2nd half had Coach Kaes again freely substituting, as the game was no longer in doubt. The starters got a bit more playing time in hopes of keeping them sharp with a busy few weeks of action coming up. The final 40-point margin was based on a total team effort, as all 12 girls saw significant playing time. In the end, Horiuchi lead the team with 11 points, while Callaghan added 10 and Larusso and Waldenberg both finished with 8. Johnson was the high scorer for the Blue Knights finishing with ten points.
The next ECT game for the 18th seeded Lancers will be a 2nd preliminary round game at 15th seeded Caldwell High School this Thursday at 5:30 pm. The girls will first, however, face the stiff challenge of hosting the Knights of West Essex this Tuesday also at 5:30 pm. West Essex comes into the game with a 9-1 record including an eight point win over the Lady Lancers back in December. The JV game will precede the Varsity game with a 4 p.m. tip-off.