NEW PROVIDENCE, N.J. - Tip-off at New Providence High School was moved back three hours for a 4 p.m. start, but it was as if neither team showed up on offense at all. However, behind a team-high 20 points from sophomore Sydney Morang, the Pioneers overpowered Hillside, 49-37.
It was New Providence's ninth straight win, two of which coming against Hillside.
“The wings were not spread out and in too tight,” New Providence coach Cap Pazdera said, referring to the slow offensive tempo in the first quarter. “We weren’t creating the space we needed to for our shooters.”
The next eight minutes were a different story for the Lady Pioneers, as they went on a 9-2 run to start the second quarter, thanks to a momentum gaining three-pointer by freshman forward Hannah Caminiti and a variety of baskets by star guard Sydney Morang.
“We came out to start the game with less intensity,” Morang said. “But we turned it around and matched their intensity and made sure we were out hustling them.”
Despite a strong quarter by New Providence, Hillside was still hanging around because of the strong play by Yasmine Robinson-Bacote, who accounted for virtually all of the Lady Comets offense.
Unlike the beginning of the first half, both teams were more precise and efficient on offense.
Guard Katie Kinum, who tallied 11 points for New Providence, knocked down a big three pointer and Morang kept dominating the paint by getting to the free throw line, as the Lady Pioneers claimed a double digit lead after three quarters of play.
Hillside never got back in the game in the 4th, despite Robinson-Bacote’s 28 points, which were a game high. Caminiti hit another 3 to give New Providence a 40-30 lead, and Morang would all but seal the deal from then on out.
“By screening her (Morang) man drawing attention on her, we were able to create opening for the other girls,” said Pazdera. “We hit those openings and knocked down our shots.”
“When we attacked the basket and kicked the ball out, we were able to get some open shots,” said Morang. “Their defense collapsed when we drove inside.”
They will look to extend the streak to double digits when they take on Oak Knoll on Saturday in New Providence, with tip-off slated for 1 p.m..