NEW PROVIDENCE, N.J. - The New Providence girls' basketball team fell victim to the sharp-shooting Highlanders of Northern Highlands, 64-44, however other storylines overshadowed the result as both teams closed out their regular season, with the NJSIAA state playoffs on the horizon.
Seniors Casey Trezza, Morgan Mohlmann, Natalie Barrett, and Jillian Balog were recognized prior to the teams’ regular season finale for their years of arduous work and dedication to the program on a Friday night in New Providence.
“We’ve played together since we were in fourth grade and its been really great to go through this whole journey together as a team,” senior co-captain Casey Trezza said. “We have loved playing together for the past years.”
“Every girl in our program is important, especially our seniors,” New Providence head coach Cap Pazdera said. “Their role models for the younger players and they can always be looked up to.”
After the pre-game festivities concluded, both teams got right to it on the offensive side of things. The dangerous tandem of Sydney Morang and Katie Kinum powered the Lady Pioneer offense early on, but the Highlanders kept pace thanks to the inside presence from Melissa Heath and the outside shooting from Madison Dunbar.
After one period, Northern Highlands led 18-12.
A similar pace continued into the second frame until strong defense from Morang and Mohlmann enabled New Providence to creep back into the game, trailing by five at the half.
The third quarter began with great anticipation as sophomore guard Sydney Morang needed just three more points to become the 12th member of the 1,000 point club in New Providence boys and girls basketball history
She didn’t waste any time doing so, as she promptly knocked down two free throws and exactly two minutes into the second half, she hit a layup while getting fouled, putting her career total over 1,000.
“It wasn’t just me,” Morang said when asked how she was able to score 1,000 points in less than two seasons. “I’m the one putting the ball in the basket, but it’s everyone else that helped.
“The assists and everyone helping let me accomplish this.”
“She worked really hard to get this,” said Pazdera. “Her hard worked paid off tonight and Sydney would be the first one to tell you that she can’t do it without her teammates.”
Unfortunately, the Lady Pioneers couldn’t keep pace from that point on and they fell to the Highlanders by a final score of 64-44, their largest margin of defeat this season.
The journey to the Group 1, Section 2 section final begins on Monday as the No. 2 Lady Pioneers take on North Star Academy, with tip-off slated for 6 p.m.