SPRINGFIELD, NJ — It was a Winter season that almost never got started, but for the Springfield Nettes Eighth Grade team, a pair of weekend contests played by a short-handed squad led to a close, hard-fought defeat, and then a bounce back win a day later.

This past Friday night, the Nettes took the court for their season opener. Down to just seven players on the roster as a result of the ongoing COVID pandemic and other circumstances, the girls played a much deeper Chester team down to the wire, coming up just short in a 32-28 dogfight at the Jersey Basketball League Winter Tournament.

Angela Gatto led the Nettes in scoring on Friday with 17 points and three assists, as Molly McLeer pitched in 13 rebounds to keep Springfield close. Sophia Badalamenti had an all around solid performance, with eight points, eight rebounds and three assists,

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Additionally, Gianna Guensch had two points, two assists, four rebounds and three steals, while Allie Haughney snagged four rebounds and two steals. Tori Turner (2 assist, 2 rebounds). Springfield would cut the deficit to four points with three minutes left in the game, but was able to get no closer.

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The following day, the Nettes were back on the floor against Bound Brook, seeking that elusive first win of the year. Springfield jumped all over their opponent from the start, storming out on an 8-0 run to start the game, en route to a 24-12 victory.

Gatto continued her fine play, scoring 11 of her 14 points in the first half to help stake the Nettes out to 21-3 half time lead. McLeer was a rebounding menace again for Springfield, and also scored a bucket on a pass from Tori Turner, who had two points, three assists and two steals.

Sophia Badalamenti, who finished with 4 points, 8 rebounds, 2 steals and 2 assists, continued her strong play as did Samantha Wright and Allie Haughney.  But the play of the game belonged to

Gianna Guensch (3 points, 2 assists, 1 steal) who in the first half, on a pass from Gatto, hit the first 3 pointer of the year from deep behind the arc! The Girls are now 1-1, and  unfortunately, will not be back in action for a few weeks.  With no where really to practice consistently, we can only hope their fine play continues as the tournament goes on into February.