BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Following an impressive 20-2 season, the 8th grade girls travel basketball team out of Berkeley Heights won the Clark Crusaders 13th Annual Winter Basketball Tournament on Friday, March 3, 2017. This is the first time that the team has won the tournament after being runners-up last year. They followed that exciting victory with a nail-biting game and heartbreaking loss in the championship game of the Girls 8 White division of the Jersey Basketball Association League on Friday, March 10th, finishing as runners-up in their division.
“There has been a steady progression with these girls year over year and that has been very gratifying for us to see as coaches,” said Head Coach Mike Erickson. “They have worked hard and have become more skilled and disciplined with each season. To see their PAL ‘careers’ culminate in the tournament win and a great run for the division title is very exciting for all of us.”
The 11 girls on the team, ten 8th graders and one 7th grader, are from Berkeley Heights and Mountainside. Most of the girls have been playing together since the 4th grade. PAL programs run through 8th grade, so the 2016-2017 season will be the last time the girls will play travel basketball together before they move on to High School level athletics.
“These girls have grown up together. Many of them are dedicated soccer players who initially simply joined basketball to stay active in the off-season,” said Assistant Coach Kevin Young. “Over the past four years they have grown to love the sport and their camaraderie on and off the court, and the soccer field, has kept them moving forward together, getting better with each passing year.”
The Berkeley Heights PAL travel basketball program is a part of the Berkeley Heights PAL sports program. Founded in 1953 the Berkeley Heights Police Athletic League, together with Berkeley Heights Police Department and the local community, supports and inspires our youth to realize their full individual potential as productive members of society.
Members of the team, in the photo above are: Back row, left-right: Kaylee Vreeland, Leah Gould, Kelsey DiStaso, Allie Post, Kelly Donfield, Madison Young, Coach Mike Erickson
Front row, left-right: Coach Kevin Young, Emma Priore, Samantha Erickson, Sabrina Serretti, Ali Knapp, Avery Sullivan, Coach Steve Gould.