BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Fiona Kerr posted a triple double of 18 points, 16 rebounds, and 10 assists to lead the Gov. Livingston to a 56-24 thumping of Union, Tuesday night in Berkeley Heights.
Gov. Livingston used a 23-4 first half run to break open the game as the Lady Highlanders cruised to their seventh straight victory. Riding Kerr's dominance around the hoop and a stifling defense, Gov. Livingston raised its season mark to 7-1 and remain tied for first place in the UCC-Valley Division. The Lady highlanders will now turn their attention to Kent Place, who despite their 2-4 record could be a threat to snap Gov. Livingston's winning streak. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m. Friday at Gov. Livingston.
Gov. Livingston was coming off an emotional Super Saturday OT win over rival New Providence,in a game which the Lady Highlanders offense had a difficult first half of play, scoring just 10 points. However, against Union, the Lady Highlanders started fast with Shannon Polimeni getting a quick hoop off the tip and Kerr following with five points on a drive and three free throws. Union did battle back to tie the game at 7-7 with three pointers from Krizia Aponte and Brianna McNair.
For the next three minutes of play, Gov. Livingston was having trouble finding points which was reminiscent of their offensive play against New Providence. That all changed abruptly in the last two minutes of the opening quarter as the Lady Highlanders would explode for 23 points in the next 10 minutes of the game.
Skylar Dowling, who finished with 13 points, got things going with a quick four points. Gianna Ciccimarra (6 pts) off the bench closed out a 7-0 Gov. Livingston run with a slashing lay in to give her team a 14-7 lead after the opening quarter of play.
In the second quarter, Gov. Livingston continued their offensive charge but also turned up the defensive pressure to race out to a 20 point lead. When Dowling hit back to back triples to open the second quarter, the rout was on. Gov. Livingston would finish the first half leading 30-11, having held the Lady Farmers to just four second quarter points.
Kerr would finish off her career best performance by scoring 8 third quarter points as the Gov. Livingston lead ballooned to 30. At this point, Gov. Livingston coach Chris Eckert went exclusively to his bench which allowed some reserves to get their first varsity experience. The Lady Highlanders would finish the game with 9 different players in the scoring column, which included sophomore Madison Young's first career points.
Friday night's matchup against Kent Place School will be a good test for Governor Livingston. The Dragons are led by Tufts University commit Maggie Russell, who is averaging 16.3 ppg. and 7.2 rebounds. Fiona Kerr and Jill Meltzer will draw the assignment of trying to contain Russell who does most of her damage around the rim, but can also step outside for the three. Kent's losing 2-4 record is a bit deceptive since they have played a very challenging schedule, which included a two point loss to UC power Roselle Catholic. Kent Place also has four year varsity player Eleanor Alix (13.7 ppg) who possibly could be a 1000 point by seasons end, as a complimentary scorer to Russell.
The Dragons will have to contend with Dowling who has scored in double figures in seven straight and a more cohesive aggressive Lady Highlander defense. A defense that when pressuring can create some easy scoring opportunities.
The winner of Friday’s contest will take a big step towards calming the UCC-Valley Division title.