BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The Gov. Livingston Lady Highlanders hosted perennial Union County power Roselle Catholic giving them all they could handle before falling 51- 41 Thursday in the Coaches vs Cancer "Let's Block Cancer" game.
This is the Lady Highlanders first year to participate in the Coaches vs Cancer game to support the American Cancer Society. The team had a very special honorary captain/coach sitting on the bench -- cancer survivor Alexa D'Amato, a first grade student at Mary Kay McMillin, accompanied by her sister Leyla and brother Christopher.
The GL squad was coming off a solid thumping of Linden (65-46) earlier this week and were looking to close the week before the state playoff seeding cutoff (February 5th) with a big power point win.
Lindsay DiStaso who posted a career high 20 points against Linden again came up big in this contest. DiStaso single handedly kept her team in the game by scoring 11 points in each half finishing with a fresh new career high 22 points.
Trailing 10 - 6 after the first quarter, the Lady Highlanders used 5 DiStaso points and an Amanda Bostwick hoop to close to within a point at 14 -13. Unfortunately, some sloppy play by the Highlanders enabled the Lady Lions to expand their lead to 9, before a Lara Romano basket stopped the bleeding. As the quarter was coming to an end, Bostwick came up with a big steal and fed a fast breaking DiStaso who scored bringing the Lady Highlanders to within 24- 17 at the half .
The third quarter saw GL come out strong scoring the first 4 points. A Lindsay Gerrato free throw, a DiStaso jumper, followed by a Nicole Sforza free throw got the momentum going the Lady Highlanders way, closing to within 3 at 24- 21. Again, the home team had a bad stretch allowing the Lady Lions to go on a 6-0 run upping their lead back to 9.
After a timeout, GL's leading scorer this season Gerrato ignited. First, she scored on a nice drive, followed by a lay in off a nice Romano feed. A huge 3 by Bostwick brought the GL home crowd back into the game as GL trailed by just a hoop at 30- 28 forcing Roselle Catholic to call a timeout with 2:31 remaining in the third quarter. The Lady Lions regained their composure and closed out the quarter with a 4 point lead at 34-30, but the Lady Highlanders were in striking distance.
The last quarter began with a DiStaso basket getting the Lady Highlanders to within 2 which would be as close as they would get for the remainder of the game.
Inconsistent play again reared its ugly head as Roselle Catholic took advantage of some poor GL passing and pushed their lead to 10 at 45-35.
A Bostwick three and 3 points from DiStaso again forced a Roselle Catholic timeout as they closed the gap to 4 with 2:15 remaining. Unfortunately, GL would not score again and RC would convert their foul shots to seal their much earned road win.
For the game, DiStaso was an imposing force finishing with 22 points and 7 rebounds. Bostwick scored eight points while Gerrato added seven points and nine rebounds .
The GL squad will next be in action this upcoming Saturday as the host the number 1 ranked girls team in Union County, the Patrick School at 2 p.m.