BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - On Super Sunday (usually Saturday), archrival New Providence and Governor Livingston squared off in the annual affair with the Pioneers coming away with a dominant 62-33 victory. Sunday’s game was a makeup contest between the two teams as inclement weather a few weeks ago led to its postponement.
With the victory, New Providence improves to 11-3 while Governor Livingston fell to 6-7.
Star New Providence guard Katie Kinum nearly had a triple-double in registering a game-high 36 points to go along with 10 rebounds and five assists. Kinum also had three steals in the contest. Teammate Sarah Zeto chipped in with 15 points and eight rebounds.
Lindsay Gerrato’s 17 points paced the Highlanders while Lara Romano and Allie McGlynn had four points apiece.
The Pioneers’ effectiveness on offense speaks for itself in the final score but it was their tenacity on defense that allowed for the rather large margin of victory. The veteran squad put constant pressure on the Highlanders throughout the contest which translated into baskets on the other side of the court.
The Pioneers had the Highlanders on their heels from the jump. The tight defense pressure from the veteran New Providence squad proved too much for the much younger Highlanders to handle.
“We knew pressure would be a key part of this game and that we could force their guards into turnovers,” New Providence head coach Cap Pazdera said. “We wanted to speed the game up and were able to have success doing so.”
After the teams traded baskets to open the game, the Pioneers went on a 12-0 run with 10 of those points coming from Kinum. The Highlanders never recovered from that early hole as the Pioneers lead would balloon to as much as 17 in the first quarter.
An early second quarter basket from McGlynn seemed as if it would give the Highlanders a little momentum but those hopes were quickly dashed when Zeto drained a three. Zeto’s three was the beginning of the Zeto-Kinum second quarter show. The pair put the rest of the Pioneers on their backs the rest of the half and certainly fed off each other. By the time the second quarter concluded Kinum had 21 points while Zeto had 11 of her own.
Gerrato’s six first-half points kept the Highlanders afloat.
How Kinum and Zeto connected throughout the quarter was part of a bigger picture that shows what playing together for four years can do for a veteran team.
“The girls playing together for four years certainly helped alot today,” Pazdera said. “They know each other and can read each other’s minds.”
Kinum opened the second half by picking up where she left off in the first half. The senior was able to slice and dice her way to the basket for layups throughout the third quarter and was a major reason for the Highlanders’ frustrations.
In addition to having to deal with Kinum and the Pioneers’ defensive pressure, the Highlanders had a tough time taking advantage of their ball movement as they failed to even get a shot off on several occasions. And that’s even more frustrating for a sharpshooter like freshman Skylar Dowling who’s Governor Livingston’s best outside shooter. The Pioneers made sure to put heavy pressure on Dowling and not let her get into a rhythm.
The Highlanders certainly could’ve used a few three-pointers from Dowling to stop the bleeding of what turned into a 23-point New Providence lead after three quarters.
The fourth quarter was much of the same for both teams and capped a disappointing game for what is usually a tight-played contest. Despite the game not living up to its standards, Sunday’s contest was still a festive atmosphere featuring residents from the two towns.
“This game is all about playing for your town” Pazdera said. “New Providence and GL are both great programs that feature great kids and people and it’s really fun when you win it.”
Next, Gov. Livingston will host Newark Academy on Tuesday with a 4 p.m. tip-off. New Providence will travel to Cranford on Tuesday with a 4 p.m. start.