UNION, NJ -- Top-seeded Westfield built a 14-point lead by the end of the first quarter and seventh-seeded Gov. Livingston spent the rest of the game trying to play catch-up.
Westfield defeated the Lady Highlanders, 64-37, Saturday evening to win the Union County Tournament championship at Kean University. Westfield was the runner-up in each of the last two UCT finals to The Patrick School, which no longer has a girls basketball program.
Gov. Livingston upset its way into the championship game, knocking off higher seeds New Providence in the quarterfinals and Union Catholic with a dramatic fourth-quarter comeback in the semifinals.
But Westfield's fast start was too much for the Lady Highlanders to overcome. Gov. Livingston trailed, 24-10, after one quarter and was down, 37-26, at the half despite 11 points from Skylar Dowling. In the second half, the Blue Devils' defense clamped down and held GL to 11 points after intermission.
Dowling finished with 17 points and two assists. Gianna Ciccimarra had eight points and Reagan Hopeck led GL on the glass with eight rebounds.
Gov. Livingston opens play in the Central Jersey, Group 2 state tournament Tuesday against Shore Regional in West Long Branch.