BLOOMFIELD, NJ -- Following their first loss of the season, the Bloomfield Bengals girls basketball team defeated the Bloomfield Tech Spartans 54-29 at home Thursday night.

After starting the season with five consecutive victories, the Bengals dropped their Tuesday night game 53-38 to the East Orange Jaguars.

The Jaguars’ aggressive defense was an obstacle for the Bengals, Head Coach Dana Morton said.

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“We kind of panicked a little bit, so we just got to learn how to protect the basketball better,” Morton said in a post-game interview.

On Thursday, the girls took a far lead early on, which gave all 15 girls the opportunity to play.

As a result, senior Genesis Collins got a chance to play her second game of the season and showed her first spark of the year -- recording seven points, five assists and three steals.

In addition, Shaye Williams played her first contest of her high school career and grabbed two points.

“We just came from a loss. We wanted them to respond well and they did,” Morton told TAPinto Bloomfield.

Senior Grace Cannon led the Bengals with four field goals, four three-point field goals and two free throws – for a total of 22 points.

Junior Aicha Naouai added six points and a game-high eight rebounds. Another five points, two assists and one rebound came from senior Jalia Santos.

Morton thinks her girls simply played well against the well-coached Spartans.

“I think we just played our game,” Morton said. “I won’t say they [the Spartans] had a weakness. We played the way we were supposed to play for the most part.”

Shakira Edwards scored a game-high 25 points for the Spartans, while her teammate Lanee Long dished out the team’s other four points.

A lack of communication between the players has been an issue for the Bengals, but they have been improving on it each week, Morton said.

“Every game we’re improving,” the coach told TAPinto Bloomfield. “We don’t want to be the same team we were in the first game.”

The Bengals will return to the court Saturday as they host the (1-6) Columbia High School Cougars. The Maplewood girls will tip off with the Bengals at 1 PM.