GLEN RIDGE, NJ--Always one to see the proverbial glass as half full, Glen Ridge High girls' basketball coach Joe Mazzarella was more than enthused with his team's recent victories, which improved the Ridgers' record to 6-8.
Glen Ridge defeated Millburn, 48-21, on Jan. 25 and stopped Passaic Charter, 40-26, two days later.
The Ridgers were scheduled to play at Newark Academy, on Jan. 28 and will host to Kinnelon, on Jan. 30, at 4 p.m. On Feb. 3, Newark Academy comes to Glen Ridge, in a 4 p.m. start. In addition, the Ridgers gained the 12th seed for the upcoming Essex County Tournament and will have a first-round home game. A victory there would send it to fifth seeded West Orange in the following round.
Mazzarella is confident his team is finding its stride.
"We're getting there," the coach said. "The kids have faced a tough schedule and I think we have a chance to get a good seed for the state tournament. In the meantime, we've got some big games coming up and we'd like to make a good run in the county tournament."
The Ridgers had a tremendous run in the ECT last year, advancing to the quarterfinal round.
Before its win over Millburn, Glen Ridge had lost four of its last five games.
"We hit a bump in the road, but the kids never lost their resolve," said Mazzarella. "And that was good to see. They've worked hard and are gaining confidence."
Versus Millburn, the Ridgers were led by Elettra Giantomenico, who scored a game-high 14 points and collected seven rebounds while Haleigh Pine finished 13 points and five rebounds. Michaila Dowd had seven points and six rebounds, Olivia Carbonell and Amayah Melbourne scored five points each and Sarah Cullinan had four points and six steals. Glen Ridge led 18-13 at halftime, then used a 20-7 third quarter run to put the game away.
In a win over Passaic Charter, Melbourne had a tremendous game with 16 points and 12 rebounds.
Amayah is just a sophomore and she's really starting to come around," said Mazzarella. "She's a good rebounder and if she can provide a steady offense, that's going to help us."
Dowd had seven, Cullinah scored six, Pine finished with five points, Giantomenico had four and Jillian Goffe scored two.