SKILLMAN, NJ – Three days after the Panthers were denied a win late in their first game of the 2019 Cougar Holiday Classic at Montgomery High School, Bridgewater-Raritan girls basketball got a second chance for a victory on the same floor.
Against Allentown High School, the Panthers made the most of it, as Bridgewater-Raritan (2-2) never looked back after a strong start. They eventually ended their 2019 calendar year with a 40-30 victory over the Redbirds.
After Allentown forward Madelyn McCrea opened up the game’s scoring about a minute into regulation, Bridgewater-Raritan hit three of their five made first-half buckets from behind the arc in the opening period on the way to a 10-4 lead after eight minutes. While the Panthers only led by six points at the break after an even 2nd quarter by both teams, the aforementioned field goal by McCrea was the only one they allowed in the entire first half.
All of Allentown’s points in the 2nd quarter came at the charity stripe, as the Redbirds made nine out of the 11 free throws they attempted in the period to keep Bridgewater-Raritan’s lead at 19-13 heading into the locker room. Allentown guards Isabella Dona and Brianna Schweitzer made all six of their combined attempts, while McCrea made three out of the five free throws she attempted in the quarter.
The Redbirds eventually cut their deficit to three points early in the 3rd quarter and only trailed 24-20 with 5:15 left in the period, but they got no closer, even though neither team scored again until six straight points were scored in the final minute of the 3rd quarter.
Except they were all scored by Bridgewater-Raritan, who extended their lead to 30-20 as a result heading into the final eight minutes of regulation. This included one layup each by Corinne Nickel and Madison Bray, as well a pair of free throws by Maggie Ousouljoglou after drawing a foul as the buzzer sounded to cap it off.
The Panthers then extended their lead to as many as 14 points with 2:28 to go in the 4th quarter, and Bridgewater-Raritan improved to .500 on the 2019-20 season with their 40-30 win over Allentown to head into the New Year on a high note.
McCrea led all scorers with 12 points for the Redbirds, while Madison Bray led Bridgewater-Raritan with nine points. Four of Allentown’s eight made field goals in the contest came in the 4th quarter after they only made one in the entire first half.
Five of Bridgewater-Raritan’s six first-half field goals came from long range, with five different Panthers connecting from behind the arc in this span. All six of their second-half field goals came from inside the arc, which were again made by five different Panthers players.
Bridgewater-Raritan made nine out of the 14 free throws they attempted in the second half, including six out of the 10 they shot in the 4th quarter alone to close out the victory.
Allentown 30, Bridgewater-Raritan 40
Allentown: Q1- 4; Q2- 9; Q3- 7; Q4- 10; TOTAL - 30
- Madelyn McCrea - 12 points
- Isabella Dona - 7 points
- Sophia Conti - 6 points
- Kayla McCrea - 2 points
- Brianna Schweitzer - 2 points
- Erica Layman - 1 point
Bridgewater-Raritan: Q1- 10; Q2- 9; Q3- 11; Q4- 10; TOTAL - 40
- Madison Bray - 9 points
- Corinne Nickel - 8 points
- Danielle Orecchio - 7 points
- Maggie Ousouljoglou - 6 points
- Jackie Salvatore - 6 points
- Savannah Lopez - 3 points
- Emily Lehberger - 1 point
The Panthers will open up the 2020 portion of their regular season with a road contest at Hillsborough. Tip at the Raiders will be at 7 p.m. at Hillsborough High School Jan. 3.
For detailed Bridgewater-Raritan Panthers athletics schedules and game locations, please see https://bridgewaterraritanhighschool.bigteams.com/.
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