CRANFORD, NJ – The Cranford girls’ basketball team dropped its season opener to New Providence yesterday 50-40. Coach Jackie Dyer said, “Although we lost, we were very happy with our defense. We saw a few things we need to continue to work on.” Dyer stresses a strong defense, it was evident by the teams’ collective 32 rebounds, five blocks and four steals.

On the offensive side of the ball, junior Lyndsay Pace knocked down a 3-pointer at the buzzer to give Cranford a 24-22 lead at the half. After being in foul trouble in the first half New Providence came back after the half and went on an 18-3 run, to give the pioneers a 40-27 lead at the end of the third quarter. The cougars scored 13 point in the fourth, but it wasn’t enough for the win.

Junior Cerys MacLelland scored a team-high 16 points and grabbed five rebounds, fellow junior Isabella Speer netted five points and had 13 rebounds and senior Erin Meixner contributed seven points and six rebounds.

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Given the team’s experienced line-up, Coach Dyer said, “We are excited to play again on Monday, the team all agrees this is going to be a great season for us.”

The cougars are in action on Monday Dec. 22 at home when they face Watchung Hills High-School at 5:30 p.m..