LIVINGSTON, NJ — The Livingston Girls Basketball Team is moving on in the state tournament after a 35-28 victory over Mount Olive on Monday.
“At the beginning of the year, we had a goal to make the state tournament, and for the kids to get a home game and win it is great,” said Livingston head coach Buddy Wolfe.
The two squads were knotted at 27 midway through the fourth quarter when the Lancers made their game-clinching run. Aliza Gelman, collecting seven points for the Lancers in the second half, scored five of them consecutively to send her team on to victory.
“[Gelman] has been a huge contributor all season long when kids have been injured or sick, so we have a tremendous amount of confidence in her,” said Wolfe.
Kayla Parsons joined Gelman on the stat sheet in the fourth quarter and was a presence throughout the game, netting a team-high 14 points while creating numerous turnovers.
Livingston’s resilience shone in Monday’s victory after rebounding from an 11-point deficit in the first quarter.
“We got off to a really bad start,” said Wolfe. “We gave up 15 in the first quarter, and our girls know if we give up over 30 points, we have a hard time winning…They raised their effort on defense and we got contributions from our bench.”
The Lancers adjusted in the second quarter in a big way, blanking the Mount Olive offense for the frame. Parsons added to the scoreboard in the quarter alongside Ava Intile, who set Livingston up with a 16-15 halftime lead.
Livingston improves to 18-5 on the season, as the team has now won two games in a row. The Lancers will look to continue their run in the North 1, Group 4 state playoffs when they will host the winner of the Kearny vs. Bloomfield game.