LIVINGSTON, NJ — The Livingston girls basketball team fought valiantly to the very end as a 46-42 loss to Bloomfield in the North 1, Group 4 state tournament on Wednesday ended one of the best seasons for the program to date.
“We played one of our better games of the year,” said Livingston Head Coach Buddy Wolfe. “We played really hard against a good team that was two divisions above us…It was a tough battle. We made a few mistakes, but in the end, other than that, the kids played great.”
Livingston was down by three with half a minute to go in the contest when a three-point field goal tied the game up for the Lancers. Ultimately, those three points were called back due to the player’s foot being out of bounds, and the resulting Bloomfield possession effectively ended the game at the free-throw line.
“It was a killer right there,” said Wolfe.
Bloomfield closed out the game with their two best players in the final seconds, as Samantha Columna and Sarah Edmund each tallied a free throw. The duo finished the contest with an unofficial 30 points combined.
“[Edmund] is a terrific player; she’s strong, she’s athletic and she knew we couldn’t match up with her,” said Wolfe. “[Columna] is a heck of a player as well.”
Bloomfield did struggle throughout the contest to contain Kayla Parsons, however. The sophomore collected a team-high 13 points for Livingston to finish out the postseason with back-to-back double-digit performances.
“This last seven or eight games was probably her best stretch against some really tough teams,” said Wolfe.
The Lancers had a winning season with a final record of 18-6 and a top-four seed in the state playoffs for the first time in more than two decades.
“When we came into the season, we would have never guessed we would have been the No. 4 seed with two home games in the state tournament,” said Wolfe. “When you look at it and the history of girls basketball here, they had a great season.”
Livingston will graduate three players from this year’s roster, one of whom was listed on the starting lineup on Wednesday. The underclassmen currently on the roster will enter the 2019-2020 season with not only experience, but also a chip on their shoulder to play at another level.
“It was a great experience and they have got something to strive for next year,” said Wolfe.