MONTVILLE, NJ - The Montville 5th grade girls travel basketball team capped off the season with a 21-14 win over And One of Livingston on Sunday, March 5 to clinch the Hoop Heaven League Championship. After starting off the game with a 6-0 deficit, the Lady Broncos responded and out-scored their opponent 21-8 the rest of the way.
“I am very proud of how far this team has come in two years," Coach Lynne Cinella said. "In fourth grade, we were a new team and much of our focus was on learning the game. It is clear that the girls improved in all facets of the game this season.”
Cinella complemented all team members for each making key contributions over the course of the season that included game play in two leagues and one tournament and highlighted those contributions.
The point guard play of Caelen Steele, Lindsey Probst and Sammy Bassin provided both consistent scoring and tough defense on the other side of the ball.
Jackie Cinella and Reese McDermott brought a defense-first mindset to each game and often guarded the opposing teams best player.
The smart post-play of Sofia Matari, Abbie Lavenburg and Hadley White proved to be one of the team’s best defensive advantages.
Olivia Barragan, Riley McDermott and Deanna Neff added versatility to the team by playing multiple positions and sharing the scoring load.
Newcomers this season, Ava Failla and Hadley White, are considered the squad's most improved players. In the second half of the season, White and Failla made significant contributions on both sides of the ball.
“Our improvement was obvious," Coach Ryan McDermott added. "We played our best basketball at the end of season. The girls worked hard to get this championship.”