Sports

Girls Basketball: Johnson Crusaders Hold Off Governor Livingston Despite Late Highlanders Push

3eaea434d486173568a8_ALJ-Governor_Livingston__3.JPG
Arthur L. Johnson High School sophomore Lily Gull (#4) guarding Governor Livingston sophomore Skylar Dowling. Dowling was held to no points and one attempted shot in the first half. Credits: Daniel Collins
85132884cff897e06311_ALJ-Governor_Livingston__1.JPG
Arthur L. Johnson High School freshman Chelsea Kessock scored eight points in the Crusaders' 34-30 road win at Governor Livingston HS. Credits: Daniel Collins
669a7bf862bf4ee57845_ALJ-Governor_Livingston__2.JPG
Arthur L. Johnson High School junior Bailey Rosenmeier (#11) led her team with ten points, adding the victory was a huge rebound from a loss to Oak Knoll HS on Saturday, January 6. Credits: Daniel Collins
305a1e2080fcb1a7bf45_ALJ-Governor_Livingston__4.JPG
Arthur L. Johnson High School senior Amy Wysocki (#25) added seven points and credited her teammates for doing everything that led to the win. Credits: Daniel Collins
1516e33fbe6a0225ae46_ALJ-Governor_Livingston__5.JPG
Governor Livingston High School junior Fiona Kerr (#21) scored six of her team's eight points in the first half. The offensive woes loomed large as the Highlanders came up short in a 34-30 loss. Credits: Daniel Collins
c329f731f0d5980e7ce3_ALJ-Governor_Livingston__6.JPG
Governor Livingston sophomore Skylar Dowling (#30) scored all 12 of her points in the second half, but the late rally was not enough as the Crusaders held off the Highlanders. Credits: Daniel Collins
3eaea434d486173568a8_ALJ-Governor_Livingston__3.JPG

BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ-  The Arthur L. Johnson Crusaders girls varsity basketball team, who had a shorthanded roster, took to the road Wednesday afternoon for a second straight matchup with a conference opponent, the Governor Livingston Highlanders, looking to rebound from their loss Saturday.

The Crusaders received 10 points from junior Bailey Rosenmeier and 8 points from freshman Chelsea Kessock as they held off the Highlanders by a final score of 34-30 Wednesday afternoon in Berkeley Heights.

The Crusaders had a task they had to prepare for, to slow down Governor Livingston sophomore Skylar Dowling. As the team’s leading scorer, she came into Wednesday afternoon averaging 15.2 points per game on the season.

Sign Up for E-News

“We had to take the ball out of her hands,” Johnson head coach Joe Marino said. “[Skylar] is a heck of a player, a heck of a shooter.”

Anticipating what was to come, Governor Livingston prepared to have other players involved in the offensive mix.

“We prepared for it. We knew a lot of teams are going to try and one-box [Skylar]. She’s a great player, so teams are going to come after her,” Governor Livingston head coach Chris Eckert said. “We tried to put her in spots where she’d be successful, but shots weren’t falling today.”

In the first half, the Crusaders were successful in keeping the ball away from Dowling. They heavily guarded her throughout the first 16 minutes and forced other Highlander players to get involved on offense. She was held to only one attempted shot and no points when the game reached halftime.

“The girls knew they had to shut her down and they did. Our girls rose to the occasion,” Marino said.

Johnson went to work on offense. They were led by junior Rosenmeier and freshman Kessock. The teams played a close first quarter, with points coming on most of the possessions. The Crusaders led the Highlanders 10-6 after the first eight minutes of play.

The second quarter is where the offensive struggles were evident for the Highlanders. With Dowling stifled by the Crusaders defense, Governor Livingston was held to just two points in the quarter, while Rosenmeier and senior Amy Wysocki helped deliver key baskets for the Crusaders. They led the Highlanders at halftime by a score of 18-8.

“We played as a team today, we worked hard,” said Wysocki, who scored seven points. “We did everything we had to do.”

Junior Fiona Kerr scored six of the eight first half points for the Highlanders.

As the fourth quarter started, the Highlanders, who trailed by a score of 23-12, made a major push to get back in the game, as Dowling made up for being shut down earlier in the game. She buried two three-point shots back-to-back to cut the Crusaders lead to 23-18.

For Johnson, sophomore Lily Gull and Rosenmeier cashed in on shots to give Johnson a 27-19 lead with 4:41 left in the fourth quarter.

“We were being patient on offense and we reacted when we had to,” Marino said. “We had our open people. We slowed down and had some good shots.”

Governor Livingston stormed back into the game, going on a 6-0 scoring run over a two-minute span. What was once a game out of reach became a wild finish. The score was now 27-25 Johnson with 2:30 left in the fourth quarter.

Gull cashed in for another shot and Kessock drained two free throws to make the score 32-25 Johnson with 1:27 left, but the Highlanders got on a scoring streak in a final push. Governor Livingston senior Ally McGlynn made it 32-27 and Dowling drained a long three-point shot to cut the lead down to 32-30 with 47 seconds left.

“I think the girls realized we were having a bad day shooting,” Eckert said. “We weren’t making any free throws, we weren’t getting to the line, that’s our style of play.”

The Highlanders scored 18 fourth-quarter points, as compared to the Crusaders’ 11 points in the push to get back in the game.

“Once they realized we were in the game, they started to play with a sense of urgency and we competed,” Eckert said.

Rosenmeier drained a key shot seconds later to make the score 34-30, the final scoring of the evening.

“We came together as a team and moved the ball around a lot,” Kessock said. “We stuck together [and] we let them foul us when we had to and played hard.”

In the end, Dowling finished with 12 points, all coming in the second half, but early offensive woes doomed Governor Livingston.

“ On defense, we came out slow and we really weren’t hitting shots,” Governor Livingston senior Michelle Coyle said. “We played a big game on Saturday [41-29 win over New Providence HS] and it didn’t translate over."

The Crusaders, who lost to Oak Knoll 46-28 on Saturday, turn their attention to their goal of repeating as Union County Conference Mountain Division champions.

“We needed a win for the conference,” Rosenmeier said. “We were the conference champions last year. Everything was on the line. You have to give everything you had [in the] fourth quarter.”

The Johnson Crusaders (3-4) return to action Thursday night when they return home and take on Scotch Plains-Fanwood at 5:30 p.m.

The Governor Livingston Highlanders (3-4) return to action Thursday afternoon on the road at Rahway with a 4 p.m. tip-off.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

Mountainside

Upcoming Events

Fri, May 25, 9:30 AM

Junior League of Summit Thrift Shop, Summit

Here Comes Summer! Junior League of Summit Thrift ...

Giving Back Green

Sat, May 26, 9:00 AM

Miller-Cory House Museum, Westfield

Aunt Carrie's Attic Sale

Giving Back Other

Thu, May 31, 1:30 PM

Coppola Ristorante, New Providence

Lunch and Learn: Dental Implants and the ...

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_c9562615f730fddb6122_cabaret

Thu, May 31, 7:00 PM

Gov. Livingston Cafeteria, Berkeley Heights

Gov. Livingston Hilltop Players Host Annual Relay ...

Arts & Entertainment

Video Shows School Board Member In Altercation With Police at Traffic Stop in South Orange

May 16, 2018

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - South Orange Maplewood School Board Member Stephanie Lawson-Muhammad got into an altercation with a South Orange police officer who stopped her for speeding last month, in which she used profanity, complained when she was issued a ticket and called South Orange Police Chief Kyle Kroll “a skinhead cop.”

Lawson-Muhammad also appeared to suggest that she would ...

Red Cross Shares 20 Ways to be Safe This Summer

May 24, 2018

Download free Red Cross Apps to have safety information at your fingertips

The upcoming Memorial Day holiday weekend is the unofficial start of summer when many people will begin traveling, firing up the grill, and enjoying swimming and other water-related activities. The American Red Cross wants everyone to have fun and offers 20 things people can do to be safe all summer ...

The Evaluation of the College Search

It’s is a bizarre time of year as a college counselor as I find myself at both the beginning and end of this process.  Sophomores and juniors are excitedly and idealistically starting to consider what will be important to them in a school.  At the same time, while only separated by a year or two, my seniors have all committed within the past month to a school and have spent the ...

How the Holi Color Festival Came to Summit; Event Planner Shares Her Story

May 21, 2018

Back in India, Holi was a holiday observed by almost all states. The holiday would be declared at all educational institutes and offices. It's a two day spring festival also known as the festival of colors. The festival signifies the victory of good over bad, the arrival of spring with the fragrance of flowers in the air and aura of warmth and happiness.

Holi festival is the time ...