BERKELEY HEIGHTS - Governor Livingston defeated Hillside, 57-39, in the first round of the county tournament at home on February 18. Senior guard Skylar Dowling’s 29 points was a career high, coming in her last ever home game.
Hillside, the 10 seed in the bracket, came into the game winning 15 straight behind junior forward Liyah Allen, who has been a double-double machine. On the very first play of the game, a quick post entry led to an easy two points by Allen to get Hillside in front. Three pointers by Dowling and fellow senior guard Paige Phillps allowed GL to jump out to a 12-5 lead.
Costly turnovers and open looks from the corner by GL allowed Hillside to go on an 8-0 run, cutting GL’s lead to 13-12. The second quarter was much the same, as the Highlanders took a 23-20 lead at the break thanks to a last second shot by Dowling that took a friendly bounce on the home rim.
Sophomore forward Reagan Hopeck capitalized on a quick layup after the break. She totaled seven points in the game keeping Allen off the boards for much of the game. Hopeck’s layup was quickly answered by a Comet layup, however, Phillps went on a 12-0 run herself with four three pointers in a row to create separation in the lead.
Hillside could not come back from GL’s 21-8 third quarter run . The Comets put their foot on the pedal to no prevail in the fourth, as Dowling and company were able to get to the rim with ease and capitalized at the line to finish the game strong.
What’s Next: Governor Livingston will meet their rival 2nd seeded New Providence on Friday at Arthur L Johnson High School at 7:30 pm.
Scouting Report: New Providence is a team where everyone contributes led by freshman phenom Meghan Lamanna who averages 12.7 points per game. Junior Amy Maurer is the only other player with more then 7 3 pointers made on the year. NP rebounds by committee with only freshman Grace Kelly with 100 + rebounds. GL will need to box out and limit NP to one attempt per possession. NP will try to limit Dowling and Phillps which means others need to step up specifically inside as the Pioneers lack height in the front court. This game could be won at the foul line so it’s crucial to get to the line early and often capitalizing on attempts.