Girls Basketball: Big First Half Propels Lady Pioneers into State Semifinals

Credits: Sara Wichtendahl

NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - Another state playoff game. Another double digit win for the New Providence girl’s basketball team as the Lady Pioneers defeated Weequahic, 58-42, to move on to the semifinals of the North Jersey 2, Group 1 state tournament.

“It was obviously an awesome win,” New Providence junior forward Sydney Morang said. “We came out there ready to play and executed like we needed to.”

Morang and the rest of her Lady Pioneer teammates got off to a bit of a slow start. With the score tied at 6 with 3 minutes to play in the first, New Providence took off on a 23-8 run to lead 29-14 at the half.

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“We started to move the ball much better on offense,” Lady Pioneers head coach Cap Pazdera said. “That made them have to come out and defend us, which gave us some open looks at the basket and were able capitalize on them.”

In the second half, New Providence continued to control the pace of the game. Morang lead the way by scoring 17 of her game-high 27 points in the final two quarters.

“I was able to take advantage of the looks that I was getting from the help of my teammates and was just able to execute to the best of my abilities,” New Providence leading scorer said, who also had two blocked shots in the game on defense as well.

Other key contributors to the Lady Pioneers victory was point guard Katie Kinum, who had the second most points by any player in the game with 14.

With the win, the Lady Pioneers improve to 18-9 on the season and will now face No. 1 Secaucus in the semifinals. The Patriots are 27-0 this season and beat Dunellen, 71-32, in their section quarterfinal.

“I think we're ready for this challenge,” Pazdera said. “We made our schedule tougher this year to prepare us to play good team like Secaucus and hopefully tomorrow playing a tough schedule like we did this year will pay off for us.”

The semifinal match will be held at noon on Saturday, at Secaucus High School.

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