RUMSON, NJ - The No. 2 seeded Rumson-Fair Haven girls basketball team [No. 7 in NJ.com Top 20] defeated No. 3 seeded New Providence, 55-45, in the seminfinal round of the Central Jersey, Group 2 Tournament on Friday in Rumson. As disappointing as the loss was for the Lady Pioneers, Coach Cap Pazdera and his players left nothing on the court Friday night and had "an amazing game" -- enjoying their time together as a team.
New Providence's loss ended more than the season -- it ended an era for seniors Katie Kinum, Sarah Zeto, Hannah Caminiti and Brielle Carleen. "The last four years with this group of girls has been amazing," said Pazdera. "There is so much that we have been through together -- conference and state championships, difficult losses in the county and state tournaments -- so many highs and lows of what a basketball season brings."
In last year's match-up against Rumson-Fair Haven, "this team blew us out at home by 30 points and it was over after midway through the 2nd quarter," said Pazdera. "I am so proud of how hard these girls competed and never gave up despite being down 16 early in the 2nd half."
Rumson-Fair Haven outscored the Lady Pioneers, 16-10, in the first quarter before taking a 30-20 lead at halftime. The second half New Providence cut Rumson's lead down to three points with around three minutes left in the game. "We just could not convert on the offensive end to keep within striking distance in the final minutes," said Pazdera.
New Providence came out with the goal to stop the Lady Bulldogs top three scorers Hannah Scanlan, Tori Hyduke and Katie Foos. "We did a great job on two of them," said Pazdera. "Hyduke was just too tough for us to contain without helping off of the other scorers." Hyduke scored a game-high 32 points, while Scanlon was held to six points and Foos with four.
Katie Kinum had 20 points, 10 rebounds and six assists while Hannah Caminiti had 16 points and four rebounds for New Providence. Sarah Zeto contributed five points, 9 rebounds and two assists while Olivia Faucher added four points and two rebounds.
Reflecting on the seniors, Pazdera said, "Through it all, it has been incredible to see these young ladies grow and mature into the players and people who they are today. Watching them compete and play the game of basketball has been a pure joy for me and my assistants to be a part of and I am sorry it is over, but I know that their success on the basketball court is just a small taste of the successes that lie ahead for all of them."
Next, Rumson-Fair Haven will face top-seeded Manasquan in the final round on Monday.