Girls Basketball: Morang, Kinum Send Pioneers to Second Straight UCT Semifinal

Sophomore Katie Kinum delivered a career-high 26 points during Friday's victory over St. Mary's in the quarterfinal of the Union County Tournament. Credits: Alli Lamhing

RAHWAY, NJ –The New Providence Lady Pioneers have advanced to their second straight Union County Tournament semifinal.

On the back of a combined 62 points from Sydney Morang and Katie Kinum, the Lady Pioneers throttled St. Mary’s, 76-39, in the UCT quarterfinal at Rahway High School on Friday.

Morang and Kinum were hot right from the opening tip-off, scoring all 24 New Providence points in the first quarter.

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Leading by 15 to start the second, the blistering start continued as the Hilltoppers could not find an answer to stop the Pioneers’ leading duo. The combination scored all but four of New Providence’s first half points as the Pioneers led 49-19 at the half, before extending their advantage to 35 by the time the final buzzer sounded.

“Our teammates love to get us open,” Morang said. “When we aren’t wide open, our teammates can hit down shots, make moves. I think its helpful. We know how to get each other open. Me and Katie were hitting down our shots, so I think it was very difficult for them to figure out how to stop us.”

Both Morang and Kinum recorded double-doubles in the game. Morang led all scorers with 36 points and 13 rebounds, while Kinum added a career-high 26 points and 10 assists, finishing four rebounds shy of a triple-double.

“When anybody else steps up and plays more than we ask them to do, its always going to help our team,” head coach Cap Pazdera said on having a secondary scorer to go with Morang. “Any night it can be anybody. Its not just on the offensive end, its on the defensive end too. We had some girls busting their butts on defense, doing a good job making good passes so we can run our offense. Everybody played really well tonight.”

The victory gives the Lady Pioneers a chance at redemption in the semifinal.

After losing to Roselle Catholic last year, the Pioneers will face Patrick School, a team that swept them in their two regular season meetings this year.

After losing by 11 in their first meeting, the Pioneers dropped the second by just four points. Morang led all scorers with 27, but no other New Providence player had more than eight points to support her.

Pazdera said for the Pioneers to be successful in this year’s semifinal against a team they couldn’t solve, his team will have to do the “little things and not make mistakes.”

“In the two previous times we played them, we didn’t achieve those things as well as we could have,” Pazdera said. “If we are able to do the little things better, let us control the tempo of the game and not have them speed us up on offense, I think we’ll have a pretty good shot.”

Tip-off for Tuesday’s Union County Tournament semifinal is scheduled for 6 p.m. from a to be determined location.

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