NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ – The New Providence Lady Pioneers had a 7-6 lead midway through the first quarter, but only drew to within four points of tying the game at two points in the second half as they suffered a 39-28 loss to Roselle Catholic on Friday night at New Providence High School.
Against a very tough Roselle Catholic team, certainly one of the best in Union County, New Providence held their own in the first half. If not for some poor shooting in the first half they could have held the lead after two quarters of play.
Instead, the team combined to go 5 of 16 from the field in the first half and trailed 22-14 at halftime
“I just kept telling the girls ‘let’s just compete’ and I think they did a good job of that tonight. The shots weren’t falling for us tonight,” New Providence Head Coach Cap Pazdera commented.
“When the girls are having a hard time making shots, we're not going to be scoring a lot of points. It’s just a matter of getting those buckets and it’s a different story,” he added.
The defense for New Providence had a solid outing against a traditionally high scoring Roselle Catholic squad, but had little answer for guard Marcia Senatus. She finished with 12 points in the first half, including the last seven of the first quarter when New Providence trailed 15-9.
After giving up the first five points of the second quarter, senior Sarah Lowenstein, who led her team with 15 points, banked in a three pointer to make the score 12-20 about midway through. Cassandra Squeri connected for New Providence on a jump shot as the last points of the first half when New Providence trailed by eight.
The second half saw the New Providence defense do a solid job of locking onto Senatus. She had only five points in the second half, which was perhaps the biggest reason the home team was able to keep the game close in the third and fourth quarter.
“Defensively I thought we could hang with them. We played tough defensively. We knew if we took her (Senatus) out that maybe the other four would try to beat us and we’d have a shot,” Pazdera said. “We did. We were there. We came close.”
Lowenstein hit two three-pointers coming out of the halftime gate as New Providence trailed 20-24 with six minutes to go in the third. After a Roselle Catholic basket, she again connected; this time from underneath to make the score 22-26 with just over three minutes to go.
Unfortunately for them, that is the closest margin they would draw to the rest of the way through. Roselle Catholic put together a 5-0 run at the third and beginning of the fourth quarter as New Providence trailed by seven with 5:18 remaining in the game.
After Squeri made a short jumper to bring her team within five, Roselle Catholic scored the next seven points of the game to all but put an end to the contest and spoil Senior Night for New Providence.
The three seniors present for Friday night’s game were Lowenstein, Emma Culleton and Lauren Cronin. Forward Marta Gosiewski, the fourth senior on the New Providence squad, did not play in the contest due to illness.
Despite the loss, Pazdera had nothing but positive things to say about the leadership of his over classmen.
“They’ve had wonderful careers. It would have been nice to get a win for them tonight, but we took away experience from this game and hopefully we can put that into the county tournament and state tournament,” he said.
New Providence was awarded the eight seed in the Union County Tournament. They will play ninth seeded Union High School on Monday, Feb. 13 at 6 p.m. at Arthur L Johnson High School in Clark.
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