NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - In the first round of the North Jersey, Section 2, Group 1 state playoffs on Tuesday night, the New Providence girls' basketball team (21-4) rolled to a 79 to 24 victory over the (8-11) Newark Vocational Eagles.
Within the first three minutes of the game, the Lady Pioneers of New Providence jumped out to a 13-2 lead and never looked back. Their tight press created several Eagles turnovers that New Providence converted into points on the board.
"Our number one goal going into tonight's game was to set the tone for playoff intensity," said New Providence Coach Cap Pazdera. "We know if we lose we are done playing."
By the end of the first quarter, the Pioneer lead grew to 16 points as Nicole Stanczyk (#1) hit a 2 point field goal at the buzzer.
The second quarter saw the New Providence lead expand to twenty-five by half time. With Sydney Morang and Cassandra Squeri sitting out most of the quarter, Natalie Barrett took charge by scoring nine of the 13 points the Lady Pioneers amassed in the quarter.
The second half was much like the first half with New Providence making a high percentage of its shots. "We hit many open shots tonight. I told the players that if they were open they should shoot and not pass up good opportunities to score," explained Coach Pazdera.
The New Providence lead grew to 40 by the end of the third period. In the fourth quarter various New Providence players came off the bench to continue the good pass work and hot shooting that was taking place all night. In total, nine New Providence players scored, led by Sydney Morang with 19. Natalie Barrett contributed 14 while Cassandra Squeri and Kaycee de Voogd each tossed in a dozen apiece. Just as impressive was the team's 86% foul shooting rate, which is vital to be successful in tightly contested playoff games.
"We play Belvidere on Thursday at home in the next round. They are well coached. It should be a good game," said the Lady Pioneers coach.