SPRINGFIELD, NJ – The quarterfinal game of the NJSIAA North 2, Group 1 Sectional featured three seed Jonathan Dayton against six seed Newark Collegiate: the Bulldogs against the Panthers. In a hard found match, the Bulldogs won 53-46 after trailing 29-22 at the half.
Dayton kept its focus and intensity throughout the game. When a lift was needed, another player came through. Junior guard Amanda Lau led the Bulldogs early in the game. Sophomore guard Sayre Brandstatter came through strongest in the last three quarters. Sophomore forward Caitlynn Mcternan broke the tie at the beginning of the fourth quarter with a three pointer that was followed by three point shots from Lau and Brandstatter. Sophomore center Ebere Chukwuyem sustained the fourth quarter momentum and sophomore guard Maggie Phillips helped put the game out of reach with the final two baskets of the game.
After the game Coach Rennie said, “We knew what we were in for. They are athletic scrappy team. We struggled a bit in the second quarter when they started trapping us in the half court and we started making some bad passes and rushing our shots. At half time we settled down. We knew we had the shots and we had to start knocking them down and we did. In the third quarter, we moved the ball well, we made the shots and we closed the gap quickly. We played really solid defense. I thought our press worked well. It made them turn the ball over.”
On the scoring front, the Bulldogs were led by Lau with 23 points and Brandstatter with 15 points. They were supported by junior forward Nicolette Angelo, Chukwuyem and Phillips with four points. McTernan had three points. Brandstatter and Lau each made three three point shots.
The team also made 20 rebounds, nine assists, 14 steals and six blocked shots. McTernan had five rebounds and Angelo had four rebounds. Lau made seven steals, Brandstatter made four steals and Angelo made three steals. Angelo blocked three shots, Chukwuyem blocked two and Branstatter blocked one shot.
The Panthers were led by senior Taliah Whitson with 16 shots and junior Darlene Brazil with 12 shots.
The win pushed Dayton’s record for the season to 17-8, which is the most victories since the 2011-2012 season when Dayton went 20-8. Dayton’s next game is the semifinal game against seven seed University at home Saturday. The winner will play the winner of the one seed Secaucus and four seed Hoboken game March 7.