Sports

Bittersweet Ending for Randolph; Huland El Breaks Morris County Scoring Record, but Randolph Eliminated by Paterson Eastside

c4799f03cdbcd99ed4e2_IMG_6938.jpg
Aliyah Huland El maneuvers  Credits: Nick Russo
d385412eac7e8e285d37_IMG_7022.jpg
Aliyah and teammates Credits: Nick Russo
caf6c9e33a6beb13d76e_IMG_6942.jpg
Aliyah Huland El Credits: Nick Russo
a9b7fa7ee32b38108fc0_IMG_6798.jpg
Aliyah Huland El Credits: Nick Russo
359f3240de3e84878ec2_IMG_6981.jpg
Aliyah's last trip to the free throw line as a high schooler Credits: Nick Russo
d32a9ffc1797bd49812b_IMG_6996.jpg
Huland El and coach Torres after her record breaking free throw Credits: Nick Russo
624a9c080638a2a5e281_IMG_6848.jpg
Aliyah drives Credits: Nick Russo
0c7490e796fc66f3c9d4_IMG_6970.jpg
Jennie LaMancuso Credits: Nick Russo
a4403b70580ded6cec55_IMG_6757.jpg
Aliyah in the lane Credits: Nick Russo
c4799f03cdbcd99ed4e2_IMG_6938.jpg

PATERSON, NJ - As the time melted away, and Paterson Eastside's speed and stranglehold on the game became apparent, there was only one thing left for Randolph to accomplish.

Paterson Eastside defeated Randolph, 57-35, in the sectional Group 4 semifinal girls basketball game. In the victory, Taylor Brown finished with 21 points and 12 rebounds for the Ghosts.

Randolph's do-it-all senior Aliyah Huland El was two points shy of tying the all-time scoring record in Morris County history late in the game. She had been hounded all day, fighting through double and triple-teams for 16 hard fought points. Numerous passes intended for her went awry, and as the game progressed many of their plays ended up getting turned around the other way.

Sign Up for E-News

But with a minute left, Huland El and her teammates, feeling the record looming, swung the ball around the perimiter as she directed from the post, until they could find her inside. With 59 seconds left a drive and a long lay-in went in and out. But with 53 on the clock, she got the ball and spun in the low post, finding just enough daylight to put one up for 2, tying former Jefferson star Diana Poulsen's record of 2,285 points.

A possession later, after two tough plays inside and almost a full quarter of bewildered teammates struggling to get her the ball, a foul brought her to the line. After missing the first, she put the second home, and wrote her name into the record books on the last shot of her high school career.  She immediately made a beeline for the bench to share the moment with her coaches.

“With 47 seconds left I broke down,” said Huland El through a whirlwind of emotions after the game. “The game wasn't over, obviously. But in my head, I'm like, you know what, we're down 17, we're down 19, we're down 21, maybe we can't come back. And I guess at that point that's when the epiphany hit, you know what, this season is over, my career is over.”

But she didn't break down completely until she was on the sidelines, hugging mentors and teammates as her name and newest accolade were being announced over the applause. Randolph head coach Kristin Torres, in her sixth season as head coach, and her husband, assistant coach Peter Torres, have been there for her and the Lady Rams from the beginning.

“Our coaches gave everything, they always do. I couldn't have asked for better coaches, the team couldn't. They're so supportive,” said Huland El. “Coming in here we had a great plan, we just didn't execute well at all.”

Randolph kept it close at the start, matching Eastside for the first quarter on the scoreboard, but on the court, just scrambling to hold on. Their open looks turned to contested shots in the second half and they lost their range. And for the seniors involved on either side, the potential last game of their high school careers brought plenty of added pressure.

“Its the climax of my entire high school career,” said Huland El. “I couldn't have asked for a better chance to win. We gave it our all, they're just a better team. They out-hustled us, and were more aggressive than us. You know what, they deserved to win. But this game represented so many things, it was so emotional.”

Paterson Eastside (24-3) finished off Randolph, 57-35, and move on to the sectional final against Montclair. For Randolph its been another successful campaign and proof of the strength of the staff and the program as they finished 21-8, for their third straight 20-win season.

When asked how emotional a game it was, Torres said it had to be the most emotional game she has coached, “for many reasons.” A twist to the tale is that the previous record holder was a teammate of hers at Jefferson High. “You know its kind of ironic, here's Aliyah breaking the record and it has to be somebody who I played with. We joke about things like that all the time. I'm just so happy for her that she was able to do it.”

It was a somber affair for the Lady Rams as it signaled an end, but they never gave in. The tense moments even after the game was out of reach were dissolved when Aliyah nailed her last free throw. As for her supporting cast this season, Keira Cesario had six points, Cynthia Merringer added eight and Kelly McGinniss two, all of whom will return next season.

But for the Rams other captain Sabrina Viscomi, senior Amanda Capitelli, and Aliyah Huland El, their time is up. For Aliyah, Randolph's coveted 6-foot-2 athlete, she will be off on an adventure to the ACC and the University of Virginia on a scholarship. And in a way, she will be taking some of coaches Kristin and Peter Torres with her, and they will be keeping some things she left with them.

“She's taught me a lot,” said Coach Kristin Torres. “Not just being her coach but also as a person. Its tough because I'm very close to her.”

Huland El capped off her season with 19 points on the night and 2,286 for her career. 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Paterson

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_480e593439800b8f20b5_fdbb7ea0-bad4-4518-a21f-ea6b7964e633

Mon, May 28, 1:00 PM

Roberto Clemente Park, Paterson

Memorial Day Celebration

Arts & Entertainment

Carousel_image_53ae7533852656590209_parent_of_the_year_breakfast_saturday_june_2_2018

Sat, June 2, 8:30 AM

LaNeves Restaurant, Haledon

2018 Parent Conference & Breakfast

Education

Free Archery Classes

May 24, 2018

Archery is one of the world's oldest sports, and you can enjoy free classes hosted by the Passaic County Board of Chosen Freeholders and Rutgers 4-H Cooperative Extension of Passaic County. From 2pm-4pm on June 2nd, June 16th, July 7th, and July 21st, people of all ages are welcome to take free archery classes at the Great Meadow in Garret Mountain Reservation, located at 8 Mountain Ave ...

Free Yoga and Fitness Classes

You don't need a gym membership to get fit and exercise. Passaic County is making an effort to make our citizens healthier and happier by sponsoring free fitness training and yoga classes on our park system.

Goffle Brook Park features an outdoor fitness circuit available to anyone. Get classes from trained professionals on how to use our equipment, and use those lessons all year ...

TAPinto Featured Franchisee: Steve Lenox of TAPinto Paterson

This week's feature will focus on TAPinto Paterson's franchisee, Steve Lenox. Find out how the current owner of a public affairs firm went from a former State Director for Senator Frank Lautenberg to a proud TAPinto franchisee for New Jersey's third largest city.

 

Q. When did you join TAPinto.net?

I joined TAPinto.net in September, ...

Who Let the Dogs Out? Passaic County K-9 Unit Wows Children and Seniors

May 24, 2018

TOTOWA, NJ- With schoolchildren, senior citizens, and law enforcement all in one room any politician would have been thrilled to take part in Thursday’s cross generational event in Totowa that featured a reading of children’s book “Roscoe the K-9 Cop,” authored by Kristen Sondej, and several members of the Passaic County Sheriff’s Department’s K-9 ...

Vehicular Homicide Charges for Driver of Paramus School Bus

May 24, 2018

MORRISTOWN, NJ - The driver of a school bus involved in a crash on Route 80 last week that killed two people faces two counts of second-degree vehicular homicide/death by auto, it was announced today.

The driver, Hudy Muldrow, 77, of Woodland Park, attempted to make an illegal U-Turn on the highway in an attempt to find his way to Waterloo Village, the planned destination of the bus that was ...

Lieutenant Governor Sheila Oliver Testimony on Proposal to Divert Affordable Housing Funds

PATERSON, NJ- TAPinto Paterson earlier reported on the response of local community leaders and activists on a proposal by Governor Phil Murphy to divert $46 million from the Affordable Housing Trust Fund (AHTF) which they wrote in a letter signed by representatives of over 100 groups statewide is “legally dedicated to the creation of affordable homes for lower income ...

The Elections are Over, Now it's Time to Collaborate!

May 21, 2018

For much of the past six months Paterson’s focus has been on the races for mayor and council, and rightly so. The elected officials that serve the nearly 150,000 residents of our city have an enormous responsibility, their actions dictating not just success of our community, but the way our City is perceived.

The election is now behind us, and we congratulate all who took part in the ...