PISCATAWAY, NJ – The 2019-20 season for the Piscataway High School boys and girls basketball teams got underway on Friday.

Both squads went up against Greater Middlesex Conference - Red Division foe Perth Amboy with the girls playing host and defeating the Panthers, 61-34.

Tori Fisher netted a game-high 17 points with five steals and three assists. Megan Santhumayor added 11 points and six rebounds and Kaelonon Wilson recorded a double-double with 10 points and 10 boards.

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Rakhia Mack also notched eight points, seven rebounds, seven steals, and six steals for an all-around solid performance.

Piscataway, which turned defense into offense and got out into the open court with a whopping 22 steals, led 39-23 at halftime.

For the Panthers, Arianna Colon led the way with 10 points. Angie Holguin added nine points as well.

Saturday, the girls played the second leg of a back-to-back and made a quick 10 minute trip on the bus to Middlesex High and fell to the Blue Jays in a nailbiter, 43-40.

“We had a good win Friday night. Always good to get the first that first win,” Chiefs head Chris Puder said. “Today, it was their first game. We didn’t hit our open shots and I think the quick turnaround got us in the second half. But we played a good opponent and we can learn from the close loss. The girls can learn how to close out a game.”

The Chiefs (1-1) held a slight 22-21 lead at the break and 33-32 advantage after the third, but Middlesex (1-0) outscored them 11-7 in the fourth for the win.

Brianna Montajes scored 13 points, grabbed eight rebounds, and notched seven steals while Kristen Yonker scored 10 points and had three assists and three steals and Jessica Forte recorded nine points, seven rebounds, and four steals for Middlesex.

For Piscataway, Fisher netted 13 points and Santhumayor bucketed 10. Kaelonn Wilson chipped in with nine.

The boys hit the road for their first contest of the year and lost to Perth Amboy in a game that went down to the wire, 66-60. It was the first defeat for the Chiefs against the Panthers since a 44-43 setback on Jan. 5, 2015.

Piscataway jumped out to an early first quarter advantage, but Perth Amboy clawed back thanks to a 19-3 run that stretched into the second quarter. Perth Amboy had a sizeable lead most of the way until the visitors were able to cut to 60-58 with 30 seconds left, but the Panthers pulled away late.

Next up, the girls play again on Monday versus East Brunswick on the road. The boys play Friday in the Hillsborough Holiday Classic.

Follow Chris Nalwasky on Twitter @ChrisWasky.

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