PISCATAWAY, NJ -- It’s been a rough going for Piscataway varsity athletics as boys and girls basketball, and boys and girls bowling are without wins.
Coach Chris Puder and his young girls hoops team has been in some tough, close battles this season as the Lady Chiefs are 0-7. Piscataway has lost by just one on double-overtime to Edison on the road, by three on the road at East Brunswick, by six at South Brunswick, and by five at home to J.P. Stevens.
Piscataway held leads in all of those contests, and the tight games will only serve the players well going forward.
“Yeah, we are still trying to put a complete game together. The girls are giving great effort and they play with a lot of heart,” Puder said. “They are learning that you have to value all of the little things like taking care of the ball, boxing out, and foul shots. This experience can only help our girls for the rest of this season and in seasons down the road.”
Tuesday, Piscataway, which trailed by eight at halftime, outscored J.P. Stevens in the third quarter 16-6 to take a two-point lead into the fourth, but the Hawks rallied with the use of 3-pointers. Tori Fisher tallied a game-high 15 points in the game for Piscataway and Mia Rose added eight points, four rebounds, and two steals.
At South Brunswick on Monday, Piscataway went into the locker room at the half up 30-24, but the Vikings closed the gap with a 15-6 third quarter and won the game with a back-and-forth, high-scoring fourth, 23-21. Fisher netted a game-high 29 points with five assists while Mia Rose and Autumn John added seven points apiece and Courtney Edmundo scored six points with six rebounds.
Last Saturday against East Brunswick, the Lady Chiefs led by one, 29-28, at the break and by three after three quarters. Fisher totaled 23 points, five rebounds and two steals, Rose produced 12 points and three assists, and Julia Stewart had eight points, four boards, and four assists.
So far on the season, Fisher, a senior, leads the team with 133 points (19 ppg), 15 assists, and nine steals. She’s tied at the top with 28 rebounds.
Rose, the other lone senior who has played in just four games, is in second with 37 points and 16 rebounds. Stewart, a junior, has 28 points, 19 rebounds, and 13 assists. Edmundo, a freshman, has 24 points and 26 boards while sophomores Autumn John, Sky Johnson, and Aniyah Johnson have 18, 16, and 14 points, respectively. Aniyah Johnson also has grabbed 28 rebounds with eight assists and six steals while Sky Johnson has contributed with 24 boards.
With no junior varsity team this winter, the Lady Chiefs have suffered through some growing pains, but Fisher has taken her game to the next level, trying to shoulder the load and guide her team to a win.
Piscataway’s next game is on Thursday at home at 4:00 p.m. against Edison.
On the lanes, Marco Merizalde logged his second-best game of the season with a 126 on Thursday against Iselin Kennedy. His high game remains a 145 in the season opener and his best series is a 344 that same day. For Vincent Novak, he rolled a 143 and 138 with a 372 series earlier in the week against Old Bridge.
Deziree Graham, who missed the girls’ first three matches, has come back strong as she’s gone over 100 in all 12 of her games this season. On Feb. 5, Graham threw a 458 series (169, 136, 153) and she also had series of 430 (116, 141, 173) and 424 (128, 143, 153) to her name. Samantha Ortiz posted her top game of 144 and top series of 375 against South Plainfield earlier this month as well. Kristina Todd’s high game of 159 came against Iselin Kennedy back on Jan. 28 and her highest series of 400 with games of 11, 148, and 130 also occurred on Feb. 5 against the Tigers. She carded a 381 with games of 104, 159, and 118 against Iselin.
Coming up, winter/indoor track for boys and girls have their first polar bear meet at Monroe, weather permitting at 3:45 p.m. on Monday. The first swimming meet will be on Friday, Feb. 19 at 3:00 p.m. at the Piscataway YMCA against St. Thomas Aquinas.
Boys varsity basketball is still down in quarantine and is scheduled to resume game action on Saturday, Feb. 20 against St. Joseph Metuchen.
For the full schedule of events, click here.
Follow Chris Nalwasky on Twitter @ChrisNalwasky.
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