RANDOLPH, NJ- At the start of the 2017-18 campaign, a winning season appeared to be an uphill battle for the Randolph girls basketball team that sported only one senior.
On the night they honored their lone senior, captain Danielle Maxwell, the Lady Rams also locked up a winning season when they defeated Roxbury 34-15.
I'll be honest, we had no idea what we were going to get this year, but these young kids, they have gotten better each and every week,” said coach Pete Torres. “It's been so much fun to watch them grow. They have all learned a lot and have been picking things up as we go.
With the victory, the Lady Rams move to 13-10 on the season, and with only one regular season game left, they are guaranteed to finish with more wins than losses. It was a fitting way to celebrate senior night.
“I was just so excited to be out there and represent my team as the lone senior, especially because today is my birthday,” said Maxwell. “I believed in our ability as a team this year to have success. I played with all these girls in the summer and when I saw what some of the new younger girls could do, I knew we could have a winning season.”
On this night, the Lady Rams used a stifling defense to stonewall their opponent, holding the Gaels to just 10 first half points. Randolph jumped out to a 9-3 first quarter lead behind Samira Santana, who scored all five of her points in the first, and Alyssa Alfieri who put up the other four.
The lead grew by a point at halftime, thanks to Angeleen Murero who got hot and scored six points in the second to spot Randolph a 17-10 lead going into the locker room. But the hammer really came out in the third, when Randolph used an 8-1 run in that quarter to put the game out of reach. They kept up the pressure in the fourth quarter, holding the Gaels to only four more points the rest of the way for a final score of 34-15.
Murero finished with 12 points on the night, while Alfieri put up 8.
Before the game, Maxwell was introduced with her parents in honor of senior night. Then, the entire girls program ( Frosh, JV, Varsity ) donated a $1,000 check to Go4thegoal.org to benefit pediatric cancer. All three levels participate in a shoot a thon every year, and this was the charity selected this season.
After the Lady Rams final regular season game at home on Saturday, the state tournament is looming next week, with a tough opponent ahead.
“On Tuesday next week West Orange comes here for the playoffs,” said Torres. “They have a ‘potential Division I’ prospect, a 6 foot 1 point guard, and overall they're big. So it's going to be a tall order for us, but I'll go to battle with these girls and see what we can do.”