SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- The Union Catholic girls battled with the previously unbeaten Pioneers of New Providence in a highly anticipated matchup on Tuesday afternoon.
Union Catholic, which dropped its last meeting vs. New Providence, 51-47 on January 14, avenged that defeat and ended New Providence's 18-game winning streak with a hard-fought 40-36 victory.
The Vikings, now 13-3 on the season, went on a 10-2 run over the last 4:20 of the first quarter to take a 13-5 lead and they never trailed the rest of the game. With the score tied, 3-3, Abbey Ortiz drained two three-pointers to give UC a 9-3 lead, and after a bucket by New Providence, Madison Johnson hit a driving layup and added in the run to help UC take a a 13-7 lead after the first quarter.
After New Providence cut the deficit to 18-14 at halftime, UC, led by Ortiz and Johnson, who combined Union Catholics's first 22 points, used a 10-5 spurt to open a nine point lead after three quarters.Ortiz scored on a buzzer beater to her tremendous Tuesday as the Vikings held a 28-19 lead entering the final quarter.
In the fourth quarter, the Vikings scored four points in the first three and a half minutes, and New Providence was able to close the gap when they hit a triple and inside lay-in to cut the Vikings lead down to three after a series of baskets.
The Vikings regained their lead of five with 1:11 left in the fourth quarter after Olivia Magliacano's score her second basket of the fourth.
Magliacano added another basket on the final possession for UC to secure the victory for the Vikings.