SPRINGFIELD, NJ – For the Dayton girls basketball team, Tuesday was Senior Night and their second to last regular season game. The five seniors honored were Captains Nicolette Angelo and Amanda Lau, Melanie Schickler, Zoe Frei and Gabriella Petruzzella. The seniors started and the Bulldogs won their 19th game of the season.
Angelo, Lau and Schickler have been on the varsity all four years and will get Gold Letters. Frei and Petruzzella have been on for three years.
This team is special already. It extended the number of consecutive winning seasons to 17 and its current record of 20-3 is the best of the last ten years. The 20 wins equaled the most wins of any Bulldogs team over that period. The 2011 and 2012 teams also had 20 wins, but more losses.
Captain Amanda Lau: Described by Coach Dave Rennie as “…the consummate point guard who can shoot from anywhere on the court”, Lau is one of only 12 girls to score more than 1,000 career points at Dayton.
As Captain, Amanda has demonstrated “…senior leadership qualities” according to Coach Rennie. He says she “…leads by example, which is her style. She always working hard and has a good temperament.”
He remembered that as a freshman, “Amanda made an immediate impact and then continued to improved every year. She is very knowledgeable about the game is like a coach on the court.”
Amanda said before the game, “…and last but not least, we would finally like to thank all our friends, fans, and everyone who came tonight. Without all of the endless support we would not be the players we are today. Thank you and let’s play ball!”
Captain Nicolette Angelo: – Coach Rennie said, “Nicolette is a leader by example. She is very understated, very athletic and has a high basketball IQ. She also has a great temperament. She keeps an even keel.”
Part of her success comes from spending time in weight room to keep up her strength. The Coach commented on how she “…gets up and down court well and often defends taller and bigger players. She really contributes to offense by keeping the ball moving, getting rebounds and always in the right position at the right time.”
During her four years, Angelo has already collected over 500 rebounds and blocked over 150 shots.
Nicolette said before the game, “To our coaches for the past four years, thank you for devoting a majority of your time toward helping us improve as athletes. You have helped us develop an incredible team. Thank you - Coach Rennie, Coach Campbell, and Coach Schultz for all you have done.”
Melanie Schickler: Over the past four years, Coach Rennie said, “More than anyone, Melanie would ask “What do I need to work on to get better?””
He said he remembered how hard she worked her freshman and sophomore years. Now, “The results are evident and she has contributed to team’s success.” Described by the Coach as “…a two guard. Melanie gives it her all. Her role is to guard the best perimeter player, which is usually the best player on a team.”
During her pregame comments Melanie said, “Mr. Spangler, thank you for coming in early and staying late to ensure our safety on the court and for all of your hard work to keep us injury free. Mr. White, thank you for always going above and beyond for all of us both inside and outside of the classroom. We truly appreciate all that you do, especially taking the time to announce during our games.”
Zoe Frei: This was Zoe’s first year getting significant varsity time. Coach Rennie said, “She contributed on both sides of court.” He added, “Even though it is her senior year, she continues to work on her shot and become and outside scoring threat.”
The Coach added that “Zoe is a good perimeter defender and gets a surprising number of rebounds for a guard.”
In her pregame comments Zoe said, “We would not be the players we are today without our middle school Nettes coaches, coach Al and coach Scott. Thank you for teaching us the basics of basketball and for supporting us up until this very day.”
Gabriella Petruzzella: She played in more than half of her games at Dayton her senior year.
Coach Rennie said, “She is a good perimeter shooter.” He then added, “She seems to knock down the first three pointer she takes.”
According to the Coach, “She works hard in practice, gives a 100 percent and pushes herself to get better.”
As part of her pregame comments, Gabriella said, “To our amazing parents and family, thank you for the unconditional love and support, getting up early to drive us to and from practice, and for guiding us to be the young women we are today.”
As a group, Coach Rennie said, “They are model student athletes that can make any coach teacher or principal proud, and they are all good teammates that get along well and have fun together. That contributes to their success.”