SPRINGFIELD, NJ – The Jonathan Dayton girls varsity basketball team’s sixteenth winning season in a row came to an end in the semifinals of the NJSIAA North 2, Group 1 Sectional Tournament Saturday evening. They lost to seven seed University 60-58 at home in a game that was close to the end.
University's record for the season is 19-7. They were ranked much higher in the state Group 1 rankings at third behind number one Secaucus and Bound Brook. The rankings were through play as of February 28. Dayton was not in the top ten of Group 1.
Dayton started slow in the first quarter but closed the gap in the second quarter setting stage for tense second half. Two of the Bulldog's top players fouled out in the fourth quarter and still Dayton stayed close.
The Bulldogs were led by sophomore center Ebere Chukwuyem with 21 point that included ten field goals and one free throw. It was her highest scoring game of the year.
Normally, the Bulldogs scoring leaders are sophomore guard Sayre Brandstatter and junior guard Amanda Lau. They scored 13 points and eleven points, respectively. Others that scored for Dayton were sophomore forward Caitlynn McTernan with six points; junior forward with three points; junior guard Melanie Schickler with two points; and sophomore guard Maggie Phillips and Freshman forward Michelle Bellino with one point each.
Jonathan Dayton’s record for the season was 17-10. Captain Emma Ares is the only senior on a team that will have all of its starters returning.