SPRINGFIELD, NJ — The Dayton girls basketball team lost a heartbreaker on Thursday.

Senior Erin Barrett scored a game-high 14 points with two 3-pointers and junior Isabel Parcells added 12 points to lift Dunellen to a 45-44 overtime victory over Dayton in Springfield.

Junior Salma Abouelkheir grabbed 10 rebounds for Dunellen (14-10), which has won four of its last six games, outscored Dayton, 5-4, in overtime to secure the win. With Dayton leading 27-21 after three quarters, Dunellen used a 19-13 fourth quarter to force OT.

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Senior Michelle Bellino scored eight points with 11 rebounds and two blocks, senior Casey Janker added eight points with two 3-pointers and eight rebounds, while sophomore Mya Sims-Taylor posted eight points for Dayton (7-15), which has lost two straight and four of its last six games.

Freshman Samantha Casey had seven points with a game-high 12 rebounds, senior Haeley Santos registered seven points and junior Aiyona Wood contributed six points with nine rebounds and three blocks in the loss.



“This may have been the most balanced scoring performance of the year, with six players scoring between six and eight points. We moved the ball well and got everyone involved. Defensively, we were able to shut down their main scorer, but eventually others started knocking down shots. It was a hard-fought game. I’m proud of our players and how they battled to the end,” said Dayton head coach David Rennie. “Michelle (Bellino) has been our main offensive threat. While we look to her for scoring, we emphasize sharing the basketball and getting everyone to look for their shots. Michelle’s energy, work ethic, and passion for the game is contagious and her team mates feed off of it.”

Three remaining regular season games are on tap as the Bulldogs host neighbor Summit on Tuesday, Feb. 25 at 7:00 p.m., visit Verona Thursday at 4:00 p.m. and end its regular season slate at home Friday versus Boonton at 4:15 p.m.

March Madness State Tournament Style: Dayton is the 14th seed in the upcoming NJSIAA North Jersey, Section 2, Group 1 Sectional Tournament and will visit third-seeded Glen Ridge in first round action on Monday, March 2 at 5 p.m. The winner advances to Wednesday’s quarterfinals and will play the winner between 11th-seeded Ridgefield and sixth-seeded Shabazz.