SPRINGFIELD, NJ — The Dayton girls’ basketball team looks to start anew this week after a tough loss last Friday.

Freshman Samantha Casey scored eight points and grabbed 10 rebounds and senior forward Michelle Bellino added five points with nine rebounds, two blocks and two steals to pace Dayton in a 51-19 loss to neighbor Oak Knoll in the season-opening game for both schools.

Senior Paige Morton scored a game-high 27 points and junior Greta Criqui chipped in with 10, including two 3-pointers, to lead Oak Knoll.

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The Bulldogs return to action on Saturday as they host the sixteenth annual Joe Pepe Memorial Holiday Tournament and will face Freehold Borough (1-1) at 4:00 p.m.

In the first game, Linden (1-1) will face Morristown-Beard (2-1) at 1:00 p.m.



The winners will play in the championship on Monday, Dec. 30 at 4:00 p.m., while the losers will play in the third-place consolation game at 1:00 p.m.

Joe Pepe III was an All-Conference basketball player for three consecutive years at Dayton from 1972-74. He was the first to score 1,000 points in school history. Joe excelled as the quarterback of the Bulldogs football team and earned a scholarship to Liberty State College in West Virginia, where he played for four years.

Proceeds from both the boys and girls tournaments will support the Joe Pepe Memorial Scholarship program.



If you would like to donate, donations can be made to: Joseph Pepe III Memorial Scholarship Fund. 36 Ashwood Road, New Providence, NJ 07974.

Joe’s father, Joe Jr., a 1954 graduate of Dayton, passed away Feb. 2 and was an ardent supporter of Bulldogs Athletics.