SPRINGFIELD, NJ — Junior Madison Johnson scored 17 points and freshman Kaleigh Gunsiorowski added seven to lead Union Catholic to a 51-29 victory over Dayton in Springfield.

The Vikings used a 30-point first half to take control.

Union Catholic (15-4) has won two straight, three of its last four and eight of its last 10 games.

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Freshman Samantha Casey scored nine points and grabbed seven rebounds, while senior Haeley Santos added eight points with two 3-pointers and senior Michelle Bellino posted seven points with four rebounds, two blocks and two steals to pace Dayton (5-13), which has lost four straight and five of its last six games.

“Even though we were down a big number at halftime, I thought we played with a lot of energy on both ends of the floor. I told the girls afterwards, ‘it’s tough to beat a team that shoots that well.’ Union Catholic was just lights out,” said Dayton head coach David Rennie. “They've got a lot of shooters. Madison (Johnson) is just a spectacular player. That was another adjustment we made at halftime. She had 15 points at halftime. We went to a box and one on her and I thought we did a real nice job shutting her down in the second half.”



The Bulldogs visits Rahway on Thursday at 7:00 p.m. before the Union County Tournament starts on Saturday.

“We just kept the energy level up. I think that's going to be important for us down the road. I like the fact that everybody stayed positive. Everybody’s working hard, everybody’s playing together,” said Rennie. “We haven't gotten as many W’s as we had hoped, but a game like this will help us out down the road when we play a quality opponent like Union Catholic. And if we keep playing with that much energy and that aggressively, it'll bode well against some of our opponents coming up.”

UCT starts Saturday: The 16th-seeded Bulldogs will host 17th-seeded Linden in the preliminary round of the Union County Tournament on Saturday with first tipoff scheduled for 1 p.m. The winner advances to the first round and will visit top-seeded Westfield on Tuesday, Feb. 18 at 4 p.m.