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.
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.