NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - In the clinically binary world of team sports, where the polar opposite of defeat is the goal, a loss of any kind is wrong result. However, in the grand scheme of things, there are actually shades of gray in the black and white world of competition so -- while losing is never good -- there are good losses or, at least, losses teams can learn and take confidence from and not leave the arena of play with that soul-crushing feeling.
So, the fact the Summit High School Girls Varsity Basketball Team took an undefeated New Providence squad to overtime on the Pioneers' hunk of hardwood before falling 53-49 is, it says here, and will be a positive. No doubt every card-carrying member of Hilltopper Nation would have loved to snag the 'W', but Head Coach Tom Kenny and his team now have to know -- if they didn't already -- that they can hang with top-level opponents, which should serve them well as they forge forward.
Against the Pioneers, Summit sophomore Olivia Lawlor was immense, scoring 31 points and adding 13 rebounds for a five-star Double-Double. Junior Sarah Maldonado and sophomore Laurel Zona were the only other Hilltoppers with more than a point on the night, with each netting six.
Amy Mauer (15) and Meghan Lemanna (13) paced the home team.
The Maroon and White led 13-8 after one quarter and 20-18 at the half. New Providence shaded the third quarter by a bucket -- leaving the game tied at 29 -- and both teams dropped a healthy 16 points each in the fourth which sent the tilt into bonus basketball territory.
Summit, now 6-5 on their campaign, will next travel to take on Watchung Hills Regional on January 20. Tip-off is at 4:30 p.m.