CLARK, NJ - Holding Hilltopper talisman Christina Richson scoreless until the fourth quarter, the Crusaders from AL Johnson (ALJ) took a first-quarter lead and did not look back, beating the Summit High School Girls Varsity Basketball Team, 50-32.
Senior captain Noelia Todorov had 12 points to lead Summit, but The Maroon & White could not manage to get another player into double figures. Meaghan Gallagher, with a game-high 14, and Kristina Palella, who scored 12, led a balanced ALJ scoring attack.
Summit was able to muster but 11 points over the first 16 minutes of basketball as the Crusaders built a 23-11 first-half lead.
The Hilltoppers more than doubled their point total in the third quarter alone, scoring a dozen, but they allowed 20 in the process, and matters were pretty much settled heading the final quarter with ALJ leading 43-23.
Summit, now 8-17 on the season and seeded 16th in the NJSIAA North 2, Group 3 state tournament, next travels to Somerville to face the top-seeded Pioneers February 28. Tip-off is set for 7 p.m.