SUMMIT, NJ - In their final match-up prior to entering the NJSIAA State Tournament, the Summit High School Girls Varsity Basketball Team took on Montclair, the teams entering the contest with near-identical records. The Hilltoppers came in at 13-9, while the Mounties began the night at 13-10.
The advance metrics ended up being indicative of the game, as the teams traded quarter "wins" throughout -- Summit claiming the second and third stanzas, Montclair the first and fourth -- but the Hilltoppers, behind yet another double-double from Cassidy O'Malley, built a lead and hung on for a 43-40 victory at the Main Gym.
In addition to O'Malley's 16 point, 11 rebound contribution, Christina Richson added 12 points for Summit, who improved to 14-9 on the season. Katie Higgins paced Montclair with 16, and Jillian Jennings had nine.
The Hilltoppers were on the wrong side of a 15-8 score line halfway through the second quarter when they busted off a 12-2 run to snag a 20-17 lead at the break.
From there, Summit outscored the Mounties 12-7 in the third, to increase the advantage to a solid eight points which, even though Montclair claimed the fourth quarter 16-11, was enough of a cushion to carry the day.
O'Malley's 16 points lift her over the 1,400-point plateau in career points scored, another milestone for the new school record points queen.
Summit enters NJSIAA State Tournament play February 29 versus Rahway, with tip-off set for 5 p.m. The game is part of a girls-boys tourney home doubleheader at the Main Gym, with the boys facing Voorhees at 7 p.m.