Girls Basketball: Verona Comes Back To Beat Undefeated West Essex In Holiday Tourney 46-36


CALDWELL, NJ - A late third quarter spark of offense propelled the Verona Girls Basketball Team to a 46-36 victory over previously undefeated West Essex and their second consecutive trip to the Holiday Tournament Finals.

“I told them we can play with them, they’re bigger, they’re a very good team [that’s] undefeated and we can play with a lot of teams when we play like that so that’s our potential,” said Verona Head Coach Jessica Schomaker.

Late in the third quarter down 28-25 Verona’s Brianna Horton took control of the game sending her squad on an 11-2 scoring run. Horton collected a trio of three-point shots and a jumper to put Verona up 36-30 at the end of the third quarter.

Sign Up for E-News

“I think we just kept moving the ball around, I got an open shot and I just kept taking them…we just kept moving the ball around to get movement [into the paint] and that’s how I got so open,” said Horton.

Horton was able to finish the contest with a game-high 22 points on the afternoon. For Horton, this game is a mere glimpse of her potential on the court for Verona as a guard.

“I’ve been talking with [Horton] a lot about stepping up…I told her she’s a leader, she’s a captain I need her to take over and I think she did a great job of that tonight and that’s the Bri we need from here on out,” said Schomaker.

Verona’s upset victory would not be without a resilient effort from the squad as a whole stemming from a strong second quarter of play. Down 17-10 after the first frame, Desiree Meyer joined Horton in setting up a 9-2 run that changed the momentum of the contest.

“I think the girls were really resilient today and they didn’t give up no matter how many we were down and I’m really proud of them for that,” said Schomaker.

For Meyer, who collected eight points in the victory it’s been status quo for the junior forward. She’s averaged 16 points per-game in her last three contests for the Lady Hillbillies.

“[Meyer] can hit those threes anywhere so to have her hit those it just builds up our confidence,” said Horton.

The victory is one that Verona can build upon as the aforementioned Lady Knights came into the contest undefeated at 3-0. Verona will advance to the Holiday Tournament Finals and look to finish where they left off last year with a title.

“This was a huge win for us, they’ve been crushing teams by 20 or 30 points a game so I just think this is a morale boost for us,” said Schomaker.

Verona will play in the Championship Game against Caldwell on Saturday at 5:30 p.m. at Caldwell University.

All photos by Nick Teodoro.

TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove  is an online newspaper serving the Townships of Verona and Cedar Grove. TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove is accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, and is a locally owned news organization serving the community.

Sign up for our FREE daily eNews and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Got a news tip or opinion? email us at

Download the FREE TAPinto App!  Click here for Android - Click here for iOS to get news as it is happening.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Verona/Cedar Grove

Students Demand Action to host 'Day of Action' on Columbine Anniversary at Brookdale Park

April 18, 2018

Students Demand Action Essex County will host “April 20 Day of Action: Gun Reform Education Fair” to educate and inform local students about the need for gun reform in our nation, inspire them to be activists, and honor the anniversary of the Columbine High School shooting.

The April 20 event will take place in at Brookdale Park (lower field by Bellevue entrance) in ...

Cedar Grove Police Blotter

April 16, 2018

April 8, 2018 – April 15, 2018

On April 9, 2018 at 7:50 a.m., Ptl. Jason Rivers responded to a Cedar Street address to take a report of a stolen motor vehicle. The vehicle was stolen from the driveway during the overnight hours. Patrolman Rivers was able to locate the vehicle using an application installed by the dealer on the owner’s phone. Detectives responded to that area in ...

Montville Residents & Twp Committee Ask for Resignation of Committeewoman over Facebook Post

April 15, 2018

MONTVILLE, NJ – The Montville Township Committee voted to censure Committee Member June Witty for a personal Facebook post she made on April 8 which compared Democrats to Nazis. All four members of the five-person committee asked for her resignation.

The post, a chart which states that Nazis believed in “media mind control,” “no guns,” abortion, and ...

Upcoming Events


Fri, April 20, 6:00 PM

Montclair Public Library Auditorium, Montclair

Let's Listen to Jazz

Arts & Entertainment


Fri, April 20, 7:00 PM

Verona Community Center, Verona

VHS Swim Team Fundraiser is Friday

Arts & Entertainment Sports


Sat, April 21, 9:00 AM

First Presbyterian Church, Verona

Sacred Choral Workshops Offered at First ...

Arts & Entertainment

Team Veronica Holds "Be the Match" Drive

April 16, 2018

Team Veronica is coming to a town near you!

Veronica, is a seven year old, who needs a bone marrow transplant. 

Be The Match is a national registry for finding a match(es) for a bone marrow transplant. It is a simple swab test of the inside of your mouth. 

On Mon., April 23, Be The Match, will be at the Bayonne Fire House from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m.

Elise Johanssen of Be The Match ...