NORTH CALDWELL, NJ - The Verona girls basketball team is looking for answers after a 52-41 loss to West Essex is their second in a row to their local divisional counterparts.
“We didn’t box out today that’s all it was. We didn’t box out and we didn’t make our layups, if we do those two things we win the game,” said Verona Head Coach Jessica Schomaker.
Verona held a solid four point lead into the second quarter before the Lady Knights took over. A 14 to two scoring run aided by six Verona turnovers resulted in a drastic turnaround that saw a 22-14 West Essex halftime lead.
“We didn’t really box out, we didn’t know who we had, we were losing people defensively, it was little things,” said Schomaker.
West Essex continued their board dominance in the second half. The Knights key to the game was power forward Jess Coia who netted a game-high 16 points mostly from inside the paint.
Verona attempted to make a comeback in the third quarter, but ultimately was snuffed out. Hillbillies guard Brianna Horton was solid with 11-second half points for Verona who could not muster up a significant scoring run. Horton rebounded from a two point struggle in the county game against West Essex earlier this week.
“They face-guarded her, she kind of knew what she was up against and today she went out and had a performance like that it’s a great job, she did everything we asked her to do,” said Schomaker.
Verona will undoubtedly feel the sting of this loss as it’s consecutive big game defeats at the hands of West Essex. Despite the loss, which will most likely cost Verona the Colonial Division Title the group will look to take lessons into the State Tournament. The Hillbillies will boast a 14-5 record currently on a roster with just two seniors.
There is three remaining regular season games against Cedar Grove, Dayton, and Scotch Plains-Fanwood upcoming for Verona where they will try to regain their mojo before the playoff push.
“We’ve just got to continue to help each other out and build confidence while learning the game and play confidently and we should be good,” said Schomaker.
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.
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