VERONA, NJ - She was named MVP of the holiday tournament and has averaged 10.5 points, three assists and two rebounds per game over the past two games.  Brianna Horton is the TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove Hillbilly Athlete of the Week.

"It's a huge honor to be recognized," Horton said of her Athlete of the Week selection.  "I'm so happy to be chosen."

"Brianna is a captain, a great leader and a role model," said Coach Jessica Schomaker.  "She had 21 points in the win over West Essex in the holiday tournament to lead us to the championship game for the second year in row and earning her tournament MVP."

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"Winning the holiday tournament was definitely a highlight," Horton said.  "That was one of our goals from the very beginning so it felt great to achieve it."  

With a 7-4 record so far, Horton is pleased with the way her team is playing, noting that the ultimate goal is to win their conference and make a run at states.

"The season has been going well.  We've had a few losses, but that's all right," she stated.  "It's been hard with Amber (Reed) out.  We've been rebuilding and everyone is really stepping up this year."

Part of that rebuilding has been working with her younger teammates to establish chemistry.  "We have a very young team.  More than half are freshman," she explained.  "We've been working hard to develop chemistry and make a stronger bond."

Horton also sees herself as a work in progress, saying she's always working to be a better ball player.  

"I'm not always as aggressive as I want to be on the court, so I've been working on that and trying to build up my confidence," she noted.  I want to play hard, continue to grow as a player, keep playing basketball and have fun."  

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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