Westfield High School Girls Basketball Runs Past Union Catholic, 43-29

Wesfield's Jackie Knapp (Westfield Junior) leads the charge with 14 points. Credits: Michael Bergman
Hannah Liddy (Westfield Freshman) uses helpful screen set by upperclassman teammate Lillian Scott (Westfield Junior) to dribble out of trouble. Credits: Michael Bergman
Jackie Knapp (Westfield Junior) banks in photo finish layup. Credits: Michael Bergman

WESTFIELD, NJ — Thanks to a rejuvenated second-half performance, the Westfield girls' basketball team remains undefeated after pulling away with a 43-29 victory over Union Catholic on Tuesday. The Blue Devils' 7-0 record is their best start in school history for the girls' basketball program.

Junior Jackie Knapp lead the Blue Devils in scoring with 14 points while also contributing on defense, coming up with five steals. The Blue Devils top scorer on the season, junior Lillian Scott, managed 12 points, six assists, and tied a team high with six steals along with freshman Hannah Liddy.

Sophomore Janya Henderson led Union Catholic in scoring with 13 points. Another bright spot for Union Catholic was their 6 foot- 3 inch-tall Junior center Donnae Days, who rebounded the ball throughout the game. Days sustained a leg injury early in the fourth quarter and did not return to the game. 

The Blue Devils started the game out with great ball movement, passing the basketball well and getting teammates involved on offense. Westfield's athleticism and speed helped them force lots of turnovers on defense. The Blue Devils’ backcourt defense created havoc for Union Catholic's two guards, Henderson sisters Janya and Samirah. 

Westfield's defense came up 23 steals over the course of the game. At the end of the first quarter the Blue Devils lead Union Catholic 11-5.

Westfield tried to score quickly on their fast break opportunities early in the second quarter, but Union Catholic started to play great transition defense, slowing down Westfield and disrupting their game plan. Westfield started turning the ball over frequently. Union Catholic offense started to click on offense, going on a 12-2 run from the start of the second quarter until there was a minute left before half time. Union Catholic took their first lead of the game when there was 2:08 left in the first half.  

In Westfield's last possession of the half they struggled to find an open shooter. With a few seconds left on the clock Lillian Scott hoisted up a shot, but it was blocked by Janya Henderson. 

The Union Catholic Vikings went into halftime leading 17-15, outscoring Westfield 12-4 in the quarter. 

Blue Devil's head coach Joseph Marino described his halftime message he said to his team: “I told them 'Keep your head up, keep working hard, we got to break them down. Teams are going to take shots at us. You're a good team, and there's no doubt in my mind that you're going to out play them in the second half.'" 

Marino's message seemed spark Westfield as they came out in the second half running down the court, showing off their superior speed and athleticism, scoring quickly in transition. Westfield's attacked Union Catholic's defense in transition with intensity, going on a 12-4 scoring tear in the first 8 minutes of the third quarter.

The Blue Devils stole all momentum from the Vikings when Lillian Scott grabbed several consecutive offensive rebounds after several of her putback shots rimmed out of the basket. Scott was finally fouled attempting her fourth putback as the crowd applauded. Scott made one of two free throws, making the second attempt.

Sign Up for E-News

Union Catholic tried to inbound the ball, but Westfield's backcourt defense made it difficult for the inbounder to find an open player. The inbounder squeezed a pass to a tightly guarded player but a Westfield defender knocked the ball out of the Vikings player's hands and the Blue Devils defender scored an easy layup.    

Westfield ended their hot third quarter leading 32-23, outscoring Union Catholic 17-6 in the quarter. The Blue Devils turned a two-point deficit into an 11 point lead, while also outscoring their half time point total (15), scoring 17 points in the third quarter alone.

"Our performance is as expected. We know what we have as a team, we work hard, we have great skilled players. It was a matter of time before we were going to break this team down," said Marino. "We knew they were going to have that big girl in the middle, and they were going to pinch the middle and keep us from driving. But with our speed and athletic ability, I knew it was a matter of time before we'd pull this one out."

In the beginning of the fourth quarter, Union Catholic cut into the Blue Devil's lead. Seeing his team losing momentum, Marino called a timeout just a few minutes into the quarter. 

The Blue Devils pushed the tempo on offense and put up points again, eventually regaining their original fourth quarter lead, 40-29 with 4:52 left in the game. Westfield's strong second half propelled them to victory over Union Catholic 43-29.

"I'm really happy,” said Marino. “We have a great bunch of girls, everyone gets along well, they play hard as a team. I'm really happy with this group right now, were 7-0, it's the best start in school history for girls basketball. I believe we are going to make a lot of noise this year."

The Westfield Girls Basketball team plays next at Oak Knoll High School (1-3) in Summit on Jan. 9  at 4 p.m. The Vikings play host to Elizabeth High School (0-4) in Elizabeth on Jan. 9 at 4 p.m.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


17-Year-Old Academy for Information Technology Student Dies; GoFundMe Page Established to Help Family

July 21, 2018

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ — Seventeen -year-old Fenov Pierre-Louis, a Roselle resident and student at Union County's Academy for Information Technology, lost his battle with stage 4 Nueroblastoma cancer this week.

Friends have set up a GoFundMe page to help his family. 

Diagnosed when he was a second grader, Fenov fought the disease for about half of his lifetime, ...

Corruption Has No Place in Union County

July 19, 2018

The Union County Freeholders’ decision to appoint State Senator and newly-elected Union County Democratic Chairman Nick Scutari’s chief of staff, Ed Oatman, as county manager smelled of corruption from the start. To place a political consultant like Oatman in the role of overseeing 2,800 employees and running the day-to-day operations of the $500 million county budget suggests ...

Westfield Police Blotter: Multiple Businesses Report Thefts & More

July 18, 2018

July 11,2018 3:50 p.m.

A business located on the 100 block of Central Avenue reports being the victim of a theft. Unknown actor came into the business and removed $2,200.00 worth of property.

July 12, 2018 2:40 a.m.

Danny Burke, age 32, of Edison, NJ was arrested for driving while intoxicated pursuant a motor vehicle stop. Subject was arrested, processed and released to a ...

Kid Make Their Own Pizza

July 21, 2018

Parents, looking for something special and fun for your kids on the weekend?

Emma's now hosting kids make their own pizza on the weekends. Also we are now booking kid parties!

IRS Working on a New Form 1040 for 2019 Tax Season

The IRS plans to streamline the Form 1040 into a shorter, simpler form for the 2019 tax season. The new 1040 – about half the size of the current version – would replace the current Form 1040 as well as the Form 1040A and the Form 1040EZ. 


This new approach will simplify the 1040 so that all 150 million taxpayers can use the same form. The new form ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 18

On this week’s AtlantiCast, you’ll find out how accessing care at Atlantic Health System is now easier, more affordable and closer to home than ever, learn which item from the produce aisle could be the newest weapon against cancer, see what Atlantic Health System, the New York Times and Instagram all have in common and much more.



Picking up the Pieces – The Benefits of Account Consolidation

Over a lifetime of investing we often have numerous accounts located at different financial firms.  Rarely are these accounts managed with a grand plan that takes into account all the individual pieces.   Account proliferation can be detrimental to your investment performance, increase your risk profile, and lighten your pocketbook.  

Account consolidation offers the ...

Big Changes in Store for New Jersey’s Employers and Employees

Big changes are in store for New Jersey’s workplaces, with dramatic legislation aimed at improving conditions for New Jersey’s workers. These changes include the enactment of New Jersey’s Equal Pay Act, a new law to help the unemployed, and passage of New Jersey’s Paid Sick Leave Act. Most likely one or all these laws will impact you or someone in your family.

New ...

5 Simple Ways to Save Water this Summer

According to the L.A. Times, the average American uses an estimated 98 gallons of water EACH day.  

Here are five simple ways you can save water, to help you conserve water this summer and take some pressure off of your drains.

1. Unless you are using it, turn the faucet off. How many of us still leave the water running while we shave or brush our teeth?According to ...

26 Homes Sold July 8-15 in Westfield and Surrounding Towns

There were 26 homes sold between July 8 and July 15 in Westfield, Scotch Plains, Fanwood, Cranford and Mountainside`

TOWN          ADDRESS    STYLE            RMS   BRS BTH   GAR   Sale Price

Cranford  115  Bryant Ave ...

Dog Found in Garwood

UPDATE: Reunited with owner.

ORIGINAL POST: Dog found on Pine Avenue in Garwood. He was given food and water. Garwood police now has him. Sweet and friendly. Contact the Garwood Police Department.

It's Not What You Are Eating, It's What's Eating You


Emotional eating can be described as episodes of binge-eating, grazing and/or eating when not hungry to soothe feelings. Emotional eaters have a pattern of eating to cope with stress, emotional conflicts and problems of daily life.

Emotional eating is eating for reasons other than hunger. Instead of physical symptoms initiating the eating, ...

ELL Summer Experience at Westfield Public Schools

Westfield students representing six different languages recently enjoyed a weeklong summer camp focused on providing meaningful enrichment activities for students to continue their English language acquisition while having fun.

The ELL (English Language Learners) Summer Experience ran from July 9-13 at Wilson School, welcoming students in grades 1-4 whose native languages are Russian, ...

Westfield Area YMCA: Take Swim Lessions This Summer

The Westfield Area YMCA is providing a free one-week guest pass to non-members which will also enable access to purchase a week of swim lessons at full member rates during the summer.  The one-week guest pass includes use of the Y’s fitness facilities, land and water group exercise classes and open gym/swim.

“Our goal is to have people of all ages and skill levels grow to ...

Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper Welcomes Stephen A. Timoni to Firm

Lindabury, McCormick, Estabrook & Cooper P.C., announced that Stephen A. Timoni has joined the firm in its Westfield office. Stephen will focus his practice in the areas of Corporate and Health Care Law.

“Stephen brings additional depth and experience to our firm. He has tremendous experience in complex corporate, M&A and health care areas of practice. We anticipate that Stephen ...

Livingston Council Votes on Ordinance to Prohibit Vape Shops

July 19, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Concern about the increased use of electronic cigarettes and other vapor products were among the reasons why the Livingston Township Council adopted an ordinance prohibiting “vape shops,” or any establishment that primarily sells “electronic devices, liquid nicotine or vapor products,” in the township’s retail commercial ...


Eric Lieberman, 47, of Scotch Plains, passed away suddenly and unexpectedly Tuesday, May 22, 2018 ...
Read more