The River Dell Golden Hawks Varsity Girls Basketball Team (13-4, 6-0 Big North Patriot) squared off against the Tenafly Tigers (13-4, 3-3 Big North National) in the Bergen County Women’s Coaches Association Tournament Round of 16 at Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan in Old Tappan, New Jersey.
River Dell was coming off a 54-44 victory over Wayne Valley at River Dell High School, extending the Golden Hawks’ winning streak to ten games. Junior Sofia Sanchez poured in game-high 25 points, including knocking down five trifectas.
In the first quarter, both teams came out shooting the ball effectively. River Dell senior Isabella Gilmour jumpstarted the offense by scoring six points. At the end of the period, Tenafly led 15-13.
“Bella( Isabella Gilmour) found her spots where she could score early on which was very helpful, River Dell Head Coach Lindsay Steffner explained. Their defense started collapsing which opened for the outside shooting.”
Moving to the second quarter, the Tigers extended their advantage to 22-16 with six minutes remaining. The Golden Hawks answered back to cut the gap to two points. However, Tenafly responded with a 6-0 spurt.
Sofia Sanchez picked up where she left off against Wayne Valley by hitting shots from behind the arc. Sanchez was on fire, burying three triples that narrowed the Tiger’s advantage to 29-28 at the two-minute mark.
Sophomore Morgan Sconza displayed her toughness despite breaking her nose in a game earlier in the week against Ramsey and wearing a face mask.
Sconza came off the bench, boosting energy and offensive production by scoring seven points. She hit a jump shot to put River Dell up 32-31 and sank a trey as the Golden Hawks led 35-31 at halftime.
“I knew my shots were going to be there from watching film and pulling up for jump shots to help get us the lead back, Morgan Sconza described.”
“I hit the floor pretty hard against Ramsey and at first I thought I had a bloody nose but then I knew I broke my nose. It was probably the hardest because at first, I didn’t know if I was going to be able to play. When I went to the hospital, they told me I broke my nose in three places. They gave me a mask and I was just so happy I could play and be on the court.”
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