IHA (57) vs. Northern Valley Old Tappan (47)- Down 15-13 to Old Tappan after the first quarter, Immaculate Heart Academy junior forward, Anna Morris, took over the game scoring nine points. Morris ended the half scoring 16 of her game high 18 points as the Blue Eagles went into the intermission up 33-28.
IHA Head Coach Steve Silver on Morris, “Her agility on defense has improved, finishing off the dribble and turning and facing the basket. She is just making other players better and would say that about a point guard but the attention she draws and thinking through a step after catches the ball and not always having to finish.”
Morris had help from teammates Emma Maestic who contributed 12 points and Eliya Herriott tallying 13 points. Leading by just two points with six minutes remaining in the third quarter, IHA went on a 7-1 run. Going into the final period up by seven points, junior guard Brittany Graff knocked down a trifecta to push the advantage to double figures at 46-36.
The Blue Eagles went on a 9-4 run putting the game out of reach and advancing to the championship game for the first time since 2015 where they defeated Immaculate Conception 50-38. Noelle Gonzalez led the Golden Knights in scoring with 17 points while Jacyln Kelly added 13 points and Gianna Saccoccio chipped in with 10 points.
“At halftime the main thing we were talking about was that defense was going to win and they got 28 but had to hold them to 20 in the second half and our goal,” said Silver. Saddle River Day (82) vs. Paramus Catholic( 52)- Saddle River Day head Coach Danny Brown said when your team displays that type of defense that’s what you expect from the onset of the game but of course wasn’t there and a lack of focus and engagement. Paramus Catholic came ready to play jumping out to a 16-15 advantage after the first quarter.
Saddle River Day heard Brown’s message loud and clear going on a 7-0 run to start the second quarter. Leading by four points with four minutes left, the Rebels finished on an 8-2 spurt to open up a 34-24 lead at halftime.
It only took Saddle River Day 23 seconds into the third quarter to go on a 6-0 blitz. Senior guard, Michelle Sidor, poured in 22 of her game high 30 points as the Rebels widened the margin to over 20 points with less than six minutes remaining.
By the time the period ended, Saddle River Day led the Paladins 63-40 and never looked back coasting to a 30-point victory and advancing to their fourth straight championship game and will go for a four peat. Jaida Patrick dropped 21 points while Sydnie Caldwell netted 11 points. Aria Myers led the Paramus Catholic with 19 points while Julianna Kasic provided 10 points.
“Between all five starters and kids coming in our offense is not geared towards Michelle (Sidor), we know she is the number one scorer on the planet and we want the ball in her hands but there are other kids just as capable and when you have two or three on it’s great but only one doesn’t work.”
“They are really working hard on the chemistry and making sure everyone gets the ball and open shots and their goal. They all love each other and want the best for each other so there is no jealousy and saying it’s my turn and matter of executing the offense. One of the goals coming into this season and I’m honored to be in this position again and would mean a whole lot to our program, the school and what we have built and why we are working so hard.”