UCT girls’ basketball semifinals set; Top 4 seeds made it

On Feb. 24 it will be 3-New Providence vs. 2-Patrick School and 4-Westfield vs. 1-Roselle Catholic

CLARK – If the Westfield girls’ basketball team wants to reach the county championship game for the first time in seven years, the Blue Devils will have to get past defending champion Roselle Catholic.

That’s the challenge right in front of them.

Fourth-seeded Westfield earned a third chance at knocking off the top-seeded Lions after handling fifth-seeded Governor Livingston 58-45 in Friday night’s first of two Union County Tournament quarterfinals played at Johnson High School.

Roselle Catholic ousted ninth-seeded Summit 55-28 in the nightcap. The Lions got out to a 9-0 lead, never trailed, and improved to 21-0. Since the start of last year Roselle Catholic is 46-2.

The semifinals are Tuesday at 6 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. at a site still to be determined.

In previous Union County Conference-Watchung Division competition, Roselle Catholic defeated Westfield 37-33 at Kean on Jan. 11 and then the Lions downed the Blue Devils 48-43 at RC on Feb. 5.

So what will it take for Westfield to get past Roselle Catholic?

“Obviously they’re very good and very talented,” said Westfield senior Lillian Scott, who led all scorers with a 20-point effort vs. a GL squad that entered the game with a 17-4 record.

Westfield, which improved to 14-7, got out to a 14-0 lead vs. GL and never trailed. Senior Jacqueline Knapp scored nine of her 17 points in the surge.

“The first two times we played them (RC) we got a feel for how they play,” Scott said.

In the first game on Jan. 11, Westfield was shut out 6-0 in the third quarter to fall 10 points behind. The Blue Devils did manage to cut the deficit to three in the fourth quarter before falling by four.

Knapp led Westfield with 12 points and Scott had 10.

“We’re going to have to all be on the same page,” Scott said. “We’re all going to have to play at the top of our game. They guard Jackie (Knapp) and I real well.”

In the second game on Feb. 5, Westfield trailed by five entering the fourth quarter, with both teams scoring 13 points in the final eight minutes. Knapp led Westfield again in scoring with 16, while Scott and Olivia Luzzi had 11 each.

“The last time we played them we failed to dominate the boards,” Scott said.

Roselle Catholic had 30 rebounds, with senior Dolapo Balogun leading the way with 14.

“We need to succeed in the areas that we were lacking against them,” Scott said. “We’ve had a couple of key wins, including a nice one against New Providence. We’re feeling confident.”

Roselle Catholic senior Tyfanni McQueen paced the Lions with 13 points in the first win against Westfield. She scored nine on three 3-pointers in Friday night’s win over Summit.

“We just have to be us,” McQueen said. “We need to play our style and pace and play defense.”

Sophomore Jennifer McClave paced Roselle Catholic with 11 points in the second win vs. Westfield. She was also outstanding Friday night vs. Summit, pouring in a season-high 18 points that included a season-high four 3-pointers, including three in a row in the beginning of the second quarter.

“The first two games (against Westfield) we let them come back,” McQueen said. “We have to stay focused the whole game.”

Even though Roselle Catholic made just three of 15 field goal attempts in the first quarter and received just two points from senior Allieyah Cubbage in the first 16 minutes – Cubbage rebounded to finish with 14 points – the Lions were still very much in control vs. Summit.

The Lions may not get away with that against Westfield Tuesday night.

“They’ve been very hard for us to defend, they have nice skills on offense,” Roselle Catholic head coach Joe Skrec said. “They also play good defense with their zone.”

Scott and Knapp, who both reached and passed 1,000 career points last season as juniors, are the focal points. However, Skrec is well aware of the other players Westfield has in its lineup.

“Scott and Knapp really feed off each other, perhaps better than any two players we have faced,” Skrec said. “Their other players really know their roles as well.

“The first game at Kean was tight. Westfield has bothered us. In practice we’re going to work hard on trying to attack their zone.

“Both games were close and competitive.”

In Friday night’s quarterfinals at Rahway it was third-seeded New Providence ousting 11th-seeded St. Mary’s of Elizabeth 76-39 and then second-seeded Patrick School pulling away late against 10th-seeded Johnson 50-42. The Patrick School previously defeated Johnson 67-52 at Johnson in a UCC-crossover game Jan. 10.

Tuesday night’s first semifinal will pit New Providence vs. the Patrick School. In UCC-Watchung Division action, the Patrick School swept New Providence, first winning 47-36 at New Providence on Jan. 15 and then 53-49 at home on Feb. 3.

NOTES: RC is putting its 21-0 record on the line Saturday in an out-of-state game at Long Island (N.Y.) Lutheran, scheduled for an 11:30 a.m. tipoff.

“We picked up a tough game,” Skrec said. “We did so to help us get ready for what’s ahead.”





Tuesday, Feb. 24

Site still to be determined

3-New Providence vs. 2-Patrick School, 6 p.m.

4-Westfield vs. 1-Roselle Catholic, 7:30 p.m.





Friday, Feb. 21

At Rahway

New Providence 76, St. Mary’s, Elizabeth 39

Patrick School 50, Johnson 42

At Johnson

Westfield 58, Gov. Livingston 45

Roselle Catholic 55, Summit 28




Jan. 15: Patrick School 47, New Providence 36 – at NP

Feb. 3: Patrick School 53, New Providence 49 – at PS

Jan. 11: Roselle Catholic 37, Westfield 33 – at Kean

Feb. 5: Roselle Catholic 48, Westfield 43 – at RC





5-Gov. Livingston (17-5)            5       13       14       13 – 45

4-Westfield (14-7)                     18       16       12       12 – 58



12-Lauren Soranno, junior, 1-3-0-11

13-Hayley Berliner, senior, 0-2-0-6

21-Sara Dilly, senior, 3-1-2-11

44-Lindsay Gerrato, sophomore, 2-0-2-6

15-Courtney Oseija, senior, 2-0-2-6

5-Amanda Bostwick, junior, 0-1-0-3

24-Lindsay DiStaso, junior, 1-0-0-2

Starters: Bostwick, Dilly,

DiStaso, Oseija, Soranno.

Totals: 9-7-6-45.



32-Hannah Liddy, sophomore, 0-1-4-7

2-Jacqueline Knapp, senior, 5-1-4-17

20-Lillian Scott, senior, 5-3-1-20

23-Amalia Montes, junior, 5-0-0-10

22-Olivia Luzzi, sophomore, 2-0-0-4

21-Shannon Devitt, sophomore, 0-0-0-0

Starters: Devitt, Knapp,

Luzzi, Montes, Scott.

Totals: 17-5-9-58.





9-Summit (12-9)                       6         5         9         8 – 28

1-Roselle Catholic (21-0)       11       18       19         7 – 55



34-Cassidy O’Malley, junior, 6-0-6-18

10-Christina Richson, freshman, 1-1-0-5

2-Julia Harkins, junior, 0-0-1-1

14-Caitlin Osmulski, junior, 1-0-0-2

15-Liv Kelly, senior, 1-0-0-2.

Starters: Harkins, Kelly,

O’Malley, Osmulski, Richson.

Totals: 9-1-7-28.



23-Jennifer McClave, sophomore, 2-4-2-18

44-Dolapo Balogun, senior, 5-0-0-10

12-Allieyah Cubbage, senior, 4-1-3-14

10-Tyffani McQueen, senior, 0-3-0-9

5-Kamille Jacobs, junior, 2-0-0-4

Starters: Bolagun, Cubbage,

Jacobs, McClave, McQueen.

Totals: 13-8-5-55.




SEEDS: 1-Roselle Catholic. 2-Patrick School. 3-New Providence.

4-Westfield. 5-Gov. Livingston. 6-Union. 7-Hilllside. 8-Cranford.

9-Summit. 10-Johnson. 11-St. Mary’s, Elizabeth. 12-Union Catholic.

13-Scotch Plains. 14-Dayton. 15-Rahway. 16-Oak Knoll.

17-Elizabeth. 18-Plainfield. 19-Kent Place. 20-Roselle. 21-Linden.



Friday, Feb. 13

Rahway 53, Plainfield 37

Oak Knoll 58, Elizabeth 51

Dayton 46, Kent Place 18

Scotch Plains 54, Roselle 27

Union Catholic 36, Linden 9



Tuesday, Feb. 17

Summit 55, Cranford 51

Roselle Catholic 63, Oak Knoll 20

Westfield 46, Scotch Plains 42

Johnson 57, Hillside 56

New Providence 60, Dayton 19

Wednesday, Feb. 18

Patrick School 51, Rahway 22

St. Mary’s 44, Union 42

Gov. Livingston 40, Union Catholic 36



Friday, Feb. 20

At Rahway

New Providence 76, St. Mary’s 39

Patrick School 50, Johnson 42

At Johnson

Westfield 58, Gov. Livingston 45

Roselle Catholic 55, Summit 28



Tuesday, Feb. 24

Site still to be determined

3-New Providence vs. 2-Patrick School, 6 p.m.

4-Westfield vs. 1-Roselle Catholic, 7:30 p.m.



Friday, Feb. 27

At Kean

JV: 6 p.m.

Varsity: 7:30 p.m.





2014 – Roselle Catholic

2013 – Gov. Livingston

2012 – Gov. Livingston – first time

2011 – Roselle Catholic

2010 – Roselle Catholic

2009 – Roselle Catholic

2008 – Westfield – first time

2007 – Scotch Plains

2006 – Cranford – first time

2005 – Scotch Plains

2004 – Scotch Plains – first time

2003 – Roselle Catholic – first time

2002 – Roselle – first time

2001 – Union Catholic

2000 – Union – first time

1999 – Summit – first time

1998 – Union Catholic

1997 – Elizabeth

1996 – Elizabeth

1995 – Elizabeth – first time

1994 – Linden

1993 – Linden

1992 – Union Catholic

1991 – Linden – first time

1990 – New Providence – first time

1989 – Union Catholic

1988 – Union Catholic

1987 – Union Catholic

1986 – Union Catholic

1985 – Hillside – first time

1984 – Plainfield

1983 – Plainfield

1982 – Plainfield

1981 – Plainfield

1980 – Plainfield

1979 – Plainfield – first time

1978 – Mother Seton – first time

1977 – Union Catholic – first time

1976 – Benedictine – first time

Championships: Union Catholic 8; Plainfield 6;

Roselle Catholic 5; Linden, Elizabeth, Scotch Plains 3;

Gov. Livingston 2; Benedictine, Mother Seton, Hillside,

New Providence, Summit, Union, Roselle, Cranford, Westfield 1.