ROSELLE – The game that Taniya Hanner reached 1,000 career points came on the road and did not come in a victory.
However, the milestone was celebrated at home Saturday and came before an eventual hard-fought win against a very solid opponent.
Fittingly, Hanner scored the game’s first points on the very first shot taken, a jump shot from the right side that swished nothing but the bottom of the net for the first of her two 3-pointers.
That field goal gave Roselle Catholic the lead for good as the Lions – who led from start to finish – went on to produce a 48-41 girls’ basketball triumph over a 14-5 Notre Dame of Lawrenceville squad in the first game of Saturday’s annual Thomas F. Richel Memorial HoopFest at The Lions’ Den at RC.
Roselle Catholic won for the second straight time and fifth time in its past six games to improve to 10-6. Notre Dame, which had a three-game winning streak snapped, fell to 14-6.
Hanner scored 17 points – seven in the first half and 10 in the second – grabbed a team-high 12 rebounds (four of them on offense), dished out two assists and came up with one steal.
On Jan. 15 in Roselle Catholic’s Union County Conference-Watchung Division game at Westfield, Hanner put in an offensive rebound – of a shot taken by freshman Amaris Jenkins – early in the fourth quarter to give her 14 points on the day and an even 1,000 for her career.
Hanner also took the game’s last shot right before the final buzzer. She had a good look at a 25-footer, which hit the rim and missed. RC fell to Westfield 50-47.
Before Saturday’s game against Notre Dame, Hanner was recognized at mid court by head coach Joe Skrec in front of balloons that read 1,000. Then family, friends, teammates and coaches came to be with her for additional photos.
Hanner, a Hillside resident, became the fifth girls’ basketball player at Roselle Catholic to reach and pass 1,000 career points. Including Saturday’s 17 points, she is at 1,089 and counting.
Here is the list of RC girls’ that have reached and surpassed 1,000 career points:
Schrene Isidora, Class of 1999 (96-99), 1,267
Allison Skrec, Class of 2010 (07-10), 1,338
Melissa Tobie, Class of 2011 (09-11), 1,016
Tori Pozsonyi, Class of 2014 (11-14), 1,097
Taniya Hanner, Class of 2019 (17-19), 1,089 and counting
“It’s such an honor and very special,” said the Albany-bound Hanner about being one of the five.
“I became motivated and it took a lot of hard work and passion. I couldn’t have done it without my teammates.”
Roselle Catholic senior guard Jenissa Encarnacion led all scorers Saturday with 18 points and 3-pointers with three. She also produced four rebounds, four steals and one assist.
Encarnacion said that she was hoping to be the player to get the assist on Hanner’s 1,000th point.
“I was excited for her the whole time,” Encarnacion said.
Hanner was out playing the point in the first half against Notre Dame and during the game’s first 16 minutes she had one steal and one assist in addition to her seven points and four rebounds, three of them on offense.
“Coach wants me to be an all-around player, which means being out there at that position,” Hanner said.
Roselle Catholic built a 10-point lead for the first time at 32-22 near the end of the third quarter.
Notre Dame came back to pull to within two at 36-34 with 4:55 to go and then again at 42-40 after consecutive baskets by senior guard Leah Johnson, who paced the Irish with 12 points.
Ahead by just a basket with two minutes to go, Roselle Catholic went on to end the game on a 6-1 run, starting with a basket from Encarnacion.
“I was saying, if we turn the ball over, forget it, we just need to keep pushing forward,” Encarnacion said.
Hanner’s final point was a free throw that put the lead at 45-40. After Johnson made one free throw to cut it to 45-41, Janelle McNeill made a free throw for the Lions and then Encarnacion produced two more for the game’s final points.
Roselle Catholic junior forward Nina Worthey, driving strong to the basket, also produced a double-double, netting 10 points and grabbing 10 boards. When Worthey and Hanner get their game going at the same time – big bodies inside – Roselle Catholic is that much tougher to break.
Notre Dame junior center Erika Porter scored 11 points and, at times, showed a strong presence inside.
THOMAS F. RICHEL MEMORIAL HOOPFEST AT RC
Notre Dame (14-6) 07 08 11 15 – 41
Roselle Catholic (10-6) 13 07 12 16 – 48
NOTRE DAME IRISH (41):
10-Leah Johnson, senior, 4-1-1-12
32-Erika Porter, junior, 4-0-3-11
4-Natalie Smith, senior, 2-0-2-6
22-Nicole Villalta-Barrantes, 1-0-2-4
31-Madison McCauley, sophomore, 1-0-0-2
5-Amy Jones, senior, 1-1-1-6
25-Melanie Flowers, senior, 0-0-0-0
14-Paityn Morgan, junior, 0-0-0-0
Starters: Porter, Johnson,
Flowers, Smith, Villalta-Barrantes.
ROSELLE CATHOLIC LIONS (48):
14-Jenissa Encarnacion, senior, 3-3-3-18
5-Janelle McNeill, junior, 0-0-1-1
25-Taniya Hanner, senior, 4-2-3-17
23-Amaris Jenkins, freshman, 0-0-1-1
13-Nina Worthey, junior, 5-0-0-10
4-Kayla Haywood, junior, 0-0-1-1
Starters: Encarnacion, Haywood,
Jenkins, Worthey, Hanner.