UNION – Jasmine Bonaparte’s steal and layup gave Union its first lead. Her first of a career-high six 3-point field goals – from the right side – extended Union’s second lead to five points.
Bonaparte’s second 3-pointer – this time from the left – ignited an 18-2 run that began in the first quarter and reached until almost the middle of the second.
A career-high 23-point effort by the sophomore guard – with 11 of those points coming in the first quarter and the next seven in the second – helped provide the quick knockout punch Union dealt undefeated Summit.
Union poured in a season-high point total in completely dominating visiting Summit 68-34 in Saturday afternoon’s Union County Conference-Watchung Division girls’ basketball game at Louis J. Rettino Gymnasium.
Union won its fourth straight to improve to 5-1 overall and 2-1 in the Watchung Division. Summit fell to 4-1 overall and 2-1 in the Watchung.
Union made 15-of-32 field goal attempts in the first half, including seven-of-17 from 3-point range.
Bonaparte, who came into the game averaging eight points, hit long-range shots from all over the quart, including banking in two off the glass at the start of the second quarter.
“I was pretty comfortable with my shot right from the start,” said Bonaparte, a returning starter who also dished out her share of assists on Union fast breaks. “I’m going to start to shoot more now after making the shots I did today.”
“Jasmine worked hard this summer on her outside game,” Union head coach Justin Meyer said. “It sure paid dividends for us this afternoon.”
Not only was Union making most of its shots from the start, but the Farmers were very aggressive on both ends of the floor from the get-go and did not let up.
Union was also led by the inside presence of senior Tessa Dolce, who finished with 10 points, and junior Adora Moneme, who had a team-leading 12 rebounds. Senior shooting guard Wendy Berry, on a day that she missed more shots than she made, still managed to produce a 10-point game that included two 3-pointers.
Union finished with nine 3-pointers, with junior Kya Riddick making the other one, which came in the second quarter. All five Union starters – Bonaparte, Dolce, Riddick, Berry and Moneme – did not play in the fourth quarter due to Union’s sizable scoreboard advantage.
Union took the momentum it gained from three holiday tournament victories at Union City and put Summit away early, leading 20-8 at the end of the first quarter and 38-15 at intermission.
Two weeks ago the Farmers were humbled at home by Roselle Catholic 57-31.
“We learned from that game that we have to get back on defense, focus more and get our offense running better,” Bonaparte said.
Most possessions Summit was getting just one shot thanks to Moneme hitting the boards.
“Adora is an all-state soccer player and one of school’s best athletes,” Meyer said. “She consistently leads us in rebounding and has a lot of passion for the game.”
Dolce was coming off an MVP performance at the Soaring Eagles Coaches vs. Cancer Holiday Tournament and continued her fine play by driving to the hoop and filling up the basket from inside the lane.
“Tessa has really developed the last four years,” Meyer said. “The sky’s the limit for her.”
Summit’s leading scorer among starters was sophomore frontcourt standout Cassidy O’Malley, who finished with six points. Union held O’Malley and senior Anna Baumeister, who had four points, to well under their 12-point averages.
“Give Union all the credit,” Summit head coach Brian Erickson said. “They came ready to play right from the start and we didn’t.
“We were out-prepared and out-coached and I take full responsibility for that. What I love about sports is that it teaches life lessons. If plan A doesn’t work, you go to plan B. We wanted to win the game, but we also wanted to finish the day with pride and passion.”
Summit was led offensively by tall junior Molly Richardson, who scored all eight of her points in the fourth quarter.
“Molly was on the JV last year and is working hard,” Erickson said. “She finished around the rim and she’s starting to get it, because we could certainly use her.”
NOTES:Union will continue this week with Watchung Division games at Scotch Plains Tuesday at 4 p.m., home against Cranford Thursday at 4 p.m. and at Linden next Saturday at 1 p.m.
Summit will be at Plainfield Tuesday at 5:30 p.m., at Roselle Catholic Thursday night at 7 and at Linden Friday at 4 p.m. – all three road games Watchung Division contests.
UNION COUNTY CONFERENCE-WATCHUNG DIVISION GAME
SUMMIT (2-1, 4-1) 8 7 8 11 – 34
UNION (2-1, 5-1) 20 18 22 8 – 68
SUMMIT HILLTOPPERS (34):
22-Molly Richardson, junior, 4-0-0-8
10-Hannah Feeney, senior, 1-0-0-2
24-Kyla Houston, senior, 0-0-1-1
2-Kate Chase, senior, 1-0-2-4
23-Cassidy O’Malley, sophomore, 3-0-0-6
5-Maddie Gramigna, senior, 2-0-0-4
21-Jenny Martino, junior, 1-1-0-5
20-Anna Baumeister, senior, 2-0-0-4
Starters: Chase, Baumeister,
Gramigna, Martino, O’Malley.
UNION FARMERS (68):
32-Zaniyah Ellis, freshman, 1-0-0-2
50-Nneka Moneme, freshman, 2-0-0-4
21-Jasmine Bonaparte, sophomore 2-6-1-23
35-Salena King, senior, 3-0-0-6
15-Adora Moneme, junior, 2-0-0-4
24-Wendy Berry, senior, 3-2-0-12
11-Tessa Dolce, senior, 4-0-2-10
13-Kya Riddick, junior, 2-1-0-7
Starters: Bonaparte, Dolce,
Riddick, Berry, A. Moneme.