Kittatinny guard Kelsey Osborne(#40) follows her shot while Roxbury forward Taylor Kornmann (#42) attempts to block out, Credits: Will Harrigan
Kittatinny forward Jess Repasy shoots a free throw during the Cougars 35-27 victory at Roxbury. Credits: Will Harrigan
Roxbury guard Brittany Casola shoots a free throw in the seocnd half of Friday's 35-27 loss to Kittatinny Credits: Will Harrigan
Kittatinny Defense Comes Through, 35-27
Friday, February 15, 2013 • 10:48pm
SUCCASUNNA, NJ - For both Kittatinny and Roxbury’s girls basketball teams Friday night, the ball seemed to go anywhere but in the basket. Luckily for the visiting Lady Cougars, their 2-3 zone worked to perfection.
As a result, Kittatinny continued its excellent season, improving to an impressive 15-6 record by way of a defensive-oriented, 35-27 victory over Roxbury at the Bryant Drive gymnasium in Succasunna.
“We packed it in tonight. Our zone really did a good job on their bigs [referring to Roxbury’s height in the frontcourt]. It certainly helped to get them on an off-shooting night,” noted Kittatinny head coach Andy Meyers, whose team used a balanced scoring attack with no scorers in double figures to edge the Gaels.
In the opening minutes, Kittatinny jumped to a quick 5-0 lead, thanks to an eighteen foot jumper from Kelsey Osborne in the left corner and a three-pointer by shooting guard Ally Nowatnick on the ensuing possession. The rest of the quarter was spoiled by each team being unable to shoot with any real degree of accuracy, leading to a 9-4 Kittatinny advantage following an off balanced shot from Jenna Toye to close the first frame. Kittatinny’s Nicole Calella extended the visitors margin to 13-6 following a pair of lay-ups. Calella, a recent 1,000 point scorer, was questionable for the game.
Roxbury leading scorer Brittany Casola scored the final five points of the first half, clawing the Lady Gaels back to a manageable 18-15 halftime deficit. The first half saw Roxbury shoot a paltry 5 of 37 from the field, and Kittatinny a slightly better 7 of 32. The teams combined to shoot an alarming 17 percent from the floor in the first half.
“We couldn’t buy a bucket tonight,” observed sixth year Roxbury head coach Kevin Bewalder. "We were able to get a lot of good inside looks to but just couldn’t finish.”
The third frame saw a pick up in the action. A right wing triple from freshman Lauren Kornmann tied the fray 20 all at the 3:56 mark. The lead would change hands three times, but an offensive rebound and put back from senior forward Alyse DePaola would put Kittatinny ahead, 26-25, a lead they would not relinquish.
Osborne knocked down a critical three ball with 5:10 remaining in regulation, turning a 26-25 lead into a 29-25 cushion. Roxbury (10-10) would draw to 29-27 via two free throws from Taylor Kornmann, but Calella would single-handedly salt the game away, scoring the final six points of the game, all at the free throw line.
Both teams qualified for the upcoming State Tournament. Roxbury, which is in North II, Group III, is seeded eleventh and will travel to Cranford on February 26. A day earlier, fourth-seeded Kittatinny will entertain a Bergen County aggregation from Ramsey in the North I, Group II bracket.
The box score:
Kittatinny (15-6): 9 9 6 11- 35
Roxbury (10-10): 5 10 8 4- 27
Kittatinny: Kelsey Osborne 3-1-0-9, Nicole Calella 2-0-4-8, Ally Nowatnick 0-2-0-6, Alyse DePaola 2-0-0-4, Jess Repasy 1-0-2-4, Brooke Cottelli 1-0-0-2, Jenna Toye 1-0-0-2. Totals: 10-3-6-35
Roxbury : Brittany Casola 2-0-3-7, Jamie Katzenberger 2-0-2-6, Lauren Kornmann 1-1-1-6, Taylor Kornmann 2-0-2-6, Tara Leonard 0-0-2-2. Totals: 7-1-10-27
Halftime Score: Kittatinny 18, Roxbury 15
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