Lenape Valley players listen intently to head coach Kat McPhail during last nights North 1, Group II encounter with Pequannock. Credits: Will Harrigan
Lenape Valley students came out in droves to support their Lady Patriots on Friday night. Following the victory, the student body rushed the floor to celebrate with their classmates. Credits: Will Harrigan
Lenape Valley's Marissa Quaglia (#14) and fellow teammates set up on defense in yesterday's 25-23 victory over Pequannock in a North I, Group II Semi Final. Credits: Will Harrigan
Quaglia Guides Lenape Valley To Final, 25-23
Friday, March 1, 2013 • 10:44pm
STANHOPE, N.J.- After three quarters of hard to watch basketball, and a trip to the sectional final on the line, Lenape Valley’s Marissa Quaglia came through in the clutch.
The guard scored eight points in the final stanza, just enough to propel the Patriots to the final round of the North I, Group II tournament, 25-23, over Pequannock, at the Stanhope-Sparta Road gymnasium. A Sussex County Interscholastic League title won in 1979 is the only laurel ever won by the Patriots’ girls basketball program, but the 2013 outfit will have an opportunity to raise their own banner against Glen Rock for sectional honors.
“I didn’t really shoot to well for a while, but the team picked me up and we were able to take it to them at the end,” remarked a jubilant Quaglia following the victory.
With only one second left in the game and down two, Pequannock had the ball with the opportunity to tie, or even steal the game. But a three-point attempt from the visitors’ Kendall Machak, was blocked by Lindsay Sabo, setting off a wild court storming celebration by a raucous Lenape Valley student body.
From the opening tip-off, it was clear baskets would be at a premium in this fray. A little more than two minutes into the game, a Machak layup opened for scoring for the Morris County Panthers. A Quaglia three would be all for Lenape Valley in the frame, as a right wing jumper from Machak gave Pequannock a 6-3 lead after eight minutes.
In the second, Pequannock senior Bridget Carr showed the partisan crowd why she lead the Panthers in scoring on the 15-13 tour, scoring five points to stake Pequannock to an 11-8 lead at the break. The combined nineteen points were a season low in a half for each team.
Sabo scored five of the seven points for the Patriots in the third canto, tying the game at 13 at the 4:36 mark and giving Lenape a lead it would not relinquish via a lay-up with forty seconds in the half, a 15-14 advantage.
Thanks to Quaglia’s brilliant effort, Pequannock found themselves down 24-20 with 34 seconds left, when Machak sunk a much needed triple from the right wing to cut the deficit to a single point. A Quaglia free throw with eleven seconds left put the Patriots up two, eventually leading to the blocked last second attempt and the ensuing chaos on the court.
Lenape Valley (17-7) head coach Kat McPhail summarized the scene, “it’s a great thing for our team, our students, everyone in Netcong, Byram, and Stanhope. I couldn’t be more excited for the final.”
But as long as her Lady Patriots continue this historic run deeper and deeper into the State Tournament, the excitement will only escalate at Lenape Valley.
The unusually light box score follows:
North I, Group II Semifinal Round
Lenape Valley (17-7): 3 5 7 10- 25
Pequannock (15-13): 6 5 3 9- 23
Lenape Valley: Marissa Quaglia 2-2-5-15, Lindsay Sabo 1-2-0-8, Melissa Rabe 0-0-2-2, Eldina Kucevic 0-0-0-0, Bri Simko 0-0-0-0. Totals: 3-4-7-25.
Pequannock: Kendall Machak 4-1-1-12, Bridget Carr 2-0-4-8, Carly Klimek 0-0-2-2, Emily Klepacki 0-0-1-1, Gabriella Can 0-0-0-0, Taylor Tabakman 0-0-0-0. Totals: 6-1-8-23.
Halftime Score: Pequannock 11, Lenape Valley 8
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