SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ - The South Plainfield High School girls varsity basketball and bowling teams each won in the championship rounds of their Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament Pods on Friday.
On the hardwood, the Lady Tigers defeated Metuchen on the road in the Flaherty Family Pod final, 43-30. South Plainfield trailed by one point at halftime, but outscored the Metuchen in the second half 28-14, including 17-9 in the third quarter and 11-5 in the fourth.
“The team came together at halftime and talked about the importance of communication and taking care of one another. They believed that if they played like every possession as if they were down by one regardless of the score, good things would happen,” South Plainfield head coach Geoffrey Corisdeo said. “Can’t say enough about senior Deleaney Born and her leadership this season.”
Speaking of Born, she drained three 3-pointers and finished with 11 points, five assists, four rebounds, and three steals. Sophomore Sara McNelly netted a game-high 14 points. She also had four assists, three steals and three rebounds. Lindsay Oller cleaned up the glass as she grabbed 18 boards and scored six points. Sydney Loiacono chipped in with seven points, 10 rebounds, two blocks, and two steals as well. Brianna Harris added five points, three rebounds, two assists, and a team-best five steals.
South Plainfield out-rebounded Metuchen 38-31 and assisted on 12 of its 13 field goals. The Bulldogs defeated the Lady Tigers in the second game of the year, 50-32.
South Plainfield rounded out the year with a 6-9 record. Harris led the team with 153 points, Oller tallied 149 rebounds, McNelly recorded 34 steals, Born finished with 63 assists and 30 made 3-pointers.
Corisdeo’s club as well as the John Greco’s boys teams were the only SPHS squads this year to not have to pause due to COVID.
“This season definitely presented challenges,” Corisdeo said. “But with everything going on, we just tried to value and appreciate each day. We are thankful for the opportunity to play this year and fortunate enough to have competed this season.”
The boys hoops team had a disappointing finish to an otherwise stellar season. The Tigers (11-4) fell in the consolation game of the GMC Dave Wohl/Bo Henning Pod tournament, 62-56, at home. South Plainfield defeated Dunellen twice during the regular season.
Brandon Dean scored a team-high 15 points while Moshood Adebule and Josh Liberato also reached double figures with 13 and 12 points, respectively. South Plainfield led after the first, 11-7, but Dunellen surged ahead with an 18-10 second and 19-9 third.
The Tigers made a comeback in fourth as they outscored the Destroyers in the frame, 26-18, but the visitors had an answer for every South Plainfield bucket late in the game.
The Flaherty Family Pod is named after Artie, Tom, Bobby, Shawn, and Therese Flaherty from Metuchen, who all combined for over 5,300 points in high school. Artie’s sons, Danny and Artie Jr., were each 1,000-point scorers for the Bulldogs.
Last season, South Plainfield notched its first winning season since 2006-07, and the program has posted back-to-back winning campaigns for the first time since the 2003-04 and 2004-05 seasons.
As for girls bowling, the Lady Tigers defeated North Brunswick in the Pod 3 semifinals/first round on Wednesday and Colonia in the final on Friday.
South Plainfield edged Colonia by just 34 pins, 2,092-2,058. Kylie Nieradka carded a 472 with games of 149, 174, and 149. Shannon Csordos rolled a 429 series (119, 147, 163) and Samantha Jaipersaud had a (124, 159, 138) 421 series.
The Dave Wohl/Bo Henning Pod consists of ties to East Brunswick. Wohl was a three-sport athlete for the Bears and NBA Draft pick and coach while Henning tallied 999 wins as the head coach of the Bears’ boys team. His two sons, Bobby and Jason, also played for East Brunswick.
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