'February Frenzy' in South Orange, NJ

Sorrows 5-6 girls relaxing and getting instruction at halftime. - Photo by Ray Floriani.

As part of a week-long event in South Orange, NJ, St. Pat's beat Our Lady of Sorrows School, 27-23.

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - "Just a few more baskets early, that's all we needed," said Sorrows coach Sue Patton. After spotting Pat's an 18-6 lead at the half, Sorrows made a run to get it to single possession but could not finish it out.

The game was a 5-6th grade quarterfinal, Monday evening, in the Sorrows tournament known as 'February Frenzy'. One of my favorite tournaments it was good to be back after missing the past few seasons.

A week long event run by Our Lady of Sorrows School, in South Orange just a few blocks from Seton Hall University , there are brackets in the 7-8th grade girls and boys divisions as well as 5-6th grade girls. A small but attractive game program is available, complete with team rosters and schedules for the tournament. Brackets are posted on the gym wall, certain to do any 'bracketologist' proud.

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The JV girls (5-6 grade) bracket.

There is a snack bar with traditional hot dogs, fries and pizza and home made empanadas (they are great I can attdt) and Caribbean chicken. A 'Frenzy Store' sells shirts, sweatshirts and chances for a Carmelo Anthony jersey.

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One of the Sorrows snack bars. This tournament is a culinary delight.

Ambience aside, the game is the thing. The 5-6 girls can only press the last two minutes of each half which helps make for a better contest. Sorrows had transition speed but were guilty of a number of travels the first half.

In the second half they started to get stops, forced Pat's into more of a perimeter game, which wasn't to Pat's advantage and got their offense on track. A number 40 was quick and fast end to end, scoring in transition for Sorrows. Pat's going to a perimeter game lost momentum. Their ball screens, effective the first half, were not executing the final two quarters. They just had enough however to hold on. ' Survive and advance' indeed.

Interesting working this game as I have officiated with Sue Patton, especially in this tournament, a number of times. Quite a difference working for her as she coached but Sue was great to work for. All she wanted was another early basket or two from her players.

My schedule calls for a return this Saturday. Hopefully another girls game is on my time slot.

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