Notes from February Frenzy at Our Lady of Sorrows in New Jersey

Brief summaries from a pair of games this past Saturday from the "February Frenzy" tournament at Our Lady of Sorrows, including from a few miscellaneous notes. For more on February Frenzy, check out last week's post.

SOUTH ORANGE, NJ - Saturday called for the semifinals of the Our Lady of Sorrows Tournament. Two fifth grade girls games were the order of the day.

St. Pat's 36, St. Rose 28

1

2

3

4

Final

St. Rose

9

7

8

4

28

St. Pat's

6

3

6

21

36

A bit of history regarding St. Rose of Millburn: A little over ten years ago two of Eddie Donovan's grand daughters played here. And both played well. To those unfamiliar, Donovan was the GM credited with building the New York Knicks championship teams of 1970 and '73.

Today Rose is giving number one seed Pat's all it can handle. They are in control and enter the fourth quarter in the proverbial driver's seat. In the final eight minutes Pat's finds the range and once they gain the lead and Rose has no ability to answer or recapture the lost momentum.

The 'difference maker' for Pat's wears number 35. She proves to be too much to handle outside or in transition, finishing with a game-high 22 points. My partner during a time out wondred why Rose zoned and did not run some kind of defense to keep one player closely on 35. Good point but, especially in that fourth quarter, she just took over.

Late game I had a hard foul in transition on a number 20 by St. Rose. Thought about an intentional foul but given the nature of the game, no problems just two teams competing, chalked it up to poor defense.

Afterwards I told the Rose coach his player was close to an intentional.

"I know," he said, "but it was not purposely malicious and the first thing she did when the game ended was tell the girls she fouled how sorry she was."

Interestingly, told the coach I work a lot of high school in Jersey City, an uptempo aggressive brand of ball. There that play would be an intentional but in this case with younger kids and no worry about retaliation, I gave the fouler the benefit of the doubt.

St. Thomas 24, St. Vincent Martyr 23

1

2

3

4

Final

St.Thom.

9

4

8

3

24

St.VM

6

2

8

7

23

St. Thomas of Bloomfield and their opposition from Madison, NJ both wore gold. We decided to distinguish them by uniform trim, St. Thomas in gold, Vincent in blue. Not thrilled with that at first but it actually worked out.

St. Thomas got out to a five point half time lead. They carried it into the fourth quarter in a low scoring game. Their lone field goal of the final quarter came in the final minute. With six seconds to go, Vincent's guard banked home a three from about 25 feet. Time out. After time out St. Thomas was able to inbound the ball and protect it until the few seconds ticked off before the buzzer.

Number 2, relatively quiet the second half, led St. Thomas with 10 points. She was probably the best all around player on the floor.

Final notes:

  • Seemed like all the teams today ran offenses with screening. No problem except a lot of kids on this level are still struggling with setting screens. To their credit, the coaches addressed this during tine outs.
  • Interesting to note, after my games the eight grade boys were set to play. For the 5-6 girls the gym was virtually packed. Eight grade boys, barely half full. The parents and friends love the girls games, especially on the younger levels.
  • Staff at Sorrows did another great job handling a full day of games from roughly noon until eight p.m. Scorer's table personnel, snack bar servers, 50-50 sales people, et al. just did another great job ensuring the teams and everyone had a good competitive environment and enjoyed themselves.
  • We are close to Seton Hall. An autographed picture of the Seton Hall women's team proudly is displayed in the snack bar area.

The tournament has been around for a while. The next day I was covering Pitt-St. John's men at the garden. Ran into Pitt assistant Brandin Knight whom I reminded about the times I officiated some of his sorrows tournament games. Brandin remembered, and recalled what a great event It was.

Still is.

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