LYNDHURST, NJ - The Lady Bears of Lyndhurst had high hopes. Visiting Secaucus held a perfect 5-0 record in conference play. Lyndhurst trailed by a game at 4-1. A game at home with all the advantages coming in that situation, was something Lyndhurst hoped to capitalize. In the end, they found it is players and execution, not the home floor that wins games. Secaucus broke the affair open in the second half en route to a 56-34 victory.
The numbers courtesy of MaxPreps.com :
For the high school level, the Secaucus efficiency was outstanding. Truthfully a lot of colleges would call a 104 offensive efficiency (points per possession multiplied by 100) a very good night. On the opposite side the 58 defensive efficiency was equally impressive.
Secaucus did not press full court very much if at all. They forced Lyndhurst into a 34% turnover rate (20 TOs) by trapping out at half court and on the baseline. The Lady Patriots used a good deal of those transition opportunities as the jump start of transition.
A team of mostly sophomore and freshmen, Secaucus ran a few nice sets (1-4 and 1-3-1 offenses) against the Lyndhurst 2-3 zone. Impressed the way Secaucus shared the ball (20 of their 23 field goals were assisted) especially in transition.
Secaucus coach John Sterling has no problem with his club taking a three point attempt. The Lady Patriots attempted 44% of their 54 field goals from three point land. They shot only 25% (6 of 24) but did crash the boards to grab 13 offensive rebounds.
Three Secaucus players were in double figures. The pace setter was freshman forward/center Zoe Pero with 13 points. The 5-10 Pero added eight rebounds and what was most impressive was her versatility as she posted up or stepped out off the high post to can the mid-range jumper.
Freshman point guard Kristina Ulric added 12 points. Ulrich also snared 6 rebounds and handed out 4 assists. Seniuor Danielle Roesing had a 'stat stuffer' game with 7 rebounds, 6 assists and 3 steals.
Perrin Mosca's Lady Bears were paced by Camila Alonso with 11 points and 10 rebounds.
"She (Alonso) is really a nice player," Sterling praised of the 5-10 senior. "She is such a tough kid, plays hard and gives them so much."
Alonso battled throughout and was a solid threat down low. She can run the floor very well and if necessary will and can find her teammates in advantageous situations.
Grace Tomko, a junior, added 10 points for the Lady Bears.
* Two years ago, covered a Secaucus win at St. Mary of Rutherford. In the column yours truly called out the Secaucus parents for being verbally abusive to officials and ranting, raving individuals. During a 20 point Secaucus win! Well, what is fair is fair. Players move on and the parents do as much. This group making the six mile trip to Lyndhurst was outstanding. They let the officials work and genuinely encouraged their daughters. All right, they did not agree with every call but that is expected. Overall, they showed a great deal of class in the manner they supported the Secaucus team.
* Lyndhurst has a guard signed to a scholarship at a national power with a fairly recent NCAA title. No, it is not UCONN or Baylor. Rather, it is FDI. Yes Fairleigh Dickinson University. The sport is not basketball but bowling. Lexus Lopez, a senior guard is an outstanding bowler as well as a good basketball player. She signed with FDU in the Fall. In order to compete in bowling she might be excused from a few basketball practices should the schedule dictate. Both her basketball and bowling coaches at Lyndhurst have worked out the agreement and are to commended to allow Lopez to compete in the two Winter sports. Cooperation of that sort is more prevalent at small schools like Lyndhurst.
* Given the youth, impressed with the way Secaucus handled the opposition's 2-3. If the close out was too hard on the perimeter, the Secaucus player ball faked the moved in for a closer shot or complete penetration inside.
* Rutgers-Newark had an assistant looking at Alonso. She was impressed and what's not to like. As noted she has skills, runs the floor and has a Dave DeBusschere (showing my age) style work ethic.
* Crowd of a few hundred was actually larger than some Division I games will have this season. Still, there is something special about going to a local high school game as this. On a chilly night when two of the conference's top teams get together. The magic eye of TV is not here. There is one media member (hello) but that does not matter to these teams that are competing, putting it all on the line if only in front of family and close friends. A competition that is in a more innocent and purer form than what we often see on a higher level. Games and night like this are reminders of the attraction girls and women's basketball had to us in the first place.