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'February Frenzy' in South Orange, NJ

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

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

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.

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.

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.