BY TOM CLANCEY
OF PASCACK PRESS
PASCACK VALLEY – They'll be remembered as one of the top teams in Pascack Valley girls basketball history – and that’s saying something.
The Indians defeated Ocean City at the Pine Belt Arena in Toms River, 48-45, to be crowned Group 3 champions, the sixth team in Pascack Valley and Coach Jeff Jasper’s history to win the prestigious title.
“It is a huge achievement for the girls basketball program and the overall PV athletic program,” said Athletic Director Tom Gattoni.
See full photo gallery below.
Emerson’s Carly Petrower lead the Cavos with with 23 points and Devin Riker contributed 16 points in the win over their higher ranked opponent. Jenna Cooper also added 12 points from the field. The win was Emerson’s first state sectional title in girls basketball since 2011, said Athletic Director Konstantinos Paleoudis.
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“[Coach] Collen Malzahn has steered this team with the same vigor she displayed when she was an athlete in Emerson,” said Paleoudis The girls as a unit, play at a very high level when it comes to speed and defense. The girls practice at game speed with the transition being a major point of emphasis.
“The community of Emerson is always extremely supportive of our athletes and as was witnessed at the sectional finals game at Cedar grove with the large number of attendees at the game,” said Paleoudis. “Our student-led fan base, The Cavo Crazies, packed the bleachers, supported the girls throughout the game, and their support was invaluable.”
While the win elevated Emerson to the Group 1 state tournament, the Cavos season came to an end against University in 67-38 loss at Ramapo High School on March 9. Still, the loss will not overshadow the team’s achievement of winning a state sectional championship.
“These girls have stepped up to every challenge put before them this season,” said Paleoudis. “The hard work put in was on display in the game ... versus Cedar Grove with a full court press and a very impressive defensive game, which led to many turnovers and a lead which we never gave up.”
Local coaching icon Jeff Jasper’s team played a back and forth game against Somerville, but pulled ahead in the end. It sets up a Group 3 championship game against Ocean City scheduled for Sunday, March 12 at 2 p.m. at Pine Belt Arena in Toms River.
To get there, the Indians defeated local rival Northern Valley Regional High School at Old Tappan. They avenged Old Tappan’s victory in the Bergen County Tournament, that saw the Golden Knights knock off the Indians in a tight 43-41 loss, by handily beating back the challengers from Old Tappan. The Indians defeated Old Tappan 70-42 to win the North 1, Group 3 state sectional championship.
Enjoy the photo gallery by Pascack Press photographer John Puleo from Pascack Valley's victory over Somerville below:
The game ended with a final score of 57-37, Don Bosco.
To reach the quarterfinals, Old Tappan defeated River Dell 57-35 in the second round. The Golden Knights had a first round bye.
The Ironmen also had a first round bye, moving to beat Tenafly in the second round 69-39.
Don Bosco will next face off against St. Joseph, who recently defeated Pascack Hills.
Old Tappan boys basketball will set their eyes on the upcoming NJSIAA North 1, Group 3 Tournament, where they are seeded No. 1. The team will play Montville on Tuesday, Feb. 28.
The quarterfinal game, played on Feb. 12, had a final score of 57-49.
Pascack Hills and St. Joseph both started the tournament with a bye. Pascack Hills went on to defeat Ramapo 39-33 and St. Joseph beat Northern Highlands 63-40.
St. Joseph moves on to play Don Bosco Prep.
The quarterfinal matchup on Saturday, Feb. 4 concluded with a score of 41-35, IHA. Old Tappan defeated Glen Rock and Pascack Valley to make the tournament quarterfinals.
IHA will play Saddle River Day in the semifinals on Sunday, Feb. 12. The winner of that game will play in the tournament final.
The tournament season may not be over for Old Tappan, the reigning champions of the NJSIAA North 1, Group 3 tournament. Last year, Old Tappan won their group tournament, beating Ramapo in the final. State sectional playoffs begin on Feb. 27 for the tournament.
The second round game had a final score of 43-41, Old Tappan.
The match-up occurred after no. 18 Old Tappan defeated Glen Rock 49-36 in the tournament’s first round. Pascack Valley, seeded no. 2, had a first-round bye.
Old Tappan moves to the Bergen County tournament quarterfinals with a game against IHA on Feb. 4. The winner of that game will play the winner of a Saddle River Day vs. Ramapo match-up.
The Pascack Valley girls basketball team was undefeated before the game against Old Tappan. The team celebrated their Joe Poli Holiday Tournament victory in December, which is a early season tournament among some of the best Bergen County teams.
Twenty-six teams entered the Bergen County tournament. No Northern Valley teams remain, as Cresskill was eliminated from the tournament in their first round game against Mahwah.
Westwood also advanced with a win over Ridgewood to play Queen of Peace in the semifinals. Here's the tournament bracket.
Other teams competing in the championship included Northern Highlands, River Dell, Immaculate Heart Academy, Seacaucus, Northern Valley Old Tappan, Glen Rock, River Dell and the Academy of the Holy Angels.
The Indians secured the title with a 62-36 victory over Northern Highlands in the championship round. To get to the finals, Pascack Valley defeated River Dell, while Northern Highlands beat Immaculate Heart Academy.
Although the tournament brings some of the best Bergen County teams together for early season match-ups, the tournament has a deeper meaning for the Pascack Valley community. The tournament honors former Pascack Valley Principal Joe Poli, who passed in 1989.
After the Indians secured the title, Poli's family presented the team with the championship plaque.
Indians Head Coach Jeff Jasper has led the Pascack Valley girls team since 1972. As a head coach, he has attained more than 900 wins in his successful coaching career.
The Pascack Valley girls basketball team continues their currently-undefeated season with a Thursday, Jan. 5 game against Bergenfield.
The title for the North 1, Group 2 champion at MetLife Stadium went to the Thunderbirds with a final score of 35-28.
Westwood’s Sean McKay scored 18 points and Dylan Rekucki earned the Cardinals six. Senior Sean Hopkins served as quarterback.
Mahwah’s victory was ensured by a game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter by Jack Wood.
The Cardinals’ season ends with a 9-3 overall record.
Photos by John Puleo
The Green Knights won by a final score of 26-17.
Scorers for St. Joseph included Yasir Berry, Nick Cantone, Garrit Van Itallie and Angelo Guglielmello for special teams.
Quarterback Nick Patti completeled 209 passing yards and 78 rushing yards.
The team celebrated their victory with a classic Gatorade shower for coach Augie Hoffmann.
This is St. Joseph's 18th championship title in school history.
Photos by John Puleo
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