HIGHSTOWN – Everything went well for the Highstown High basketball team, which took the first 13 minutes of the semifinals of the home section, against the fourth seeded Middleton South Friday night.
Then, as trouble intensified and Eagles senior striker Renee Wells continued an impressive series in which she scored 33 of her 35 points in the last 19 minutes, Middleton South jumped to upset Rams, 64-49, in New Jersey Inter-School Athletics. Play in the Group IV tournament of the Central Jersey Association.
With the victory of the “Eagles” (19-7) go on Tuesday to the section final at the “Jackson Memorial”, which sat under the second seed (21-5), yesterday won 46-44 over Monroe, seeded at number three.
The defeat completes one of the best seasons in basketball history for the Heathstown girls. Second-year head coach Jenna Marcus, who has won 14 of her last 15 games before last night, finished 22-7, the best the school has seen since her 1987-88 team won 22-6.
“My mind is amazed at how resilient and persistent our players have shown,” Marcus said. “Today we did not beat. When they did their run, I think it came to our minds and we started playing a little less aggressively, which is not like us. ”
“When (junior guard) Kyle (Glaser-Hyman) picked up his third foul in the second quarter, I think we played a little softer and let them go a little more,” said senior forward Carly McKenna, one of only three players who Rams finish. “All the unpleasant calls definitely affected us. We were called by three technicians. I’ve never seen anything like it before. “
Glasser-Hyman recorded this third foul with a score of 4:19 in the second quarter. However, when McKenna after hitting 2:55 played in the first half, Heathstown led 22-13.
As Wales has found out how she needs to play against central second-year Rams 6-foot-4 Abby Misie, the game has changed dramatically.
When Wales scored their second 3-point goal of the game 15 seconds before the end of the half, she put the visitors ahead 23-22.
McKenna (five points) executed a free throw to equalize 5.3 seconds before the end, but Bella Orlando of Middleton South turned the whistle to give the fourth seed a 25-23 advantage at the break.
“(Mission) is high,” said Wells, who did not score in the first quarter when the hosts opened the lead with a score of 12-5. “I needed to understand what I could and could not do against her. I needed to change the game and start shooting from the perimeter. I prefer to work inside, but we had to pull it out. ”
In the third quarter, the Eagles’ case continued. Finishing the second quarter 12-1, the visitors continued the rally, ahead of Highstown 23-12 in the third. Wales had 11 such points.
When her team added 16 more points in the fourth quarter, Wales scored 14 of them and 10 of them from the foul line. For the game she executed 17 of 20 free kicks.
“We knew we had to come out after the break and make the same effort as in the first half,” Wells said. “We had to relax and stay together because if we fall apart, the game will fall apart for us.”
When Orlando added 13 points, including three three-pointers, the Eagles, who scored 23 of 31 fouls compared to 7 of 13 for the hosts, were able to withstand 20 points and 10 rebounds, 10 points and eight assists from Glasser-Hyman and nine more points from senior guard Izzy Benitez.
“I’m going to really miss them next year,” said McKenna, a three-sport athlete heading to Ohio State University where she has no plans to play. “We never gave up. We have always played the strongest this season and just played from the heart all season. “
Southern Middle Town (64)
Patterna 2-0-4, L. Brennan 1-0-2, Orlando 5-0-13, KB Brown 0-5-5, Wales 8-17-35, Rankin 0-1-1, Mayerhofer 0-0-0 , Vinant 0-0-0, White 0-0-0, McGregor 2-0-4, Tardy 0-0-0.
In total – 18-23-64.
McKenna 2-1-5, IBenites 4-1-9, Poulter 0-0-0, Glasser-Hyman 4-2-10, McDonough 0-0-0, Keilo 0-0-0, Gapa 0-0-0 , Monsieur 9-2-20, Abenites 0-0-0, Negle 1-0-2, Ragland 1-1-3, Arora 0-0-0.
In total – 21-7-49.
MiddletownS (19-7) 5 20 23 16 – 64
Heathstown (22-7) 12 11 12 14 – 49
3-point goals – Orlando 3, Wales 2 (MS).