ALENTOWN – The 2021-22 season ended for the Allentown High School basketball team on March 3 in the quarterfinals of the state sectional tournament in Group III of Central Jersey against Wall High School in Wall.
A full season on the court – following the 2020-21 campaign, which was cut short by a coronavirus pandemic – led to the Redbirds going 14-11 and, most importantly, showing a strong game that captivated coach Dan Wells for the future of the program .
“We have kids who are hungry and ready to draw attention to them,” Wells said.
The duo of junior Caitlin Landgraf and freshman Molly McCree was a force in the forefront for the Redbirds.
Landgraf led Allentown in points (244), rebounds (186) and blocked shots (41). McCree played in all 25 games and averaged more than nine points and five rebounds per game, making 34 interceptions.
The tandem of Landgraf and McCree on the blocks will be paired with the talent that the Redbirds expect to have in the back zone next season, led by Kayla McCree.
McCree, who is a junior, missed six games due to injury but made a key contribution when she was able to pick up. She averaged more than nine points per game and led the Redbirds in assists (72) and interceptions (47).
Sophomores Bella Conti and Chloe Conti played well in the back zone this winter.
“I think every player has grown from the start of the season to the end of the season,” Wells said. “They learned to trust each other and work together.”
While Allentown expects the talented players to return in 2022-23, Wales has praised the play of seniors Brian Schweizer and Emily Pellegrin. The coach praised the top management brought to the team this season by both young women.
Schweizer led the Redbards with 55 three-pointers from the game and scored 200 points in his senior campaign. Pellegrino provided a spark from the bench. On Jan. 21, she scored the season’s highest 17 points to help the Redbards defeat West Windsor Plainsbora South 58-25.
“They’re beautiful girls,” Wells said of Schweizer and Pellegrin.
The 2021-22 season of Alentovna ended with a rematch of Wal-SS 56-42 in the quarterfinals of the state sectional tournament. The Redbeards at No. 6 gave the 3rd-ranked Crimson Knights everything they could handle early and took a 10-8 lead in the second quarter.
END OF 1 Q: A great pass through the back door from Caitlin Landgraf to Kayla McCree to Allentown (@ATOWNGBB) ahead over Wall with a score of 10-8. Both players have 5 points in Alentovna. CC: @AtownRedbirds @central_jersey @AllentownHS #NJHoops 🏀 pic.twitter.com/nn3rlQLbco
– Stephen Basin (@SBassin_Sports) March 3, 2022
The Crimson Knights found their range in the second quarter and led 31-26 at the break.
The Redbirds continued to fight after the break until the Crimson Knights played back in the fourth quarter with a 14-6 series to end the game and end the Redbirds season.
Sophomore Alex Cruz led Alentown with 11 points from the bench. In the season finale, Kayla McCree scored 10 points.
After Wales had a pandemic-shortened season a year ago, Wales was happy to have had a full season with its players and seen them compete in the state sectional tournament.
“It’s always an exciting time to play in a state tournament,” Wells said. “During the year we fought to keep everyone healthy. Our biggest battle this year was in every game when for one reason or another someone was missing. When we were all together and healthy, we were a force to be reckoned with. ”