Girls Basketball Catches Fire Midseason


by Andy Watson

Senior Allison Watson locking down on defense.

Nick Holt and Will Shokoff

Girls basketball is on its longest win streak yet this season. Since Jan. 18, the Raiders have topped off four straight wins. The winning streak began with an away game at South Brunswick. After falling to Franklin, a top team in the Skyland Conference, the Raiders bounced back big. They took down the South Brunswick Vikings by a winning margin off 33, with the final score being  66 to 33. With a tie score at the end of the 1st quarter, the game was very tight early on. However, after that, Hillsborough began to take over. The girls outscored South Brunswick by 10 in the 2nd quarter, and by 19 in the 4th quarter. Seniors Elissa Nsenkyire and Dani Pescatore led the way with scoring, combining for 25 points. With eight rebounds from seniors Grace O’Connor and six from Allison Watson, the Lady Raiders were able to pick up a huge victory. 

The next game Hillsborough had was one of the toughest of the season, as they faced Gill St. Bernard’s on the road. The girls opened up their season to Gill St. Bernards at home, and fell short by just one bucket. This was a mark of progress for the team, and the Raiders came to play. Pescatore drilled five three-pointers, and totaled 19 points.

“To be on the road against a highly ranked team and walk away with an impressive win showed how our hard work and determination paid off,” Pescatore said. 

Sophomore Olivia Gaspar, who has been dominating in the paint all season long, had 16 points and eight rebounds. The girls were able to outlast the Knights by four points, winning 54-50. They had extended their winning streak to two games, just in time for another tough opponent. 

Going up against rival Bridgewater-Raritan for the second and final time this season, Hillsborough topped the Panthers 46-20, sweeping the season series.  Led by senior Allison Watson, Boro got off to a hot start in the first half, out scoring them 26-10. The girls continued their scoring and lock-down defense in the second half, allowing only 10 points to the Panthers.  The scoring for the Raiders was extremely spread out, as almost every player got on the stat sheet, propelling their winning streak to three games.

Hoping to keep their winning ways, Hillsborough took on a weak 1-12 Nottingham team on Saturday, Jan. 25.  Coming out of the gate strong, Hillsborough dismantled the Northstars on offense and defense, going on a 22-0 start in the first quarter.  The Raiders kept the opposition in check the entire game, only allowing 10 points the entire contest, seeming to build a culture around the team of defense and hard work.  The team’s highest scorer was blossoming star Olivia Gaspar, who put up 11, followed by senior Allison Watson, and freshman Amy Rachilla who both netted eight a piece.  

With a 73-10 win over Nottingham, this marks their 4th consecutive win in a row, putting them at 9-4 on the year with eight games left on the schedule.  The girls hope to add to their winning streak as they take on a 13-1 Watchung Hills team at 7:00 p.m. on Jan. 28. A win that could be huge for a contending team.