Girls Basketball Makes Run in State Playoffs


Lisa Muntone

Senior Dani Pescatore drives to the hoop.

Will Shokoff, Nick Holt, and Ty Kang

Hillsborough girls basketball has gone on a hot streak at the right time. The Raiders had their first game of the NJSIAA sectional tournament on March 3 vs Howell. Hillsborough has not won a state championship in over twenty years, but this season they are looking to change that. The Raiders had the home court advantage in the first round since they were a higher seed, and were able to capitalize in a 53-45 victory. Sophomore Olivia Gasper and senior Dani Pescatore led the way with scoring, combining for 31 points. Howell kept it close early on, but with 18 pts from the Hillsborough in the third quarter, they were able to pull away. With this win, Hillsborough advanced to the next game where they faced Monroe. 

Monroe had an impressive resume with a 23-5 record compared to Hillsborough’s 19-9. Early on both teams battled all game and kept it close. Hillsborough led by 1 point at halftime, and were trailing by 3 going into the 4th quarter. The Raiders stepped up on defense and only allowed 6 points from Howell in the last quarter. Hillsborough ended up winning the road game 45-41. The scoring by the raiders was all spread out, and each player was contributing in different ways to win. 

Next up, Hillsborough took a trip to Middletown South to take on the Eagles for the semi-finals.  With a strong first half, Hillsborough was able to take a 28-15 lead. The Raiders locked down defensively and posted 11 steals in the game.  Led by an 18 point scoring effort, senior Elissa Nsenkyire powered Hillsborough to an underdog win sending them to the finals to take on a tough opponent in Montgomery. 

“The team effort put forth really showed in this game. We came out so strong and fought all the way to the end to secure a spot in the finals,” Nsenkyire said. “There’s so much talent and depth within the team and each game has fueled us to do better in the next game.” 

Hillsborough will need to continue their defensive success if they want to take home the championship. They will travel to Montgomery on Monday, Mar. 9. at 7:00 to try and take home a championship trophy.