Season Recap: Girls Basketball has Storybook Season

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by John O'Connor

Senior Grace O'Connor drives to the basket.

Will Shokoff and Nick Holt

The Hillsborough girls basketball team had one its most memorable seasons in a long time. Coming into this year, the Lady Raiders had high expectations with a lineup that had several seniors who are continuing to play at the college level. However, the Raiders were able to show exactly how good they were this season. 

Unfortunately, the season started off rough. They had a hard fought battle to Gill St. Bernards at home, losing by just two points. Like most good teams, the girls bounced back. They topped three victories in a row and were able to win the holiday tournament in a demanding victory vs Immaculata. The success did not stop there. Through January 11th to February 15th, the girls went 11-4. They were picking up momentum at the right time but fell short in the Somerset County tournament to Montgomery in the second round. However, with all the wins that they had picked up so far in the season, it set them up well for the NJSIAA Sectional tournament seeding. This was the most important part of the season. 

The girls went into the first round favored, up against a 14-13 Howell team that would not be taken lightly. The girls were able to defeat them, 53-45, led by sophomore Olivia Gaspar. The next two rounds only got tougher, as both were on the road against Monroe and Middletown South.  Though, the girls were able to knock both teams out in two highly competitive games, with a 45-41 win against Monroe, and a 49-44 win against Middletown South. Next up would be the finals.

Going in as underdogs the past two rounds, the championship was no different. The girls faced Montgomery for the second time, looking to avenge their loss in the county playoffs.  The game was tight out the gate and ended with a tie score one quarter of play. Though, in the second quarter, Montgomery was able to pull away, outscoring Boro 22-14 in the quarter, taking an eight point lead going into the half.  Hillsborough came out of the locker room strong, looking to make a comeback, cutting the lead to only four going into the 4th quarter. Unfortunately, Hillsborough’s attempts weren’t enough, as a big fourth quarter pulled Montgomery ahead, ending Boro’s magical run in a 71-58 loss.

“We had a great season and gave it our all to the very end,” senior Allison Watson said. “Nobody expected us to make it this far, and we proved them wrong.” 

Overall, the girls were finished with a record of 19-10, and 7-7 in conference. The skyland group 4 division is one of the most competitive in New Jersey, and Hillsborough played well in it. The future of the program looks great for years to come.