PRINCETON JUNCTION – Strong defense was the key to success for both the East Brunswick and South Brunswick girls basketball teams and helped both stay perfect on the season.
East Brunswick defeated West Windsor-Plainsboro North 43-26 and South Brunswick beat West Windsor-Plainsboro South 54-35 in the second round of the West Windsor-Plainsboro South Tournament at West Windsor-Plainsboro South High School on Tuesday.
East Brunswick was tough throughout the game, not allowing more than eight points in a quarter. The tight help defense suffocated West Windsor-Plainsboro North often. Senior guard Dayna Scalfani believes that defense needs to be their calling card.
“We had to make sure our goal was to be the best defensive team and that’s one of our goals for the season,” said Scalfani. “I think we went out there and really pushed. They were feeling uncomfortable and what you want them to be.”
Scalfani led the Bears with 13 points with nine of those coming in the fourth quarter. The Knights pulled within 10 points early in the fourth quarter, but Scalfani hit a three-pointer and then a quick layup in transition to strengthen the lead.
“I didn’t want to finish with four points,” said a laughing Scalfani. “When they were only down 10, I knew we could have a better lead.”
East Brunswick coach Keith Lane praised Scalfani’s efforts as well as junior Allie Warren’s who scored 10 points and added seven rebounds, responding to more minutes down the stretch.
“Experience paid off. She’s a very talented, experienced and smart player. She really made some big shots for us in the fourth quarter,” said Lane.
Lane added, “We had some foul trouble so Allie had to play longer minutes than she normally would and she’s a warrior. She works extremely hard on both ends of the floor and she did a phenomenal job defensively. She came up with some big rebounds down the stretch.”
East Brunswick is now 4-0 on the season and there is a lot of basketball to be played, but Lane believes that there is more to come. With freshmen Shanelle Colmon and Nicole Johnson gelling early, the Bear’s strong start could continue.
“We’re going to continue to grow and build. We have some freshmen that are doing a nice job stepping in and hopefully we will continue to get better. We always want to continue to get better,” said Lane.