Girls Basketball – Rumson Holds Off Late Charge To Defeat Notre Dame
Holmdel, NJ- After a slow start to the season, the Rumson Fair Haven Lady Bulldogs are riding an 11-1 record since their December 27th loss to Gill St. Bernards. Sunday afternoon at the Coaches Choice Showcase against #15th ranked Notre Dame, the #4th ranked Bulldogs jumped out to an early lead and held on late to defeat the Irish 60-55 to improve to 11-5 on the season.
Rumson hung tough in the first quarter trying to find their offense against a stingy Irish defense and slowly chipped away to take the lead with 35 seconds left in the first half when junior forward Hannah Scanlan drained her shot to put Rumson up 10-9. Notre Dame quickly answered and at the buzzer took an 11-10 lead with a layup from Nneka Ezeigbo.
This would be the last lead Notre Dame would have on Rumson as the Bulldogs settled down during the timeout between periods and came out and outscored the Irish 16-9 in the second quarter. Junior forward Katie Foos found her rhythm in the quarter connecting on 3 of 4 from three point range and also chipped in with a layup for 11 points in the quarter. Sophmore guard Tori Hyduke nailed a 3-pointer and senior guard Nicole Morris closed out the Bulldogs scoring with a jumper of her own for two.
Afterwards Hannah when talking about the performance of Katie Foos added “anytime we need a jumpstart on offense, it seems to be Katie who gets us going.”
The third quarter opened with more of the same from Rumson but this time the offense hot-hand belonged to Scanlan who dropped in 7 points on 3 of 5 shooting and 1 for 1 from the free throw line. Junior Megan Volker got into the scoring action and chipped in with 7 points in the third along with two points from Hyduke.
The Bulldogs would build a 12-point lead midway through the fourth quarter but the talent group from Notre Dame never backed down and made the final six minutes nerve racking for the Bulldog faithful. Nneka Ezeigbo was the leading catalyst for the Irish offense and took over the game to pull them to within 54-51 with just under two minutes to play. Notre Dame tied the game at 55-55 when Kaiya Burnett converted two free throws with just under a minute to play but the Bulldogs were in no mode to let this one get away from them and quickly pushed the ball back down court and Morris was fouled going to the basket and went to the line for two shots.
Nicole hit both free throws to push the lead back to two points at 57-55 and a quick defensive stop and a foul on Hyduke who hit 1 of 2 increased the Rumson lead to three at 58-55 with eight seconds left in the game. The next inbounds play for Notre Dame resulted in another Irish turnover when Eve Crawford traveled, giving the ball back to Rumson. With no time off the clock and another Notre Dame foul on Morris, Nicole once again was clutch on the line and sank both free throws for the 60-55 win.
After the game Coach Sourlis when asked about his teams hot steak of late added “we started out slow and had a few injuries, but lately we have come together and the girls have definitely bought in to what we are trying to accomplish this year...playing the teams we do in our division and non-conference games like today are definitely getting us ready for post season play.”
The Bulldogs finish out conference play this week taking on Holmdel, Monmouth and Raritan and then close out the regular season against Jackson Memorial. Then they look to make a run at the Shore Conference Tournament and NJSIAA Tournament titles.