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On Tuesday night, the Cranford Cougars girls varsity basketball team welcomed the Summit Hilltoppers to their court. The Hilltoppers came into the game with a record of 1-1 and the Cougars entered the contest at 1-0, having defeated rival Governor Livingston on Friday evening.
The lady Cougars got off to a slow, but consistent, start; missing their first five shots of the game, with every player taking one each. That happy state of affairs didn’t last long for Summit, however, as the Cougars then reeled off nine straight field goals with no misses to end the first quarter with a 23-7 lead.
Senior guard Jenna Goeller continued her hot shooting streak, connecting on three straight from long range, and converting fast breaks on two assists from fellow Senior Jessica McCoy to end the quarter with 13 points.
McCoy also added five points and two steals to the first quarter team effort. Juniors Kerri Wischusen and Carly Maucione connected for three and two points respectively.
The Cougars started off the second quarter a bit slow, missing on their first three attempts. Senior forward Kaitlin McGovern got them quickly back on track, however. McGovern finished with a beautiful move in the paint for her first bucket of the game, and then added another on the next possession off of a well-placed assist from McCoy.
McCoy added the next two points for Cranford with a nice reverse layup off of a perfectly timed assist from Goeller. Junior Hannah DeMars added three points from downtown and McCoy finished off the scoring with a triple at the buzzer to send Cranford into the locker room at half time leading 35-14.
Kaitlin McGovern was the first to strike for Cranford in the second half. McGovern sank both attempts from the charity stripe after getting fouled in the lane. Goeller then converted two of her own free throws and followed that up by finding McCoy racing down the court on a fast break for two more Cranford points.
McGovern then kicked a pass out to Carly Maucione who drilled her shot from 17 feet away to run the score to 43-19. Hannah DeMars finished off the third quarter scoring for the Cougars with a triple off of an assist from Freshman Sarah Ross.
The Cougars started off the fourth quarter with Juniors Anastasia Caufield and Alex Krowicki and Freshmen Sarah Ross, Hanna Ross and Cerys MacLelland taking the court. Almost immediately, Sarah Ross was sent to the line to shoot one and one when she was fouled on an inbounds play. Ross converted both attempts.
Not to be outdone, her twin sister Hannah Ross took over the scoring for the rest of the quarter for the Cougars. She finished a nice drive into the lane for two points, and followed that immediately with a steal that she took the distance for another two. Later in the quarter, Hannah Ross would repeat that feat--twice--, taking two more steals coast to coast and finishing one at the basket, and converting both free throws after being fouled on the other.
The Cougars came away from the game with a 56-33 victory after an outstanding effort by the entire team.