The Point Borough Girls Basketball team coasted in the first round of the NJSIAA Central Jersey Group 2 Quarterfinals, easily defeating Middlesex High School 83-38.
The Panthers led this one from start to finish and never let the 13 seed even see the possibility of pulling off an upset. Point Borough was tenacious on both sides of the court and led 30-6 at the end of the first quarter.
“We were able to set the pace early,” said Panthers head coach Dave Drew. “Our girls came out early, shot the ball particularly well, and it was really an all around team effort from top to bottom.”
Point Borough received its usual contributions from standout junior Kelly Hughes. Hughes scored 20 points and almost netted a triple double with 8 rebounds and 7 assists in limited minutes.
Kelly's twin sister Lauren and Kelly Malleck were the other two scores in double figures for the 4th seeded Panthers.
With the Panthers leading this one 52-17 at the end of the first half, it enabled Coach Drew to give many of his starters rest and allowed him to play all of his players.
“It was nice to give 15 different girls an opportunity to play in a state playoff game,” said Drew. “It even makes it nicer that all 15 were able to contribute in a positive way.”
Up next for the Panthers in the quarterfinals is a familiar foe, Rumson Fair Haven. Point Borough and RFH split the two games in the regular season, so it would only make sense that a rubber match would decide who would advance in this year’s NJSIAA Tournament.
“We’ve played a really tough schedule so far this year and Rumson happened to be two of those games,” said Drew. “We split with them in the regular season, but we think we’re a better team than we were earlier in the season.”
When asked if there was a specific key to beating RFH and continuing their quest for a third straight Central Jersey Group 2 title, the head coach offered a simple message.
“We need to hit shots, plain and simple.” Said Drew. “If we hit shots, I like our chances.”