The Verona Girls’ Basketball team lost to Science Park High School in the preliminary round of the Essex County Tournament in Newark yesterday, 71-66. Despite the fact that Science Park’s Division One-bound senior guard Ezinne Kalu exploded for a career-high 53 points, the Verona girls held their own and were in the game until the last minute. With 51 seconds left and Science Park up by one basket at 68 to 66 and Science Park in possession, a foul was called on Michelle Petronaci against Kalu. With Petronaci out of the game with 5 fouls, Kalu sunk a foul shot and her team gained possession to score again and seal the win. Kalu, the leading scorer in Essex County, had 16 of her 53 points from the foul line, along with 10 steals and 10 rebounds. Petronaci was high scorer for Verona with 27; Amanda Langan had 24.