Until Tuesday night, no Verona High School girls basketball team had ever made it to the NJSIAA semi-finals, let alone the finals.
But the 2013-2014 squad did, and while they didn’t come away from Midland Park High School with the trophy, they didn’t let the Panthers sink their claws into an easy victory. Midland Park’s 49-39 victory over Verona gave the team its second championship in as many years in the NJSIAA North Jersey, Section 1, Group 1 tournament. Midland Park had lost only two games this season, and dominated some opponents by more than 40 points.
Julie Rosenberg was the high scorer for Verona, with 16 points that included three three-pointers in the third quarter that got big roars from the capacity crowd. Remy Sullivan held the line for Verona under the hoop, pulling down seven rebounds.
Brielle Cummings, the third of the team’s senior starters, lit up the court. She seemed, to some spectators, to be everywhere at once, making things happen on shooting, defense and rebounding. Cummings finished with nine points and six rebounds.
And the play from the team’s underclassmen–Caroline Kirnan, Claire Fitzpatrick and Sarah O’Neil–showed promise that Verona and Midland Park could meet again. Kirnan had nine points and three rebounds, while Fitzpatrick contributed four points on some key layups and five rebounds. O’Neil, who has been an intimidating player in the tournament’s sunup games against Waldwick, Emerson Boro and Saddle Brook, got in five rebounds, but was subject to a questionable call that put her at four fouls.
Midland Park had two players in double-digits: Nicole Cartaino, with 17 and Rebecca Raberio, the Panther’s standout three-point shooter, with 19.
Verona finished the season with a 19-8 record, its best result since 2009-2010.
Photos copyright Bob Misuro. Used by permission.
Congratulations to all the girls on a great season. You all play as a team, and with class