“We rebounded the ball well, and we made shots when we needed to,” said VHS Coach Eric McElroy. “We also played very well on defense.”
The win before a packed house in Paterson capped a sometimes nail-biting run to the top for Verona, which had entered the playoffs as the #4 seed. It was VHS’s first sectionals win since 2009.
Travis Jocelyn led Verona with 16 points and 11 rebounds, with fellow junior Jack Farrell right behind him with 14 points and 9 rebounds. With 12 points to his credit, Dazmir Staton was the high scorer for Paterson Charter, which was playing in its first sectional championship.
But there’s going to be almost no rest for the Hillbillies. The Group 1 semifinals start Thursday, March 10, and pit Verona against University High School in a 5 p.m. game at East Orange Campus High School. University, which was the #3 seed in North 1 Group 2, destroyed Hoboken Charter in round 1, and easily beat Glen Ridge in the quarterfinals and Newark’s American History High School in the semis. University faced a more challenging opponent in Hoboken, but beat that team as well, 55-49. VHS has not yet decided whether it will run a fan bus to the game; East Orange Campus High School is located at 344 Prospect Street in East Orange. The Group 1 finals are scheduled for Sunday evening at Rutgers.
All photos copyright Jeff Stiefbold. Used by permission.