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Roselle Catholic girls basketball ousts No. 20 Patrick School, 47-34, in UCT semifinals

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  By Matt Bove | For NJ Advance Media on February 25, 2016 10:59 PM   RAHWAY — Roselle Catholic locked in defensively from the opening tip against Patrick School on Thursday night, and did not let up until the final buzzer. That defensive effort got fourth-seededRoselle Catholic an early seven-point lead in the first two […]

 

Roselle Catholic celebrate their 47-34 victory over the Patrick School following girls basketball action in the Union County Tournament semifinals in Rahway on Thursday, February 25, 2016. (Andrew Miller | For NJ Advance Media)

By Matt Bove | For NJ Advance Media
on February 25, 2016 10:59 PM

 

RAHWAY — Roselle Catholic locked in defensively from the opening tip against Patrick School on Thursday night, and did not let up until the final buzzer.

That defensive effort got fourth-seededRoselle Catholic an early seven-point lead in the first two and a half minutes of the game and it never relinquished the lead in its 47-34 victory over top-seeded Patrick School, No. 20 in the NJ.com Top 20, in the semifinals of the Union County Tournament at Rahway High.

“It feels great to be part of something big,” said senior Kamille Jacobs. “We got to the finals during my sophomore year when I was on JV, so I did not get to play and now we’re back my senior year.”

Roselle Catholic will face third-seededCranford for the UCT title 4 p.m. Sunday at Kean University in Union. The Lions lost both of their previous meetings to Cranford this season by scores of 52-38 on Jan. 7 and 44-30 on Jan. 30.

The Lions held Patrick School to only 10 points in the first half and allowed only eight baskets the entire game, including only two 3-point field goals to a Celtics team that can be extremely dangerous from behind the arc. Roselle Catholic used its height advantage in pulling down 43 rebounds. Taniya Hanner led the way with 11 rebounds, Anaijah Williams added 10 and Kamille Jacobs finished with nine. Jacobs limited Patrick School’s top offensive threat, Qadashah Hoppie, to only one field goal and 12 points.

“We wanted to focus on our 3-point defense because they’re an excellent 3-point shooting team,” said Jacobs. “We wanted to take that away from them, take their driving away and rebound because we knew we’re taller than them.”

“We were so nervous about their 3-point shooting,” said Roselle Catholic head coach Joe Skrec. “They have a Division 1 player and Kamille (Jacobs) did a really great job on her with a lot of help from her teammates. They have so many offensive weapons and our girls played some really tough defense against a team that never gave up.”

Jennifer McClave led the way offensively for the Lions with 13 points and was able to help control the pace effectively against Patrick School’s full-court press and half-court traps. McClave got Roselle Catholic started with the first two baskets of the game.

“The mindset going in was to play really good defense,” said McClave. “We worked really hard and played very aggressive. We practiced hard for the opening quarter and played how we practiced.”

Roselle Catholic led 23-10 at halftime and came out of the break with an 8-2 run that gave the Lions their biggest lead of the game at 31-12. Williams started the run with a baseline jumper, McClave made a layup, Jacobs converted a free throw and McClave finished it off with a 3-pointer from the corner. Patrick School would not be able to get any closer than 40-32 with under four minutes remaining in the fourth quarter.

Roselle Catholic now faces its biggest challenge to date in the UCT final.

“Cranford is a very good team and is having a very good season,” said Skrec. “They’re very well-coached and they play fast, hard and tough. I thought Cranford was going after the ball harder than we were when we played them. It’s going to be very hard and challenging.”

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