The Roselle Catholic Girls Basketball team ended 2017 on a very high note, and continued through the new year with that success. After beginning the Winter season with big Union County Conference victories over Westfield and Cranford, the team entered the annual RC Holiday Tournament. The Lady Lions took an early lead in the opening game vs Matawan and never looked back. After defeating the Huskies, the RC team faced another tough opponent in a strong West Orange HS team. Despite trailing for the first three quarters of play, the Lady Lions kept their poise and were able to hold West Orange to only 5 points in the 4th quarter, on their way to the win over West Orange and the Holiday Tournament Championship. Victoria Jacobs led the team with 15 points and Tyara McQueen provided 10 on their way to being named to the All Tournament Team. All Tournament MVP Taniya Hanner added 9 points and 12 boards, while Nina Worthey netted 7 and Jenissa Encarnacion added 3. The Junior Lady Lions also defeated Matawan in the opening round of the Holiday Tournament to earn their spot in the Championship game, but fell to a strong West Orange JV Girls squad, earning the tournament runner-up position.
The Lady Lions were quickly put to the test in the new year, facing last season’s top team Patrick School. After multiple lead changes throughout the first quarter, the Lady Lions took the lead once and for all at the beginning of the 2nd quarter, and held on for the win, claiming their spot as the current top team in Union County. The team then took the court at Hardwood Arena on the campus of Kean University to face Oak Knoll in the SFIC Classic. The team once again fought hard to come back after trailing for most of the game. After holding Oak Knoll to only 3 points in the 3rd quarter and cutting their lead down to 2, the team outscored Oak Knoll in the 4th quarter to add another win to their total. The Lady Lions then continued to tear through Union County winning division games vs Union and New Providence.
The well-balanced attack of the Lady Lions makes them very difficult to defend, and makes them a fun and exciting team to watch. Led by Seniors Tyara McQueen and Victoria Jacobs, the RC girls continue to impress on the court. McQueen is averaging 14.1 points per game and leads the team with 20 3-pointers for the 9 game season, making her deadly from beyond the arc. Jacobs has hit many crucial shots, including a big 3 in the comeback win over Oak Knoll. Junior Taniya Hanner leads the team with 17 points per game to go with her 9.7 rebounds per game. Hanner’s play in the middle both offensively and defensively has caught the eye of many and helped her emerge as one of the top players in the state. The guard playmaking of Junior Jenissa Encarnacion has helped create many transition points for the Lady Lions, providing a number of key assists, while also knocking down big long-range shots. Encarnacion hit a major 3-pointer which helped the team pull away in the 3rd quarter against Patrick School.. Sophomore Nina Worthey has also come up big for RC after returning from a pre-season injury which sidelined her for the team’s opening games. Worthey has come up with critical blocks and rebounds to help a number of defensive stops during the team’s big games. The team is rounded out by great play coming off the bench from Sophomores Janelle McNeill and Kayla Haywood along with Senior Princess Moise.
The Lady Lions remain unbeaten in the state of New Jersey, suffering only the most recent loss in their game against Loomis Chaffee Charter (CT) in the Say Yes to Success Event, despite cutting the lead down to just 3 with under a minute left of play. The team’s upcoming schedule can be found below. For the most up-to-date and complete schedule, check out https://www.rosellecatholic.org/athletics-calendar-varsity-girls-basketball.
Tuesday, January 16 vs Westfield. 7:00 PM
Thursday, January 18 @ Cranford. 7:00 PM
Saturday, January 20 @ Governor Livingston. 1:00 PM
Tuesday, January 23 vs Rahway. 7:00 PM