Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Louden Clear

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Louden Clear

Article excerpt

WAYNE -- Nicole Louden is still making an impact in Passaic girls basketball.

Inspired by a pregame pep talk from the former Kennedy superstar, Wayne Hills surged past DePaul, 47-38, to move into the Passaic County girls basketball tournament final.

"My message was, 'If you are going to be somewhere, be all there,' " said Louden. "That means you are with your teammates. Don't listen to the fans, certainly don't pay any attention to the referees, stay on the floor and keep your head in the game."

Louden, who graduated from Kennedy in 2001 before going to Auburn, is the all-time leader in points in North Jersey with 2,928.

Patriots head coach Vincent Porta knew Louden through longtime friend and former Wayne Valley coach Joanne Mosley, who had coached Louden in her AAU days.

"It was Joanne who taught me how to coach," said Porta. "It was just kind of a family thing."

Last week, Patriots assistant coach Jenn Badami passed out articles and information on Louden and her contributions to the sport. Saturday, Louden was there.

"She walked into the locker room and I couldn't get the smile off my face. I heard her story and felt her passion. I was so excited to come today and meet her," said Patriots senior Sam Litzky. "Seeing her sit there, talk to us, root for us, it was a great experience."

"Our girls really responded to her," said Porta. "She said, 'When you make a mistake, don't worry about it. Just pick yourself up and keep playing.' I think our girls did that today."

DePaul played most of the first half without standout Jade Walker who was hit with her third foul with 7:52 left in the second quarter. The Spartans also lost senior Breanna Ramirez in the first quarter to an apparent knee injury. Still, Wayne Hills only led by two at the half.

Walker returned to the game in the second half, and went on an 8- 0 run by herself in the third quarter to lift the Spartans ahead, 27- 22. …

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