Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Teaneck All Business in Return to Title Game

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Teaneck All Business in Return to Title Game

Article excerpt

Teaneck is back in the Group 3 state title game for the second straight season, and this time the Highwaywomen mean business.

The players talked about redemption after Thursday's victory over Chatham in the Group 3 semifinals, and they are convinced they learned something from last season's loss to Neptune in the championship game.

How much? Well, they'll find out this afternoon when the Highwaywomen face Central Group 3 champion Manasquan at Pine Belt Arena in Toms River.

"This senior group has been there before," said Teaneck coach Shenee Clarke, whose team has Bergen County and North 1, Group 3 titles to its credit. "They are all very excited about this, but they are also all focused on what they have to do."

The X-factor throughout this tournament run has been Teaneck's superior quickness. That's been the eye-opener for teams not accustomed to playing at such a high speed, and no one has fully adjusted.

"They are a great team," Chatham coach Joe Gaba said. "They are not No. 4 in the state for no reason."

The Highwaywomen (24-2) also have shown a remarkable ability to adjust during the course of a game, getting a feel for how teams react to their style. Chatham, for example, likes to play at a high tempo, and while it worked for most of the first half, it simply ran out of gas when the Highwaywomen began to push harder.

"When you just see teams on film, you know what to expect," Clarke said. "But when you see that team face to face, that's where you have to make adjustments. And that's on me."

The Highwaywomen are hungry, and they continue to get a lot of mileage out of the "We have something to prove" attitude that pushed them in the county tournament. This is the last shot for a group of seniors who have spent the winter finely crafting their legacy, and that sense of urgency they bring to the court continues to work to their advantage.

"We took what happened last year personally," senior Jakelle- King Gilchrist said. "It would have been nice to face Neptune again, but we know we're facing another team that's just as good as they were, so we have to step up. …

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