Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Teaneck Bench Helps Topple PC

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Teaneck Bench Helps Topple PC

Article excerpt

ORADELL -- If anyone thought that the Teaneck girls basketball team was just about star forward Kayla Gibbs, they should think again.

On a day when Gibbs hit only two field goals and was in foul trouble for most of the game, the Highwaywomen put their depth on display. The bench players made the biggest plays down the stretch Sunday as the third-seeded Highwaywomen rallied to beat No. 6 Paramus Catholic, 41-36, in front of a standing-room-only crowd of 900 in the Bergen County quarterfinals at River Dell High School.

"I know I have a team backing me up when I'm not having my best game," Gibbs said. "They stepped up and proved themselves."

The win snapped the Lady Paladins' 10-game winning streak for and avenged Teaneck's only loss of the season.

It also means that the semifinals at Ramapo College on Sunday will feature the top four seeds: Top-seeded Immaculate Heart faces No. 4 Northern Highlands at noon, followed by the Highwaywomen against No. 2 Immaculate Conception.

"This was great," said senior guard Brienne Francois, who scored four of her season-high 10 points in the final 1:49. "Since we lost to Paramus Catholic, it great for us to step up like that. I know they were ready for us, but we stepped up."

Teaneck took the first lead of the game and didn't lead again until there was 3:15 left in the game. The game was tied at 33 with 1:49 remaining when Francois hit a jumper from the corner, just inside the three-point line.

"That's my shot," Francois said with a smile.

Francois hit another with 1:20 remaining to make it 37-33, but the Lady Paladins weren't quite done. Senior guard Ebony Gilchrist hit a three-pointer to make it 37-36 with 59 seconds remaining.

That's when the Highwaywomen played some smart defense. They blocked one Paramus Catholic shot with 49 seconds remaining and then swatted a pass out of bounds.

The Lady Paladins missed a layup with 21 seconds remaining, and then the Highwaywomen showed off their depth one more time. …

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