Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Fantastic Finish

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Fantastic Finish

Article excerpt

PATERSON - As it turned out, it was the other freshmen who led Saddle River Day to the program's first ever sectional title.

All season long, the Rebels were led by guard Michelle Sidor, who has been at or near the top of girls basketball scoring average in New Jersey.

But with the Non-Public B North title hanging in the balance, the Rebels needed big moments from freshmen Jenna Jordan and Jackie Wolak to pull out a 66-63 victory Wednesday night against Queen of Peace.

First, Jordan, who had 10 points, calmly drained two free throws with one minute left to give the Rebels a 60-58 lead. Then, Wolak, who played sparingly, made the play of the game in the closing seconds for SRD (27-1).

With three seconds left and the Rebels clinging to a 64-63 lead, the Golden Griffins went to inbound the ball. Wolak came flying across the floor to steal the inbounds pass, drove the length of the floor and made a layup as time expired for her only points.

Game over, thanks to two freshmen -- neither of whom is named Sidor.

Wolak explained her heads-up play.

"Right as they were throwing it in, I saw the ball come my way," Wolak said. "I had to either block it or get it out of the way. It came up to me and I said to myself, 'I'm just going to go.' I knew it was the game. Either the clock was going to run out or I'd make the shot."

Both happened and the Rebels now head to the Non-Public B state championship game Saturday in Toms River against Rutgers Prep.

"It was one of our best games all year," Saddle River Day coach Danny Brown said. "We had three freshmen on the floor with the state championship on the line, and they came through. I couldn't have written a more interesting way to finish a game. Jackie is such an athlete, and she had the green light to go after the ball."

Of course, Sidor had a lot to do with the win. …

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