Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Sophs Stepping Up for Srd Girls

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Sophs Stepping Up for Srd Girls

Article excerpt

The evolution of Saddle River Day's girls basketball team has been clear.

Early in the season, the Rebels were still learning their roles. With a new-look starting lineup around sophomore Michelle Sidor, they needed time to develop chemistry.

Now the Rebels are a cohesive unit. Success has followed.

"We all just work together well now, knowing each of us have a certain role that we have to fulfill," sophomore forward Jenna Jordan said.

As the Rebels have gained momentum through the regular season and in the Bergen County tournament, where the third-seeded defending champions will play No. 1 Immaculate Conception in the final Sunday at Ramapo College, the talent around Sidor has shined with her.

That includes a pair of her fellow sophomores, who have taken on key roles.

Sophomore guard Jackie Wolak has emerged as one of the best defensive players in the state, while Jordan has developed into one of North Jersey's most formidable post players.

Along with seniors Maggie Kuntz and Cassy Cruz, both of whom have provided leadership and consistency on the court, Wolak and Jordan have helped drive the Rebels' success.

Wolak's speed is a weapon, but so is her ability to read offenses and predict where passes are going to go before anyone else on the court.

She had recorded an incredible 200 steals through Saddle River Day's 22 games entering Friday for an average of 9.1 per contest.

"The word I can think of is uncanny," coach Danny Brown said. "She's got that uncanny sense of anticipation. She's almost like, all I can think of is like a cougar, hiding behind someone, knowing where that pass is going to go, before the offensive player even thinks about it, and she's there."

The Rebels had a stellar defensive player last season in Dani McMahon. Brown said Wolak plays a bit of a different role from McMahon since she plays more up front on the opposing team's guards. …

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