Jets Win Nail-Biter Over Cadets
MORRISTOWN — The Union Local and Linsly girls’ basketball teams added another nail-biter to their resumes on Wednesday night.
In the end, the Cadets managed to get one last shot off at the buzzer but it bounced off the rim as Union Local held on for a 51-48 home victory.
Reagan Vinskovich and Torre Kildow paced the Jets with 12 points each and Hannah Merritt was strong with 10 points.
Carleigh Grimm, despite playing late with four fouls, finished with 15 points for Linsly, while teammates Brooklyn Edge, Haylen Cook and Zaniah Zellous each netted nine points.
UL coach Scooter Tolzda would have liked to see his team rebound a little better but ultimately, a win is a win.
“I am unhappy with a few things, especially rebounding,” Tolzda said. “We had them for 17 offensive rebounds and I bet 12 of them were key rebounds giving them another chance but I am proud that we were able to hang in there and endure against a really good team. We knew it wasn’t going to be easy because Linsly is a good team.
“We’ll take the win and hopefully learn from our mistakes.”
Linsly held a 45-44 edge with under 4 minutes remaining when junior guard Emily Kellaway delivered a clutch 3-pointer to give the Jets the lead for good.
She also followed the 3 up with a pair of free throws to create a 49-45 cushion with 1:41 remaining.
“Emmy hung in there and made some big shots at the right time,” Tolzda said. “I was really proud of that.”
Linsly didn’t back down, however, as Grimm found the bottom of the net and drew a foul for a three-point play to make it 49-48 with 1:11 to go.
Down the stretch, Kildow and Lauren Miller each made one of two free throws for the Jets and a last-second Linsly 3 couldn’t connect as UL walked away with the win.
“We told them just to have a short memory,” Linsly coach Rebecca Upton said. “We play again (tonight) at Monroe Central and it’s not going to be any easier. They have some really talented kids, too. This is all in preparation for next week (OVAC Tournament). We have very specific goals for next week and hopefully we can move on from this and use it as a learning experience.”
Linsly led 24-19 midway through the second quarter until the Jets finished the half on a 12-3 run to take a 31-27 upper hand into halftime.
Merritt led all UL scorers at the break with 10 points thanks to a pair of 3-pointers.
Union Local took a 39-35 edge into the final frame and was able to hang on with clutch shooting late.
“They are so talented,” Upton said of Kildow and Vinskovich. “You are not going to keep them scoreless. I thought Haylen did a great job on Kildow and Vinskovich is just a tough matchup. She does such a good job at using her body to protect the ball. Carleigh fought hard and this is a tough place to play. There is nothing but good things to say about our kids’ effort.”