JP Stevens at Bishop Ahr girls basketball held at Bishop Ahr High School in Edison. Bishop Ahr’s #5-Ragen Reddick (left) and J.P.Stevens # 23- Molly Velencsics (right) fight for a loose ball. On Tuesday January 13 ,2015 Photo: Mark R. Sullivan/Staff Photographer
EDISON – Leading 18-15 coming out of halftime, the Bishop Ahr girls basketball team needed a jumpstart to get their team going and two important players stepped up for the Trojans.
Jenna Harsh scored eight points in the third quarter and Lauren Barlow scored nine points in the fourth to push Bishop Ahr past J.P. Stevens 44-39 at home on Tuesday.
Barlow scored just two points in the first three quarters, but found a rhythm late and her lone three-pointer would give the Trojans a lead they wouldn’t give back. The junior guard finished with 11 points and four rebounds.
“I was kind of getting frustrated with my foul shots and all that stuff, but then once I hit the three, it kind of got my confidence up to keep playing and keep doing what I had to do,” said Barlow.
Harsh took over the third and came away with 14 points and five rebounds on the night. After halftime, the junior forward was able to get to the rim and convert and keep pace with J.P. Stevens.
“The coaches definitely hounded me on that one,” said Harsh. “They definitely said I had to keep getting to the rim, keep flashing, turning to the basket, looking for my open shot,” said Harsh.
Bishop Ahr finished with 20 turnover on the night. Coach Kevin Harper was happy to see his players step up on a night when the Trojans were not their sharpest. Bishop Ahr (6-4) will next face an undefeated Monroe squad and will need to be on top of their game.
“Part of it was we were being more patient to let Lauren work against the box when we got our touches and when she did, she made great decisions,” said Harper. “We were not being patient and it showed. You can’t have 20 turnovers and think you’re going to win a game. All credit to J.P., they did a wonderful job.”
Sarah Martinez and Rebecca Diserio led J.P. Stevens, as they each scored 12 points for the Hawks. The Hawks were unable to hold onto their 36-35 lead midway in the fourth quarter. Coach Amy Bonk is proud of the way her team competed.
“They have come a long way so it is good to see things coming together,” said Bonk. “They work hard. There’s still little things like foul shots and things like that that kill us. But those are also good things because we can work on them and come back the next time we see them.”
J.P. Stevens has almost matched last year’s win total of six with five wins to start. Bonk sees the fourth quarter as a teachable moment for her team. The close game is still fairly new territory for a team trying to compete.
“It’s not like we’re used to playing in these close games. So something like that, just manning up and denying is something that they’re not really used to. They still play hard, but now it’s know when to foul and who to foul. Those are little things that is really something we’re going to go back and go over in practice tomorrow,” said Bonk.
Staff Writer Matt Silva: email@example.com