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Immaculate Conception holds off Teaneck 39-36

For the second consecutive year, the Immaculate Conception Blue Wolves will be playing in the Bergen County Girls Tournament championship game. The number one seed Blue Wolves earned a hard-fought 39-36 victory over the fourth seeded Teaneck Highwaywomen in the semifinals at the Bradley Center, on the campus of Ramapo College.

Immaculate Conception senior forward Jasmine Gee, who led the Blue Wolves in scoring with 16 points, banked a shot off the glass with 4:28 remaining in the fourth quarter making it 30-29. Senior guard Autumn Webster (7 points) sank a couple of jump shots including a key trifecta increasing the lead to 37-32. Gee iced the win nailing a short jumper with 19 seconds left.

“I really want to win this tournament because I have been starting for four years and bring a trophy back to my school,” said Jasmine Gee. “When the time was getting less I was nervous but when the ball came to me I knew I had to make the shot.”

“At the beginning of the season it was one of our goals to get back here and we didn’t expect to have the injuries,” said Immaculate Conception Head Coach Jeff Horohonich. “I told them I have such admiration and respect for this group.”

Horohonich added, “We play five and one kid goes in and does the best she can. They showed so much resiliency which they have done all year long with the schedule we play. They have been through the wars and battles  and the seniors came up big today and were tremendous as I just wanted them to end their career on a high note. Teaneck is a tough team and this wasn’t the prettiest basketball at times.”

Entering the fourth quarter, the Highwaywomen were trailing 25-20 but quickly erased that deficit on back-to-back three-point plays from seniors Hannah Ashby and Amanda Gordon. However, Blue Wolves sophomore guard Jordan McLemore (12 points) answered back grabbing a loose ball in the paint and driving strong to the basket laying the ball up and getting fouled in the process where she completed the three-point play putting Immaculate Conception back on top 28-26 with 5:44 left.

“Autumn hit some big shots at the end and our defense has been good year all long and difference,” said Horohonich. “Jordan is one of the best point guards and plays amazing defense. Today she wasn’t feeling very well and we were pumping her up with sugar. For a sophomore and responsibility of running the team she has done an awesome job.”

“When it comes to big games you can’t win with two or three players as it takes five to win,” said Teaneck Head Coach Shenee Clarke. “We were timid and not aggressive and you have to perform and be accountable for the adjustments made during the game. Our seniors worked very hard and wanted it badly. We only had three total offensive rebounds and three total points in the third quarter.”

The Blue Wolves were down by one point heading into the third quarter but a lay up from Gee made it 18-17. McLemore buried a trey to increase the margin to 23-17 with 3:04 left. Teaneck had multiple chances to score but the ball did not bounce their way.

Immaculate Conception quickly jumped out to an 11-4 first quarter lead with Gee scoring seven of those point. The Highwaywomen responded going to a 9-3 run to take the lead. Senior guard Milan Johnson banked a jumper off glass and ended up getting fouled on the play converting a three-point play that gave Teaneck their first lead of the contest at 15-14.

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Sunil Sunder Raj

Since July of 2014 Sunil Sunder Raj has been with In The Zone. Sunil has experience covering minor league baseball, high school and college sports. A beat writer for the Rockland Boulders for six years, Ramapo College men’s basketball for four years, NJIT men’s basketball and Seton Hall women’s basketball. Now focusing on feature articles about athletes, coaches and sports media professionals. A graduate of Ramapo College of New Jersey with a bachelor of arts degree in journalism.
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