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River Dell victorious vs. Ramsey on “Future Hawks Night”

On the school’s annual “Future Hawks Night”, River Dell defeated Ramsey 47-26 to move to 11-5.

Last night, River Dell High School in Oradell, New Jersey not only featured the River Dell Hawks varsity girls basketball team facing off against Ramsey High School. It was also “Future Hawks Night” where any girl participating in the River Edge Girls Athletic League and wearing a REGAL or River Dell basketball jersey received free admission into the game. For me, it meant a lot because my daughter participates in the league and attended her first River Dell High School basketball game.

“I always tell my girls they are role models and it’s important for our community and younger kids to see our kids play hard and aggressive and be good teammates out there,” River Dell Head Coach Lindsay Steffner said about the event. It’s fun to see these little kids in the stands.”

“Our players don’t get that chance often in front of so many fans. It was a fun environment and there was a lot of energy. It was good for these kids that come to all the clinics and camps to see our girls live.”

Coming off a close 50-43 loss to Pascack Valley in the first round of the Bergen County Girls Tournament on Sunday, River Dell displayed no letdown, taking a commanding 17-5 lead after the first quarter. The scoring slowed down in the second quarter as both teams combined for ten total points with the Hawks taking a 23-9 advantage at intermission. Bridget Cahill poured in eight of her team-high 13 points.

“It was a little about our defense. Offensively, we executed and had great looks, but some high percentage shots that went in and out was unfortunate, but once again our defense helped us out and got the energy going with a couple of nice traps and defensive rebounding.”

“Bridget (Cahill) had one of her best offensive games this season and was locked in what we were doing with offensive rebounds and knocking down some shots. I’m more pleased with her defense. She played one of the best games of her career.”

In the second half, Ramsey made a brief run trimming River Dell’s lead to 10 points but that as close as it would get. The Hawks started to inflict damage from the perimeter and in the paint for the 47-26 win. Julie McGovern and Chloe Derian each contributed 10 points apiece for River Dell.

“Julie (McGovern) has been playing great as of late as well and taken on a senior leadership role,” said Steffner. “They were overplaying our guards and closing down on them and she was able to get to the basket and create some things offensively. Chloe (Derian) played like an animal with offensive rebounds and putbacks.”

With the win, River Dell improved to 11-5 on the season and 5-1 in the Big North Patriot Conference, a half-game behind Westwood.

“Game 16 and the last one before the state tournament cut-off and I consider our five losses good ones,” Steffner said. “If we had played two of them again, we would have different outcomes. The Westwood and Indian Hills games, when you lose by two or three points against two opponents the game could go either way, so I’m looking forward to having Westwood back here in a couple of weeks and obviously Mahwah on the road. If we can come back, and battle Westwood for the league title, would be a great goal for us.”

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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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