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Saddle River Day Wins First Bergen County Tournament Title



Saddle River Day freshman Michelle Sidor definitely saved her best for last, scoring a game-high 34 points and along with senior Dani McMahon’s 15 points combined to outscore Immaculate Conception all together. The Rebels won their first Bergen County Girls Basketball Tournament Championship at the Bradley Center on the campus of Ramapo College of New Jersey, 53-36.

Sidor scored 105 total points in the tournament with 60 of those points occurring in the last two games. It would take until 50 seconds left in the third for someone else besides the dynamic duo of Sidor and McMahon to score with senior forward Kayla Oge being the recipient hitting a baseline jumper. Sidor scored 15 of her 34 points in the first half as Saddle River Day took a 25-15 lead at halftime.

In the third quarter, the Rebels bolted out on a 9-2 run to open up a commanding 34-17 lead. The margin would grow larger as Sidor canned her fifth three-pointer of the game with 2:08 left making it 44-21. Saddle River Day’s defense held the Blue Wolves without a field goal for 5:03 as their first points of the quarter came with three seconds remaining. All together the Rebels defense was so dominant it held Immaculate Conception without a point for 14 total minutes.

“The big difference is getting here and finishing this and it was very astonishing,” said Saddle River Day head Coach Danny Brown. “I only used one of our four press game plans. The swarming defense with Dani McMahon who is the floor general of the defense.”

“About the fourth game in, we realized what we had defensively and it’s been a great roll,” continued Brown. “When you have a weapon like Michelle, you are able to get the ball past the foul line and create something. Dani took Michelle under her wing and did a great job mentoring. She has never really looked at her stats and is that type of competitor who wants to win.”

The Rebels started out on a fast note taking a 9-0 lead in the first quarter. Immaculate Conception’s first points of the period did not come until 4:26 on a bucket from senior guard Autumn Webster. Sidor racked up seven points in the quarter.

“It was a big game and our goal was to get here and win a county championship so I’m very happy I could be a part of this,” said Michelle Sidor. “I play my game to score but contribute in many other ways with defense and getting good assists.”

“Losing last year to IC in the semifinals and coming into this year it was more than a championship but it was showing our school and town and showing the freshman that we want to make a statement and do something special for our school,” said Dani McMahon. “We all work together so much and it’s about defense, moving the ball, feeding each other and making steals.”

“In all the big games Michelle has risen and put the points up on the board,” McMahon continued. “Defense is something we are consistently working on and keeping up intensity, conditioning and playing a full court press defense the entire game that you don’t see and separates us from a lot of teams. Everything is going right for us being ranked number one and winning counties is something we have always dreamed of and first group of girls to put that up in our gym and say that was out team and us.”

“We got a little fatigued with the bigger court,” said Immaculate Conception Head Coach Jeff Horohonich. “They did a great job with the pressure defense and we just were not patient enough on offense, We turned the ball over 15 times in the first half. When you play a quality team like that you can’t have lapses. Missing shots and turning the ball over is not a very good combination. We just never could get into a flow and rhythm today.”

Senior Jasmine Gee led the Blue Wolves in scoring with 12 points while sophomore Jordan McLemore added 10 points.

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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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