GLEN RIDGE, NJ – The Glen Ridge High School varsity girls’ basketball team is excited to start the season with new head coach Joe Mazzarella, who was the assistant boys’ basketball coach for Glen Ridge the past three years.
The girls’ team will tip off the season Dec. 15 at Bloomfield Tech in West Caldwell.
The players on the roster include:
- Lindsay Jaiyesimi, captain
- Margo Peterson
- Claire McMahon, captain
- Jenny Lisovicz, captain
- Zipporah Hommel
- Sarah Cullinan
- Michaila Dowd
- Haleigh Pine
- Macy Weber-Zazzu
- Kaylie Koenig
- Ava Rollo
- Olivia Carbonell
The key players are Jaiyesimi, Lisovicz and McMahon.
Jaiyesimi “brings a toughness with her that you don’t find in a lot of players,” said Mazzarella in an email to The Glen Ridge Paper. “She gives you 100 percent every possession. (It) makes it very easy to coach players like that.”
Lisovicz, a three-sport standout at GRHS, “does whatever the team needs (and) can bring the ball up, play the wing, and can even slide down to the post if needed,” Mazzarella said. She is a “fantastic athlete and even better teammate,” said Mazzarella.
Mazzarella also is high on McMahon, saying she “has tremendous basketball skill as a junior, and is going to be one of the best players in the conference this year.” McMahon, another great teammate, can play with her back to the basket, has a nice mid-range jumper, and can handle the ball under pressure, Mazzarella said.
Overall, the Ridgers’ strength is their athleticism, which will prove pivotal on the defensive end, said Mazzarella. “We have a number of girls that are going to play college soccer and/or lacrosse in a year or two,” he said. “I think we’re going to be a defensive-minded team, looking to fast break because of this.”
The Ridgers will look to win the Super Essex Conference-Colonial Division and NJSIAA North Jersey, Section 2, Group 1 state tournament titles, Mazzarella said. Last season, Glen Ridge, seeded fifth, advanced to the North 2, Group 1 quarterfinals, losing to fourth-seeded Hoboken, 37-36, to finish with a solid 18-9 record.
Continuing to build team chemistry and to develop confidence on the floor will prove key.
“We have two sophomores in the starting lineup (Sarah Cullinan and Michaila Dowd), and our sixth player off the bench is a sophomore (Haleigh Pine). So, we have a lot of learning still to do,” Mazzarella said. The “confidence needs to continue to build. But, we’ll get there.”
Dec. 15, at Bloomfield Tech, 7 p.m.
Dec. 16, Boonton, 1:30 p.m.
Dec. 19, West Essex, 4 p.m.
Dec. 21, Cedar Grove, 7 p.m.
Dec. 27-28, Glen Ridge Holiday Tournament, tba
Jan. 3, at Immaculate Conception, 4 p.m.
Jan. 5, at Caldwell, 7 p.m.
Jan. 9, Verona, 4 p.m.
Jan. 11, at Livingston, 7 p.m.
Jan. 16, at Mount St. Dominic, 4 p.m.
Jan. 18, Bloomfield Tech, 7 p.m.
Jan. 20, Montclair Kimberley Academy, 11:30 a.m.
Jan. 23, at West Essex, 7 p.m.
Jan. 25, at Cedar Grove, 4 p.m.
Jan. 30, Caldwell, 7 p.m.
Feb. 1, at Verona, 6 p.m.
Feb. 6, Livingston, 7 p.m.
Feb. 13, Mount St. Dominic, 7 p.m.
Feb. 15, Randolph, 5:30 p.m.
Feb. 19, at Metuchen, 6 p.m.