Glen Ridge HS girls’ basketball team exceeds expectations this season

Julia Lawson Photo by Steve Ellmore
Julia Lawson
Photo by Steve Ellmore

GLEN RIDGE – Under head coach Sean Fitzpatrick, the Glen Ridge High School girls’ varsity basketball team made some big strides this past season.

And overall, the Lady Ridgers coach said he was pleased with the results.

This season, GRHS finished with a record of 11-13.

“I was really happy with our progress this year. We went from six to 11 wins and we won every game that I thought we should win,” he said. “Going into the season, I thought 10 wins would be a nice improvement, so we exceeded my expectations.  I feel as though we really improved during the second half of the season.  We gained valuable tournament experience and were competitive against teams that we really struggled against last year like Boonton, St. Elizabeth, Verona, Caldwell, etc.”

Highlighting the year, Fitzpatrick talked about some of his team’s finest moments this year.

“Winning our Holiday Tournament was a great experience for the girls. Last year, we lost both games, but this year we beat a tough St. Elizabeth team to win it. Also, beating Boonton and Caldwell, two teams that beat us by a wide margin last year,” he said. “The win against Caldwell on Senior Night was a great moment for the program. It really showed how far we have come as a program over the last two years. I couldn’t have been happier for the girls.”

Looking back, Fitzpatrick spent a moment to talk about the one senior from this year’s group, captain Julia Lawson.

“Julia was a steady, lead-by-example, solid figure in the program.  She hit a number of big 3’s for us over the last two years,” he said. “I’ll never forget the three she hit last year at Belleville to help us pull off the upset. She is a great student-athlete and will definitely be missed next year.”

Without Lawson, Fitzpatrick said next year’s group would need to replace that leadership void.

“The rest of our team is returning, including a real solid junior (will be senior) class and all will be captains: Meghan Marhan, Leslie Jaiyesimi, Gabby Kinzler, and Juliann Lisovicz,” he said. “They are so important to the program, on and off the court. It’s been a lot of fun to watch them mature over the three years. (It) feels like yesterday we were all rookies, including myself. Next year’s junior class will also be looked upon to provide depth. Included in that class is Linday Jaiyesimi, Meghan Ducey and Margo Peterson.”

In addition, the coach said soon-to-be  sophomores Claire McMahon and Jenny Lisovicz will also be looked upon next year.

“They made a big impact this year and will be looked upon to help the squad next year,” he said. “Also, Brooke Scanlon came a long way this year and could compete for playing time.”