GLEN RIDGE – Entering his second year as the head coach for the Glen Ridge High School girls’ varsity basketball team, Sean Fitzpatrick is hopeful his Ridgers can continue to improve on the success achieved last season.
“After a strong finish to last year, we have the potential to make a nice jump this year,” said the coach, whose squad finished last year with a record of 6-17.
That said, the GRHS coach said his goal for this year’s team was to finish the season with double digits wins. “Our goal is to win 10 games and get stronger as the season progresses,” said the coach, whose squad returns its entire lineup from last year, as not a single player graduated.
And if the team’s best players can lead the way, Fitzpatrick is confident that his squad can achieve those goals.
“We have three very good captains. Julia Lawson, the lone senior on the team, can play guard or forward, junior Gabby Kinzler can play guard or forward and junior Meghan Marhan can also play either position,” he said. “Also, Juliann Lisovicz and Leslie Jaiyesimi lead the team by example. These five girls are great role models for their teammates. Lawson, Kinzler, Marhan, Juliann Lisovicz and Leslie Jaiyesemi all logged big minutes last year and will be looked upon to do the same this year, but we do have some more depth this year. Lindsay Jaiyesimi stepped up and played solid defense for us towards the end of the year. Also, freshmen Claire McMahon and Jenny Lisovicz have already made solid contributions to the program. They add much needed athleticism and depth to the team.”
Looking at his team’s biggest strengths, the coach said his team had a few.
“We are athletic, we should be able to play solid defense and will look to run the floor,” he said.
Overall, the coach said his team would face a challenging schedule this year.
“Our schedule is tough as always. The teams in our conference remain strong and present a tremendous challenge to our girls,” he said.
Helping the coach this year will be assistant coach Mike Sammon.
The Ridgers hosted their annual holiday tournament, beating Montclair Immaculate and St. Elizabeth to win the title and improve to a 4-1 record. Leslie Jaiyesimi had 10 points and five rebounds; Kinzler had nine points and five rebounds and McMahon had eight points and three blocks in the 51-16 win over Montclair Immaculate Conception on Dec. 27. Jenny Lisovicz had seven points; Juliann Lisovicz had six points and six steals; Marhan had four points, Julia Lawson netted three points and Charlotte Saggles and Lily Kinkly each had two points.
The next day, the Ridgers defeated St. Elizabeth, 57-51. Marhan had 19 points, four rebounds and three steals and Kinzler had 12 points, four rebounds and three steals for the Ridgers, who outscored St. Elizabeth, 20-13, in the fourth quarter, for their fourth straight win. Leslie Jaiyesimi had eight points and four rebounds; Jenny Lisoviczi had six points and four rebounds; McMahon had six points and 11 rebounds; Juliann Lisovicz had six points; Lawson had three assists and Lindsay Jaiyesimi had two rebounds.
In earlier action, the Ridgers defeated Golda Och, 39-26, Dec. 22, at home. Kinzler had 11 points and Marhan had six points and six rebounds.