Girls Basketball: Dodgers Remain Dominant With 9 Wins

Junior+Erin+Kleiven+steals+a+pass+during+Madison%E2%80%99s+game+against+Livingston+on+January+22.

Kerry Cozzolino

Junior Erin Kleiven steals a pass during Madison’s game against Livingston on January 22.

Ellie Apelian, Staff Writer

The girls basketball team has started their season off strong with a record of 9-3 so far. Losing their first game against Pequannock with a tight score of 37-40, the Dodgers came back winning their next six games against Mendham in their Holiday Tournament (53-45), Morris Knolls (48-41), West Morris Mendham (29-19), St. Elizabeth (45-32), Kinnelon (51-42), and Hanover Park (50-35). Their winning streak was broken with a loss against Morris Catholic on January 18th (47-72), but the Dodgers won their next two games against Morristown Beard (44-18) and Livingston (48-25). They again lost against Morris Catholic on January 24 with a final score of 37-67. Their most recent game was against Lenape Valley on January 27, where the Dodgers took an easy win, beating the Patriots 54-29.

Even with a few losses, the Dodgers are proving themselves to be an extremely powerful and mature team. When Coach DiTuro was asked about their 6-win streak, her response was nothing but praise for her team: “…I think Peaquannock was a wakeup call for us. But, this team has such a strong work ethic I knew that it was only a matter of time before they started to gel, and it happened even faster than I anticipated.” 

The additions of freshmen Gabby Mariani and Charlotte Tuhy have helped the team tremendously. “Gabby leads us in assists and has a really high IQ and intensity to her defensive game, while Charlotte leads us in points and rebounds and can really help us go on a run,” says Coach DiTuro. Junior Erin Kleiven has played an especially important role in the team’s success. “She has really been a catalyst for us with great energy on defense and some big plays on offense too. She has been outstanding in the last few games,” Coach DiTuro remarks. Along with the return of senior Vivian Summerlin and junior Alex Reigle, this Dodger team has done nothing but gotten stronger and sharper. “It really is a great group of players, any one of whom can contribute big plays and minutes on any given night.”

The Dodgers have their county tournament on Saturday January 29. I asked junior guard Gwen Tuhy how she felt the team would do in the tournament, and here’s what she had to say: “I think we have a chance to do pretty well. We got a good seed which puts us in a situation to go far in the tournament. I feel like we work well together as a team and always push each other to be better and challenge each other in practice which will pay off in these games. And overall I think that our team chemistry and our supportiveness will help us go far in the tournament.”

Individual skill and a good team dynamic are two main ingredients of the recipe for success in any sport. The Dodgers have both of these, and utilize them in each of their games, resulting in tremendous outcomes. With just nine more games left in the season, Madison is expected to add to their wins and form an even stronger team.