By: Emma Krupp
With the winter sport season beginning to wrap up, our school has seen great success among the athletic teams. A great congratulations should be given to the girls swim team who are the North II Group C Champions, as well as the boys wrestling team who are the North II Group II Champions! However, another team that deserves more attention towards the end of this season is the girl’s varsity basketball team. Led by seniors Carli Carroll, Makenna Tabahz, Kat Theobald, Gabby Gaffney, and Emma Krupp, this team has achieved more than the program has in years.
Since the start of the season in November, the girls have put in the necessary work for the outcome of success. The girls have been in the gym practicing every day since tryouts, dedicating two and a half hours to improving the team and each other. The results could be seen as early as December, when the girls were the champions of the West Essex Holiday Tournament. This tournament, which is held over two days during
winter break, was the first test of the girls’ strength. Coming in on the night of December 27th, the girls showed their resilience as they fought back against the West Essex Knights. Hitting 8 three pointers, senior Carli Carroll was a huge factor in their 69-67 win. The following night, the Chiefs rolled over the Verona Hillbillies as they took the victory, 55-43. This was the first time the girls won the tournament since 2012, and it was one of the first times that both the boys and girls team shared the win together. As the sound of the last buzzer went off on Saturday night, Carroll recalls how, “We were all so happy, just jumping on top of each other and cheering. It was a huge milestone for the program.”
The tournament win was exactly what the girls needed to start their season on a high. From the holidays till the end of January, the girls only lost one game to the extremely talented Morristown Beard squad. Coming back in the 4th quarter, the girls just barely let the win slip away as they lost by three points. Regardless, junior Brielle Guarente who scored 23 points in the game said, “We needed to play that game. Morristown Beard was a great team and we gave it our all against them. The fact we were able to stick together against such tough competition showed our perseverance as a team.” The girls also had several other memorable games which included beating the previously undefeated Newark Central, taking a win against Mount St. Dominic on the road in overtime, and beating their conference rivals, the Livingston Lancers, twice. All of these wins amount to the girls’ overall record of 15-7 as of February 22nd.
With the prospects of states on the horizon, Caldwell will play in the first round on March 3rd against the Verona Hillbillies at home. If they advance, the tournament will continue on through the first and second week of March. The girls are looking to make a run in the states and hope that their determination and hard work from earlier in the season will carry through. Come out and support the girls varsity basketball team!