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The Caldron

Basketball Teams Win Holiday Tournaments

Over the winter break, Caldwell Basketball had some huge wins in the West Essex Area Holiday Tournament Classic. The Holiday Classic is an annual basketball tournament that takes place during the winter recess and it is played with Caldwell, West Essex, Verona, and Cedar Grove. It is a great event for classmates and family to come to the games and cheer on their school. Gratefully enough, Caldwell won the tournament for both the Girls and Boys. 


For the girls’ side, they started their tournament beating West Essex in the first round with a score of 54-32. Freshman Addison Keenan led the way with 15 points and 6 steals, followed by Senior Abby Tolchin with 12 points and 7 rebounds. Sophomore Tea Fiore and Senior Kayla Ishigami also helped the girls win with Fiore scoring 10 points along with 5 rebounds and Ishigami scoring 9 points and 4 assists. Caldwell then played Verona in the final where Caldwell won 46-34. Keenan and Ishigami both played exceptionally, both scoring 16 points. Senior Natalia Brown and Fiore had a great side as well, both scoring 6 points with Brown having 8 rebounds and Fiore having 5 rebounds.


Photo courtesy of Quinton Caravela.


The Tournament MVP award went to Addison Keenan for in both games scored a total of 31 points, 9 rebounds, 4 assists, and 10 steals, per NJ.com.


Here’s what Kayla Ishigami had to say about the team’s performance and the direction this team is heading for the future, “We were able to out-hustle the other teams and shoot the ball well which was what helped us get through both of the teams. We liked to switch up our defense to try and force the opponent into bad decisions. Another main goal of ours was to push the ball in transition and get some easy buckets. This Holiday Tournament win has boosted our confidence as individual players and as a team. Now with two more games under our belt, we have improved our team chemistry which is only going to get better throughout the season.” 


We wish the girls’ team the best of luck throughout the remainder of the season and hope for even more success as the year continues.


The boys’ team won the tournament with ease. They started by playing Cedar Grove in the first round, beating them 65-46. Junior Joe Giannetta caught fire in the game with 24 points and 5 rebounds. Senior Michael Zamloot played great as well scoring 12 points with 3 assists and Junior Brodie Cook had a great showing with 9 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists. They then had to play Verona for the championship just like the girls, but this one wasn’t close. Caldwell won with a score of 59-26. Giannetta scored 10 points, Junior Lucas Turner scored 8 points, Zamloot and Senior Nick Swank scored 7 a piece, Senior Lance Jenkins scored 5 along with Senior Dan Paris and Sophomore Ryan Keenan. The game was won with ease and 12 different Caldwell players scored in the game. The MVP award went to Joe Giannetta with his showing of 34 points and 5 rebounds in both games, according to NJ.com. 


Here’s what Lance Jenkins had to say about Caldwell’s performance and how their team will pan out through the rest of the season, “I would say that the competition that we played was a lot less than what we are used to. We went in with a lot of confidence and just played the best we could. Our Coach, Coach Fess, made a great game plan in the tournament, especially against Verona in the final. He had a very in-depth scouting report of all the players so we knew exactly which player would play well and we knew all their sets which was a huge strength. They wanted to try and play a slow offense and slow the game down, so our goal was to disrupt that and it worked out very well in our favor. 


“Winning this tournament helped us out because we were 2-2 going into the tournament and it was great for boosting our record and a boost to the overall morale of the team. This gave us a lot of momentum going into the next game against Columbia, because like I said, the competition wasn’t going to be as good and wasn’t going to be as high as we are used to playing. But, it was good to get some wins under our belt to keep the momentum going into the next game and for the rest of the season.”


Everyone at James Caldwell is hoping the season can be a repeat of the success of last year’s team, and we wish the best of luck to all the Caldwell basketball teams.

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