The Governor Livingston Girls’ Varsity Basketball team is heading to the Union County Tournament Final at Kean University this evening to face 8th-seeded Oak Knoll from Summit. Tip off is 6 p.m.
Governor Livingston, the 3rd seed, enters this game as the defending county champions. The team, which stands at 19-4 this season, ousted Cranford (36-27), Hillside (66-52) and Johnson (60-33) to reach the final county match-up for the third consecutive year.
“This was our goal coming into the season after we graduated so many girls last year,” said GL Head Coach Andy Silvagni. “I think a lot of people on the outside didn’t think we’d be able to get this far. But this was always our goal — to get to the county final and obviously to win it — so we’re here now. It’s good to be back and we’re looking to do some big things on Sunday.”
The GL Girls’ Junior Varsity Basketball Team is also heading to the county final today to face Cranford. Tip off is 4 p.m. at Kean University, just before varsity takes on Oak Knoll.
“It’s awesome that our whole program is playing [in the county final],” Silvagni said. “The JV kids, they practice every day and try just as hard. But sometimes they don’t get the rewards because there’s no state tournament for JV. A lot of counties don’t have JV county tournaments. Union County does. They won [Thursday] to get there and they were so happy. I felt great for them. It’s a great thing for the program.”
Silvagni said he hopes GL’s past experience and exposure to a county final game will allow the players to relax and focus on playing well.
“This year, even though we have some different players, we still have some of the same players who have the experience. The fact that we’ve been there kind of relaxes us,” Silvagni explained. “I think early on in that game [last year], the girls played tight and they played nervous so I’m hoping we don’t have that because we’ve been there.”
Governor Livingston’s starting lineup: Erin Ferguson, Mallory George, Alyssa Cranston, Marielle Jankowski, Sara Dilly.
Oak Knoll’s starting lineup: Kerri Moran, Kelly McAloon, Catherine Booner, Monica Fritz, Julia Wanfried.