NUTLEY, NJ - On tap was a seventh-grade girls’ game back at Walker School. Joyce Bukowiec’s very strong group was entertaining Glen Ridge. Before the game, I mentioned to Joyce I was covering St. John’s-Fordham on Tuesday and Stephanie Gaitley, the Fordham mentor, sent her regards. “You officiated that game?” Joyce asked. “No, I covered it writing, but thank you for thinking I might have worked that game. It was flattering.”
A four quarter breakdown inspired by Basketball State:
1 2 3 4 Final
Glen Ridge 1 2 7 7 17
Nutley 20 8 10 7 45
Nutley came out with their full court pressure, forcing turnovers and often converting them to transition baskets. In the half court, Glen Ridge utilized a 2-3 zone and Nutley ran a simple but effective zone offense with a high and low post. The Nutley girls simply do a great job looking for each other and using the extra pass.
Joyce leaves after a quarter to watch a high school game a relative is playing in. The assistant takes over, and early in the second quarter, removes full court pressure. The on-ball pressure in the half court is still there and as the half score indicated, Glen Ridge struggled to find any offense.
Substitutions and different rotations were the order of Nutley’s second half. Glen Ridge, to their credit, found some confidence against Nutley’s half court zone. The game was out of reach but for the visitors, they had the satisfaction of playing better offensively.
Glen Ridge was full court pressuring. It worked a bit against Nutley’s second unit but there comes a time. You are down 30 with a minute to go, a press will not do it. Nutley’s coach tells the lead guard to hold the ball with 10 seconds left. Glen Ridge still presses and fouls with a second left. Why? That is something you see and deal with on this level - coaches not always aware of how to close a game long since decided.