Dumont Remains Unbeaten in Win Over Lady Bridgemen
Second half proves costly for Fort Lee girls' basketball team, who fell to Dumont Thursday night 57-42.
After entering halftime tied, all signs pointed to the Dumont Huskies and the Fort Lee Lady Bridgemen playing a close game until the final buzzer.
But halfway through the third quarter, Dumont took control with an 11-0 run on their way to remaining undefeated.
“We really wanted to beat our rival and come out with fire,” said Fort Lee senior guard Brianna Mattessich. “We were playing with them the whole time. Then in the second half, we came out and turnovers killed us.”
Fort Lee head coach Stacie Zafiris prepared countless hours for Dumont and was not pleased with the final outcome.
“Again, we beat ourselves,” said Zafiris. “I don’t think that they earned the win. I think we gave them the win.”
The night began with turnovers on both sides as the Lady Bridgemen and Huskies looked to get into the flow of the game.
As the players found their rhythm, Fort Lee found themselves down by a single point. That is when the Lady Bridgemen countered with a 9-1 run to regain the lead.
But Dumont wasn’t ready to suffer their first loss of the season.
The Huskies utilized a full court press to force turnovers, a game-high 15 points from senior guard Katharine Rose and shutdown defense against Fort Lee’s senior forward Bindi Parikh to tie the game shortly before halftime.
“They did a great job on her,” coach Zafiris said. “She is tough to defend but they always do a very nice job against her.”
Then in the third quarter, things started to go Dumont’s way. Junior Carly Reitano and the Huskies scored 11 consecutive points to close out the period, including a shot from the forward that swished in just before the buzzer.
Co-captain Mattessich tried to rally the Lady Bridgemen back again in the fourth quarter, including a lay-up plus the foul to begin the period.
“She carries the team really well,” Parikh said. “We rely on her so much and she is an awesome player too.”
But unlike Fort Lee in the first half, Dumont was able to hold on to the lead and the 15-point victory as the Huskies remained undefeated.
After the game, the Fort Lee Lady Bridgemen were already working on putting the memory of this game behind them and looking forward to their next contest.
“It’s one game. Come tomorrow, this game is over and done with,” said the Fort Lee head coach. “Tomorrow we come back and focus on Memorial and that is the one we need to worry about now.”
After losing the first two games of the season, Fort Lee then rebounded with back-to-back wins as the Lady Bridgemen were crowned Lyndhurst Holiday Tournament Champions. Now, with two consecutive loses, the team is eyeing an opportunity to return to the winning end with a road game on Saturday at Memorial High School. Weather permitting, the game is scheduled for 11 a.m.
Be sure to check back leading up to the game for any possible weather-related changes.