Girls basketball starts the season strong, at 5-2

Junior Gina Mahlik shooting a jumpshot
in a game early this season

Photo courtesy of Normany Studio

Junior Gina Mahlik shooting a jumpshot in a game early this season

Elizabeth Simpson, Staff Writer

Bernards Girls Basketball has started their 2023 season off strong with a record of 5-2, currently ranked #1 in their conference and undefeated in their division. This year the girls team has four captains; Sydney Incarnato, Elizabeth Simpson, Maggie Dolan and Noelle Infusino, all players who have been on the varsity team since their freshman year. Captain Maggie Dolan shares how “this season is already so different. We have won more games than we did my freshman and sophomore year combined, showing how much improvement we have made over the past few years.” 

On December 15th, the girls came out strong in their season opener against Manville, winning the game 47-12 with excellent defense being seen throughout the game. The girls managed to hold the team to only six points per half, a great way to start out strong. Captain Noelle Infusino shares how “it[‘s]amazing to see that all the hard work [the team has] been putting in this year is paying off. In all [her]four years of being on the varsity team, [they]have never experienced winning [the]first game of the season, so the game was so surreal.”

On December 20th, the girls headed down to South Hunterdon to play one of the most crucial games of the season, as they are one of the toughest opponents the team will go up against in their division. Bernards pulled ahead in the first half, up by 15 at the start of the third quarter. Unfortunately, South Hunderton came out strong in the second half and turned it into a three point game with one minute left to play. It was a battle, but Bernards was able to stay confident with the ball, not letting the pressure get to them, and were able to win the game 51-47. This puts Bernards in a great place to win their division for the first time in over five years with high hopes for the state tournament. 

The next nine games of the season are very important for the girls basketball team, as they will go up against many teams in their division, facing opponents like Belvedire and Del-Val twice within a few weeks span of time. “I think the team is ready for the games ahead, we have worked so hard in practice and I really feel like this is our season”, senior Amina Shoukry shared. On Saturday January 7th, Bernards is hosting the “Kirst play day tournament”, where they will go up against Hanover Park. Bernards lost to Hanover in the first round of states last year, and are looking for redemption at their home court this year. If the Bernards Girls Basketball team is able to keep their determination and winning streak alive, they will have a very successful 2022-2023 season and may move on to win the division title.