VERNON — To say this season’s Glen Rock girls basketball team exceeded coach Dave Mosconi’s expectations would be the understatement of the year.
“We’re 27-4 now,” Mosconi said after the Panthers’ season-ending loss to Shabazz, 64-23, in the Group 2 semifinals Thursday night at Vernon High School.
“If you would have asked me at the beginning of the year, I’d have said I thought we’d be a .500 team. There’s no way I could have expected this.”
Thanks to seniors like Samantha Alba, who emerged as the Panthers’ sharpshooter, Stefanie Maier, who became a threat off the bench, Emily Rogan, who “found her shot,” according to Mosconi, and Sophie Lederer, the team’s do-it-all point guard, Glen Rock won its first sectional title in 25 years.
Taking on Shabazz, considered the No. 1 team in the state, was icing on the cake.
“In our eyes, our season ended with that win in the sectional final,” Lederer said. “We’re sad because it’s over, though. Not so much because of the loss, because we knew what we were up against [Thursday]. It’s sad because it’s the last time we’ll ever play together. But I’m so proud of everyone. No one knew what to expect this year, but we came together in the state tournament and to win the first sectional title in 25 years, that’s a great way to go out.”
Lederer had eight points. Naqaiyyah Teague paced Shabazz (30-1) with 18.