Pascack Valley starts season on right track

Indians begin 2-0

Josh DeLuca, Sports Editor

If Pascack Valley was starting with a blank slate this season, they certainly didn’t paint the next Picasso or Rembrandt in their season opener.

However, their performance on Friday afternoon was just enough for the Indians to edge Ramapo 53-49.

“I’m ecstatic to tell you the truth,” PV coach Jeff Jasper said. “We have one kid who has played basketball, in Brie [Smith], and the other six who played with her, were JV players a year ago, basically.”

It was Smith, the only Indian with significant varsity experience prior to Friday, who with 8.6 seconds to play in the game and Ramapo poised to tie the game on a fast-break, took a charge. Smith was also Valley’s biggest offensive contributor, scoring 13 points and knocking down three from behind-the-arc.

“It was just the intensity of the game that brought my energy to it,” Smith said. “I wanted to prove that ‘Yes, we lost all 11 seniors, but we’re coming back strong and healthy and we’re ready.’”

The Indians led for most of the game, and carried a 44-36 advantage into the fourth quarter.  Ramapo made things interesting in the final minutes, bringing the game to within two, but Valley was able to hold on.

“It was a great experience, it was a great learning point,” Jasper said.

Pascack Valley got significant offensive contributions from multiple sources as Olivia Jones and Kelly Andreason both scored 10, while Paige Skene and Sofia Battista scored seven.

While their performance was enough on Friday afternoon, the Indians’ know that they still have a lot of work to do.

“We have to improve on moving without the ball, playing defense in our help, and especially our rebounding,” Smith said. “But most importantly, we have to have enough stamina to last the whole game.”

Ramapo freshman Madison Schiller lead both team with 23 points, while Lauren Achter scored 11.

The Indians’ improved to 2-0 on Sunday with a 41-23 victory over Lakeland as Pascack Valley hosted a series of girls’ basketball games to benefit the Zack Latteri Foundation.