MSN: Girls’ Basketball Season Recap

The Montclair High School Girls’ Basketball team had a successful winter season. Overall, the team finished with a record of 16-10 and a 12-2 record in the Super Essex Conference. In comparison with a tough covid season last year, the program ended the season with a tremendous winning record in the SEC under head coach, Ed Connell. 

When Montclair Sports Network’s John Valvano spoke to Coach Connell earlier in the season, he said, “We come into the year with high expectations.”

This statement seemed to carry right into the beginning of the season as MHS had a three-game winning streak. During that stretch, the girls outsourced their opponents 147 to 49. However, after this point, MHS had two crushing defeats against Union and Millburn in a tournament. 

This did not lower the squads’ mindset at all as they came out of these losses even stronger by winning their next eight out of ten games in January. One of these wins was a 62-24 landslide victory against West Caldwell Tech in the second round of the Essex County Girls Basketball Tournament. This run for the Mounties in the tournament, unfortunately, came to a halt only three days later when they lost in round three to Nutley by a score of 45-33. 

Heading into February, the team had a rough end to the season losing four of their last six games. The most crucial defeat was on February 21st in the first round of the NJSIAA Tournament where Montclair lost 46-21 to Colombia, which ended the season. 

Although it was a poor end for the team this winter, there are still many positives to look back on for the Mounties.

Firstly, Coach Connell led a very high-powered offensive team that averaged 41 points per game. There were also several double-digit victories that the team secured throughout the season.

Senior Elsa-Taylor Lillquist averaged 12 points, 8 rebounds, and 2 steals per game. Lillquist was awarded first-team in the Independant Division of the SEC. Senior Rece Anton averaged 4 points, 3 rebounds, and 3 assists per game. Anton also led the team with 76 steals this season and was awarded second-team in the Independent Division of the SEC.

Sophomore Savannah Seawell was also awarded to the first team in the Independent Division of the SEC and led Montclair in points and rebounds. Seawell’s season stat line includes 15 points, 15 rebounds, 2 blocks, and 2 steals per game.

In addition, junior Lizzy Giordano was also awarded an honorable mention in the Independent Division team of the SEC.

Looking ahead to next season, the team only loses two seniors in Lillquist and Anton. Although both those players made lasting impacts on the team’s success this year, it will be interesting to see how the team continues this drive into next season.