NJSIAA Group 4 Girls Sectional Tournament Preview

As we gear up for the second round of the Girls' Basketball Group 4 Sectional Tournament, anticipation is high for an exhilarating array of matchups. Within each bracket lies its own unique narratives, standout teams, and talented individuals poised to make their presence felt. This preview delves into the pivotal clashes, top contenders, and standout players who could significantly impact the journey towards the championship title. With the regular season now in the rearview mirror, we find ourselves on the brink of a series of battles that will truly test the skills and determination of Group 4's premier female athletes


North 1

The North 1 bracket has already been shaken up, as the #1seeded Paterson Eastside was eliminated by #16 Livingston 40-37 in the first round. After being down at halftime, Livingston went on a monstrous 18-4 run in the to open up the second half and was able to hold on in the 4th quarter to complete the upset. Amanda Weinberger and Lyla Feldman led the way offensively, combining for 21 of the Lancers 40 total points. Although they have had a rough end to the regular season, Livingston proved they don't back down when the lights are shining the brightest. With some positive momentum on their side, look for the Lancers to keep the upsets coming.

#2 seeded Morristown fortunately did not suffer the same result as the #1 seed. The Colonials come into the quarterfinals off of 74-52 win over Bloomfield. Morristown dished the ball efficiently, having 4 scorers in double digits. Cameron McGinley (12 PPG) and Maya Summerville (10.6 PPG) led the team with 17 points a piece. Morristown's first round win extended their win streak to four, as the Colonials look to keep that pace all the way to the finals.

#3 seeded West Orange looked absolutely dominant in Round 1, dicing up Passaic 71-38. Anaya Karriem and Jaela Kolenovic both dropped double-doubles, while Rhyan Watt and Kyley Gary-Grayson scored in double figures as well, 14 and 11 points respectively. With a 19-9 record, the Mountaineers are primed to make a deep run in this tournament if they can continue to play as dominant as they have been as of late.

#5 Union City also has a good chance to make some noise in this bracket. The Hudson County Tournament runners up have been hot as of late, winning 6 of their last 7. Jaida Guerra was the star in their first round win over Columbia, leading the game with 23 points. Along with Guerra, senior forward Jaylyn Orefice is offers top-tier production over he own, averaging 15.8 PPG. UC will be looking to continue their success as they face off against #4 North Star Academy, who possess a 19-7 record (13-0 in SEC), for their quarterfinal matchup. 


North 2

#1 seeded Plainfield has been on a tear as of late. They enter the quarterfinals winning 8 of their last 9 games. Plainfield put on a clinic in their first round matchup against Union, winning that contest 73-40. The Cardinals leading scorer, Ma'Ziyah Richards (20.2 PPG), dropped a game high 21 points to help her team advance. Sophmore guard Imani Mullings also helps contribute at a high level, averaging 13.2 PPG. Plainfield sits at 19-6 currently and are looking to add more to the win column as they strive for the championship. 

Hillsborough started off the season with early struggles, going 1-2 through their first 3 games. As the season went on, they got more comfortable and their results proved it. The Raiders ended their season with a 12-3 record in their last 15 games played. An impressive first round outing had Hillsborough routing Linden 73-37 .Francesca Schiro had herself a game, dropping a game high 23 points. Schiro also leads the team in scoring at 20.3 PPG. Mya Loniewski (14.2 PPG) provides the team with some additional help, outside of Schiro's scoring prowess. The Raiders seem very motivated and certainly have the tools to fulfill their goal of winning the bracket.

#3 seeded Bayonne could arguably be seen as the best team in this bracket, coming into the quarterfinal round at 21-4. The Bees are entering this round on a 5 game win-streak, one of the wins being a Hudson County Tournament title. In terms of the North 2 bracket, Bayonne played some stingey defense, only letting up 15 points the whole game, as they went on to win 57-15. The Bees are led by a trio of scorers in McKenzie Neal (12.8 PPG), Janaya Meyers (11.8 PPPG), and Giselle Davis (10.5 PPG). With a postseason title and a first round win under their belt, Bayonne is ready to make a run to win it all

#5 Elizabeth has been impressive all season, coming in with a 17-9 record while having a very tough schedule. The Union County Champions have some good momentum leading into the second round, as they are currently hold a 4-game win-streak. Alexandra Koon is the top scoring option on the squad, averaging 14.3 PPG. Koon also gets it done on the glass, grabbing down 11.1 REB/G.  Alani Gordon (11.2 PPG) and Jah'nae Lembrick (10.2 PPG) also contribute greatly to this gritty Elizabeth offense. Although they're the #5 seed, Elizabeth has been battle tested and are ready to take on the competition North 2 has to offer. 

A dark horse team to watch out for is #13 seeded Ridge, who bounced #4 seed J.P. Stevens in a super convincing 57-44 win. They are led by sophomore guard Sophia Georgiades, who averages 15.9 PPG. Look out for the Red Devils, as they are no stranger to winning as the underdog.



#1 seeded Hightstown has shown signs of struggle recently. They are 1-2 in their last 3 games, and had a tight game with #16 seed Marlboro, holding on to win 53-50. Even so, they have had an exceptional season, currently holding a 22-5 record. The Rams are home to one of the most elite offensive talents in the state. Senior guard Abby Misier averages 24.2 PPG on the season, and she has shown no signs of slowing down. Having an automatic bucket is essential for postseason success, and luckily for Hightstown, they have one.

#2 Howell enters the tournament with a 19-7 record. The Rebels are led by center Kiera McKown, who gets most of her work done in the paint. McKown averages a double-double with 12.4 PPG and 10.3 REB/G. Howell prides themselves on defense, not having allowed more than 35 points in their last 4 games, where they were victorious in each game. Look for Howell to stay true to their identity and continue to keep the oppositions offense at bay.

#3 seeded Monroe is riding high going into the quarterfinals. The Falcons have won 6 of their last 7, including a 53-32 win against Long Branch in the first round. Senior Halley Cottrell is the focal point of this offense, leading the team in scoring with 18.8 PPG. Evangelina Francisco also assists on the scoring front with 14.7 PPG. The Falcons are ready to continue their hot streak look to keep the ball rolling en route to a Central Group 4 title.



#1 Williamstown has been a a solid program all year, going 8-0 in Tri-County play and currently holding a 19-6 record. They had a dominant first round performance, as they defeated Kingsway 66-46. Iriona Gravley dropped an absurd stat line of 33 points and 12 rebounds in the win. Gravley has had a tremendous season thus far, averaging 18.9 PPG and 12.2 REB/G. Alivia Mauz also provides a spark to this offense, averaging 16.6 PPG. Mauz is also a defensive menace, averaging 5 steals per game. With this impressive duo, Williamstown is going to be a hard out for anyone and is very much deserving of their #1 seed.

#2 Lenape is scorching hot, and there is no better time to be playing your best brand of basketball. Lenape is currently on a 10-game win streak, coming off the heels of a Burlington County Tournament title. The Indians made easy work of Atlantic City with a 56-23 win in the first round. The Lenape offense is led by Alexa Henry (15 PPG) and freshman guard El-Anita Joe-Samuel, who averages 14.7 PPG. Along with the rest of their team, this duo has proved to be fearsome and they have showed no signs of slowing down.

#3 Cherokee recently had their 9-game winning streak snapped by Moorestown, who holds a 24-5 record. The Cheifs (19-7) righted the ship as they bounced back with a first round win over Toms River North. Sophomore Brielle Alaba runs the show offensively, averaging 15 PPG. Jada Branford (9.4 PPG) and Olivia Selverian (8.6 PPG) give Cherokee some solid scoring contribution as well. Outside of a few tough losses, Cherokee has been on point all season and is ready to make waves in this bracket.