Council recognizes Newton girls basketball team

Squad finishes season with a 24-4 record


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By Joe Weston

— The Newton High School Girls Varsity basketball team was recognized by the town council at its April 14 meeting for their outstanding talent and accomplishments during the 2013-2014 season, said Mayor Joseph Ricciardo, who handed each of the players a certificate of acknowledgement.

Newton beat High Point to win the North I Group II Sectional Championship and were co-champions with the Town of Jefferson in the NJAC Freedom Division, according to Kurt Weaver, Newton High School’s Athletic Director.

The girls basketball team, nicknamed The Lady Braves, boasted a record for the NJAC Freedom Division of 13-1 with an overall season record of 24-4.

“It was an honor to get recognized by the town,” Head Coach Whitney Dugan said. “The town is part of our team. They supported us all year and the girls represented the town this season in a fabulous light. It’s a great group of girls.”

The last time the Lady Braves went to the Group II State Finals was in 2003, when Dugan played for the team as a freshman.

Dugan said it is rewarding for her to be the head coach of the same team having just won the championship.

“Our team mantra is five individuals working as one,” Dugan said.

A proclamation Town Manager Joseph Russo Jr. read stated that the New Jersey Herald named them the Team of the Year, Head Coach Whitney Dugan as Coach of the Year, and Tara Lynch, first team all-herald and first team all-NJAC, as Player of the Year.

Captain Kayla Delnero was named most valuable player, Captain Hannah Buckley received the Coaches Award, and Captain Morgan Euston received Honorable Mention by all NJAC.

Addi Hillard was recognized as an Honorable Mention by all NJAC and Most Improved by Newton High School, Anna Keimel was named Defensive player of the year by the high school and Kayla Chambliss was named Team Spark by the school.

“It was a great ride," Weaver said. "I told the girls to savor every moment, it does not come very often."

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