Winter athletics season fills many RHS students’ schedules, and games and matches have become an attraction for many. Basketball is one of Ridgewood’s most popular sports, and it continues to dominate the town’s attention. The roster for both the girls and boys team, across all levels, is full of dedicated athletes who work tirelessly to prove that their team is superior. In addition to a full team, the sport is lucky to have some of Ridgewood’s finest coaches proving that Ridgewood basketball is number one.
Senior girl captains, Allie Doyle, Brooke McKenna, and Sara Ellinghaus, lead a group of talented individuals that consist of immensely talented athletes, such as lacrosse commits Keely Bennett, Katie McCarthy, Sara Ellinghaus, Brooke McKenna, and Allie Doyle. The team is coached by head coach Mike Mitchell and assistant coach Candace Mitola. Although the girls currently have a record of 4-7 overall (January 27th), they secured the 3rd spot in the Westwood Holiday Tournament. The team has had impressive wins against teams such as Eastside, Kennedy and Westwood, where the girls came out victorious by a one point lead. They also beat one of Ridgewood’s long standing rivals Paramus in a truly spectacular game ending in a jaw-dropping score of 57:27.
Team members are just as close off the court, which makes communication easier come game day. Junior Katie McCarthy added, “we’re a tight knit community and I think that bond transitions onto the court which in turn produces success for not only our team but for Ridgewood sports in general.”
The boys team is just as successful as the girls with an impressive record of 9-4 overall (January 27th) and three Freedom Division acknowledgments for the season. The team captains are James Miller and Matt Favieri and the group is led by the well-respected and long-time coach Michael Troy. The RHS varsity boys basketball games are usually packed full of enthusiastic parents and students. The team is full of talented athletes, like 1st Team Freedom Division recipient Devin Johnson, Columbia football commit James Miller, and William and Mary football commit John Kearney, all of whom have proven that the team’s popularity is for a reason.
Just as the girls, the boys have had impressive wins over long-standing Ridgewood rivals like Paramus and Glen Rock. Junior Cameron Smith comments, “We need to keep working and getting better everyday, so we can hopefully win the bigger games in the future.” The team has one of the strongest defenses amongst high school basketball teams in the area, and an electric energy that fuels not only the players but also the crowd.
With a full roster and dedicated coaches, it is no wonder why the teams have drawn such attention throughout the Ridgewood community. As the season continues, both the boys and the girls teams hope to showcase their talent and bring success to RHS.
Graphic: Kaitlin Devir