Immaculate Conception girls, boys basketball teams creep closer to state sectional finals
The Immaculate Conception girls and boys basketball teams moved one win away on Friday night, Feb. 24 from reaching state sectional title games.
The fourth-seeded Lions girls basketball team (21-5) pulled away against fifth-seeded Gill St. Bernard's at home in route to a 55-49 victory in the Non Public North B state sectional quarterfinal.
And the sixth-seeded Immaculate Conception boys (19-10) ran away from third-seeded St. Mary from the start in the decisive 81-45 win on the road.
The Lions girls team will travel to top-seeded Saddle River Day on Monday, Feb. 27 (TBA) in the sectional semifinals with a trip to the sectional finals on the line.
And then on the same day, the Immaculate Conception boys hoops travels to second-seeded Gill St. Bernard's at 6 p.m. in their state sectional semifinal. It was Gill St. Bernard's who ousted the Lions from the state playoffs last season with an 80-59 loss in the 2022 Non Public North B quarterfinals.
For the Immaculate Conception girls team against Gill St. Bernard's, senior Tyonna Bailey led a balanced Lions attack with 11 points. Seven different Immaculate Conception girls scored against a pesky Gill St. Bernard's team including senior Ciera Cevallos and sophomore Camile Wiley with 10 and nine points respectively.
The Immaculate Conception girls team needed to come from behind in the second half to move on in the state tournament. The Lions were down 35-30 at halftime. But Immaculate Conception grabbed the lead in the fourth quarter and finished it off in the final eight minutes.
For the Lions boys team junior Ben Price hit three, three-point buckets in the first quarter as Immaculate Conception already took a 12-3 lead halfway through the opening quarter.
In the end the Lions never looked back. The closest St. Mary came with about two minutes left in the first quarter as they trimmed the Immaculate Conception lead to 17-11.
Lions junior TJ Robinson led four Immaculate Conception double-digit scorers with 19 points. Senior Brandon Hernandez also hit three, three-point shots and finished with 15 points. Senior Tavian Pullock and freshman Jaren Barnett added 10 points each to the Immaculate Conception cause.