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All four Suburban teams Middle school girls basketball has taken Verona by storm this season. The Verona Recreation Department provides a platform for eight youth travel teams (four boys and four girls) in grades 5 through 8 to compete in the Suburban Essex League. Each of the four Verona girls’ teams enjoyed tremendous success this season against other Essex County teams, including West Orange, Bloomfield, Livingston, Montclair, Nutley, Millburn, Cedar Grove, Maplewood/South Orange, Caldwell/West Caldwell and West Essex. All four teams advanced to the playoffs, with three of the teams ultimately winning the championship for their respective grade divisions. The 8th grade team went 10-4 in league. The 8th grade team, coached by Chelsea Giacchi (assisted by Evan Curren), fell to a strong West Orange team in the semifinal round of post-season play. This team, comprised of some of the classiest yet toughest athletes in town, went 10-4 in the League. In every game they played, these girls would dive on loose balls, crashing into opponents and ripping balls out of their hands. But, a second later, these same girls would be the first to help an opponent up or give them a high-five for a nice play. These young ladies set the standard for Verona Suburban Basketball.
The tenacity and grit displayed by the players–Sara Tortoriello, Gabby Egnezzo, Julia Loudon, Maria Caggiano, Anna Hoogterp, Aeryn Curren, Giuliana DeSilva and Lauren Paz–was inspirational for other teams who all hope to play like them in the coming years. Coach Giacchi, who […]