By Jeff Appelblatt
The girls’ basketball team at Woodbridge High School began the season sizzling. Not only did the Barrons win their first six games, but they won them all by double digits.
Barrons coach Bobby Timinski didn’t imagine his squad being able to match that all season, but he also didn’t foresee a lengthy struggle either.
Following one loss and one win at the start of January, Woodbridge lost four in a row — three of which were not even close. Opponents treated the Barrons the same way they were treating opponents in December: beating them by double figures.
“We went through a rough patch of games. We struggled,” Timinski said. “Our offense came to a grinding halt.”
Woodbridge’s coach realized he had to get his team refocused on things after the losses started to build.
“We’re doing things to get fundamentally sound,” Timinski said. “We’ve practiced like we’re starting over. I’m not even sure what happened.
“Our fast start probably exposed things we’re not good at.”
The Barrons finally found their way back into the win column Jan. 19 against one of the team’s top rivals, Colonia High School. Woodbridge won the game, 46-33, and Timinski hopes the win helps his team find its groove again.
“I hope it motivates [us] a lot,” the coach said. “As we’ve seen, things change quickly.”
The team’s leading scorer, Jordan Vazquez, who scored a game-high 15 points against the Patriots, was kept relatively quiet during Woodbridge’s losses. Brooke Timinski, Vazquez’s usual sidekick, struggled even more. The 13 point-per-game scorer only scored 15 points in the final three games of Woodbridge’s losing streak.
Coach Timinski knows his team needs Vazquez and Timinski to carry the offense. At the same time, Woodbridge will continue to rely on Joyce Loda and Najyah Adams on defense and on grabbing the bulk of the boards.
“[Loda and Adams have] been really aggressive,” the coach said. “And they’ve really improved.”
The two showed they were out to regularly flirt with a double-double in the first game against South Plainfield High School. While Loda got one in the opener with 10 points and 10 rebounds to accompany her five blocks, four assists and two steals, Adams was a point shy. She grabbed 12 boards but had nine points. She also just missed it against Elizabeth High School in a game she scored nine points and rebounded eight.
Rebound totals for the pair even went down for the two when Woodbridge was losing. Nothing was clicking for the Barrons during the four-game skid. But against Colonia, the pair pulled down 26 rebounds.
“Hopefully that win vs. Colonia has us back on track,” Timinski said. “These are great kids.”
Woodbridge (8-5) played against New Brunswick High School (4-10) Jan. 24, and the Barrons will continue searching for wins when they face Bishop George Ahr High School (11-3) Jan. 26 at 7 p.m. in Woodbridge.