Barrons’ girls look to move past struggles in sectional play

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By Jeff Appelblatt

Woobridge High School’s girls’ basketball team not only won its first six games of the regular season, but it did so by an average of 27.5 points. Things just didn’t go as well the rest of the way.

The Barrons lost five of their next six games and hovered around the .500 mark the rest of the season.

They even struggled to live up to their Greater Middlesex Conference (GMC) ranking in the conference tournament, which was eventually won by Sayreville War Memorial High School.

Woodbridge, the tournament’s fifth seed, was defeated in the first tournament game it played — perhaps it was the momentum Old Bridge High School got from its preliminary-round blowout over Piscataway Vocational Technical High School, 50-19. Woodbridge’s girls had that round off.

Woodbridge just couldn’t handle the lower-ranked team from Old Bridge, which defeated the Barrons, 71-58.

Woodbridge coach Bobby Timinski was unhappy his team lost, but he wasn’t upset.

“Old Bridge was probably the best 12-seed in the tournament in a long time,” he said.

The Knights outplayed the Barrons the majority of the contest Feb. 15.

“We could have played better,” Timinski said.

The coach brought up the big lead that Old Bridge took early. By the end of the first quarter, Woodbridge found itself down, 27-16. And by the end of the first half, the Barrons faced a 47-26 deficit.

Woodbridge made a comeback in the second half, led by the 41 points Jordan Vazquez and Brooke Timinski combined for, but there was no way to climb all the way back. Woodbridge outscored its opponent, 11-9, in the third quarter and 21-15 in the fourth, but it was too little, too late.

“We just ran out of time,” the coach said. “We had to dig ourselves too far out of a hole.”

Coach Timinski refuses to keep his head down too long.

“We have to bounce back,” he said. “We have to keep our heads up.”

From the loss, Timinski hopes his team is motivated going into its NJSIAA North Jersey, Section II, Group IV opener Feb. 27 at 5 p.m. at Millburn High School.

“The loss was a big lesson, and I’m proud of their effort,” the coach said about his team.

He was also proud that the team was able to pick up a win less than 48 hours later. The girls defeated Jonathan Dayton High School, 61-53, two days after being bounced from the GMC Tournament.

“It was good to bounce back so quickly,” Woodbridge’s coach said about the win.

Vazquez went off for 28 points in that one, while Brooke Timinski scored 13, Najyah Adams scored 11, and Adams and Joyce Loda dominated the glass by pulling down 26 rebounds combined.

Woodbridge had one more chance to warm up with live action before facing Millburn. The Barrons hosted Union High School Feb. 23. But that break from the playoffs didn’t work so well for Woodbridge. Even though Brooke Timinski knocked down six 3-pointers, Union stomped on the Barrons, 48-33.

Heading into the sectional opener, Millburn (17-6) entered the contest winners of two straight, while the Barrons (13-11) had lost three of four.

Woodbridge’s boys ultimately ran into the powerhouse team from Saint Joseph High School of Metuchen in the GMC Tournament. The Barrons held the Falcons (25-1) to only 48 points in the semifinal game Feb. 22, But they weren’t able to take advantage of St. Joe’s low score. Woodbridge managed only 40 points, laying the path to the second consecutive St. Joe’s GMC championship.

The boys from Woodbridge (19-5) were back in action Feb. 27 when they took on the team from Westfield High School in the first round of the North Jersey, Section II, Group IV tournament.

The quarterfinals are March 1.