River Dell freshman boys basketball team winning streak hits four after 47-38 victory over Ramsey

After rolling past Westwood 51-32 in the 2021-22 home opener at River Dell High School, the River Dell freshman boys basketball team (5-1) were back in action two days later against Mahwah at Mahwah High School.

Even the quick turnaround did not affect the Golden Hawks as they cruised to a 49-38 win over the Thunderbirds. A balanced scoring attack with Patrick Sweeney leading the charge with 13 points followed by Brendan Miceli supplying 12 points and Aditya Pandya and Ryan Rossig each netting eight points apiece.

Initially slated to face off against Dwight Morrow five days later was scrapped, forcing the team to wait a week before squaring off against Ramsey at Ramsey High School.

The long lay-off did not rattle the River Dell as they emerged victorious in a close battle 47-38. Once again, the Golden Hawks spread the wealth in scoring with Ryan Rossig and Brendan Miceli, each totaling 12 points apiece, Patrick Sweeney providing nine points, and Aditya Pandya adding eight points.

River Dell Head Coach Ben Orth on the win over Ramsey and three-game winning streak, "We're playing pretty well right now, but I think we got some challenges ahead that we got to face before the county tournament." "The defense and team play has been very solid in the last week."

"Against Ramsey, a team we have already beaten this year, and they were missing some guys the first time and had them back for the second game, so that changed things." "We missed a lot of lay-ups, weren't executing in certain points of the game, and was grind away win." The kids fought through it and were shot 8 out of 10 from the foul line in the second half.

"We always talk about playing for each other and playing for the next guy to you, and I think they do a good job of taking that to heart." "That shows with our team defense and how they share the ball." It's been someone else stepping up each game, and nice to see as a coach.

"Ryan(Rossig) had eight points in the fourth quarter and he took over the game at certain points and hit six free throws." "Brendan(Miceli) is really becoming the three level scorer and game by game starting to see him hit a few more shots he wasn't hitting two weeks ago."

Ryan Rossig, on scoring 12 points against teammate Brenda Miceli and winning streak, "I missed a couple of lay-ups and could have had more, but I'm proud of my performance." "I had a lot of good moves and drives and six for six from the free-throw line." I like being on the free-throw line late because I change the game with just a couple of shots.

"He (Brendan Miceli) is the most reliable kid on the court because he can shoot the ball." "Whenever he's open, and his shot goes up, I feel confident he is going to make it." Having him as an option on a kick out or screen is excellent, and he is a threat to the other team most of the game.

"We were all mad after we lost to the Glen Rock game, we wanted an undefeated season but that's kind of tough when you have 20 games, but we said we are going to go on a run." "Everyone is doing really well, easing into the games and not panicking on the court which is helping is win games now."

"We practice every day, run our plays against each other and makes it really competitive like it's a game and shows up in game a lot." "We play great defense, gotten a lot of fast-break points and a lot of steals."

Brendan Miceli, on his recent offensive point production and team's winning stretch, "Personally, driving to the basket has gotten a lot better because I'm just not a shooter." "Being able to get down low and score and finish hard on lay-ups." I have put up more points than I did at the beginning of the season because I figured out more ways to score.

"No one is selfish on this team because we all play for each other." "We treat it like a team sport, and it's all about the five guys out there, and we take it personally." No one wants to let the team down by making mistakes late in the game that could cost us the game.

"All of us have the same grit, we're very competitive people and one of the reasons we have been so good late in a game that when other teams are pressuring us we definitely keep our composure and just keep playing our game."

The Golden Hawks return to the hardwood court on Tuesday, January 18th, hosting Pascack Hills at River Dell High School with tip-off set for 4:15 p.m. Later in the week, a stiff challenge awaits the team with back-to-back games on Thursday, January 20th, and Friday, January 21st at Cliffside Park and Montclair.

"It's going to be a tough week, Pascack Hills is traditionally a very good basketball program especially in our area and league," Head Coach Ben Orth explained. "They produce players on all three levels and it's a game that we're going to have to be ready for and get up for right away especially on our home floor."

Brendan Miceli on the upcoming week's schedule and message from Head Coach Ben Orth, "I think Pascack Hills is our last regular-season division game for the first half of the season so if we end up winning this, we will sweep our division and be huge for us." "I think everyone would rather prefer to play at home but away games are important and shows other team who you are and why you are there."

"He doesn't let us think we are comfortable with a couple of wins in a row and wants us to keep pushing because he believes in us." "He said multiple times he has confidence in all of us and big to hear that from your coach." We need to keep expanding right now, and it's a good record, and we could have a better one, and we don't need to take our foot off the gas and keep going.

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