River Dell freshman boys basketball team continues hot streak with a seventh straight win

Coming off a hard-fought 48-41 win over Pascack Hills that extended their winning streak to five games in a row, the River Dell Golden Hawks freshman boys basketball team did not have much of a break to celebrate the recent success with back-to-back games on the road at Cliffside Park and Montclair.

The Golden Hawks displayed no lethargy against Cliffside Park as they steamrolled to a 52-26 victory. Aditya Pandya was a force in the middle, registering his second consecutive double-digit performance with 13 points. Ryan Rossig delivered 10 points, and Dylan Gastman came off the bench to add eight points.

On the win, River Dell Head Coach Ben Orth said, "We went out there and jumped out in front early." "We kept the lead and got contributions from every kid along the way, which was great to say." We did an outstanding job executing on offense and ran our stuff well. Defensively we were able to put pressure on them, and I think it was too much for them to handle for 32 minutes.

"Aditya (Pandya) is playing well at the right time and starting to really improve." "It's great to see someone work and work at it and have it come through for him."

"One thing that doesn't come up in the box score for Ryan is he handles the basketball for us and a lot of time the weight is on his shoulders to put us in offense and bring the ball out and make sure we're organized."

"Dylan (Gastman) is one of the smartest players we have period and truly understands what's going on there on both ends of the floor and that's invaluable at times." "He's been coming off the bench and a kind of a glue for us."

Aditya Pandya, on scoring 13 points and recent offensive success, "Cliffside Park decided to press a lot, and our fast-break was working very well." "I got a couple of easy lay-ups running down the floor when we broke the press and got the ball in the middle." It feels good to have people depending on you, and they can rely on you to make those good moves and be a target in the middle.

Brendan Miceli, on the victory, Aditya Pandya, and Ryan Rossig, "Our engine did not shut off after Pascack Hills; we kept pushing and came in assuming it should be a tough game." It's the best feeling in these types of games where you can back off and be confident with the lead and great because every guy on the floor is getting in and contributing."

"Most of the kids on our team range from 5'6 to 5'10; he's around 6'3 or 6'4, and we have someone with length." "He's getting more confident in himself and becoming an all-around great player and can drive, post-up, and finish lay-ups."

"Ryan (Rossig) is a huge part of our team, he has confidence bringing the ball us and for him to hit those daggers always and that's what we need because he can score shooting threes." "He can hit jumpers and a very good driver and finisher and to have someone you can trust on your team is always great."

Moving to the game at Montclair once again, River Dell busted out to a massive advantage before Montclair made a run. However, the Golden Hawks could cruise to the 55-44 victory and their seventh straight win.

In the win, a balanced scoring effort with Patrick Sweeny pacing the offense with 17 points, Brendan Miceli totaling nine points, Regan Joyce netting eight points, and Deacon McGovern added eight points.

Head Coach Ben Orth on the win, "Another game where we had a couple of guys in foul trouble like against Pascack Hills and the kids just stepped up." "Deacon (McGovern) came in and did a good job; Tyler Datz did an outstanding job putting some defensive pressure on and turning defense into offense." Patrick (Sweeny) had 17 points and hit one three, which is an excellent sign for him offensively.

"We jumped out to a 27-8 lead at one point, and they cut the lead down to 13 or 14 at the half." "It was a 10 point battle the rest of the way, and we were able to keep them at bay." We talked about getting outside our bubble and going out and playing at a bigger school in a different county, and the books took it to heart that we're taking our brand of basketball and bringing it there.

Patrick Sweeny, on scoring 17 points, "I was just trusting myself to score and getting into that offensive rhythm." "Driving to the rim has never been my thing because I've always been slow but now starting to use my body and try to get in there and start opening up a new path for me."

River Dell(8-1) returns to action with back-to-back home games at River Dell High School on Monday, January 24th against Ridgefield Memorial with tip-off set for 4:00 p.m. and Tuesday, January 25th against Ridgefield Park with tip-off set for 4:15 p.m. The Golden Hawks conclude a three-game homestand on Thursday, January 27th, versus Bergenfield at 4:15 p.m.

Head Coach Ben Orth on the upcoming schedule and team's performance, "Ridgefield Park is traditionally a very good program under Chris Gaskin for years and that is a match-up both teams always get up for." "It's an old BCSL (Bergen County Scholastic League) America rivalry."

"They've been consistent so far and the effort they bring every game makes me proud as a coach and think it's something that is going to continue because it's a very competitive group and really hates to lose and takes it to heart."

Brendan Miceli on three consecutive home games and message from Head Coach Ben Orth, "To be able to come back home is always great." "Pulling out all three wins could be huge for us before the county (Bergen County Tournament) cut ending at 11-1 and could get us a really good placement and we should have a bye." "We really can't take out foot off the gas and just have to keep going because it's working."

"He wants it as badly as we do, everyone wants a team like River Dell who is not always a top ten seed in the counties advancing but he tells us he has confidence and knows we have the skill level and talent to be one of those teams you don't see often." "He really pushes us to our potential and that's the type of coach all teams should want."

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