Shabazz girls rout Haddon Township for Group 1 crown

Posted: March 18, 2014

TOMS RIVER, N.J. - Haddon Township's starting five of Katie Burns, Alayxiah Carr, Sarah Getzinger, Morgan Lenahan, and Bella Preziosi left the Group 1 championship to a standing ovation in the final minute.

The Hawks fans filled most of their half of the 3,208-seat Pine Belt Arena, with the student section stretched back more than 10 rows. They covered the blue bleacher-style seats with the school's red, and they sent off their team with one last cheer Sunday as the season came to an end.

After the postgame ceremonies ended, Haddon Township coach Tom Mulligan made sure his girls came together for a few last team photos before they left the court.

Even though Haddon Township lost the final to Shabazz, 80-49, this was a time to celebrate a season that resulted in a South Jersey Group 1 championship and a 27-3 record.

"It's so hard to get to the [sectional final] and win it, then try to win the next game and get here," Mulligan said. "I know you can't take for granted getting here."

Haddon Township won the sectional title Tuesday against Gloucester, which beat the Hawks in the championship game last season.

"Our big goal was to get to that game and everything past that game was a huge bonus for us," Preziosi said. "I knew we weren't going to win. We kind of knew that going into it, but it was a fun game and we were proud we made it this far."

Shabazz (31-1), which competed in Groups 2 and 3 before this season, won its seventh straight state championship behind 19 points from Georgia Tech recruit Zaire O'Neil.

Shabazz 19 24 18 19 - 80

Haddon Township 8 15 9 17 - 49

S: Rukiya Abdullah 7, Altiliyah Butler 4, Doniyah Cliney 15, DeAshia Jones 14, Ivana Negron 16, Zaire O'Neil 19, Naquaisha Rattray 3, Acestra Robinson 2.

HT: Katie Burns 1, Alayxiah Carr 18, Morgan Lenahan 15, Bella Preziosi 15.

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