All seasons -- even the very good ones -- have to come to an end at some point. For the South Brunswick High School girls basketball team, the end came on Saturday.
South Brunswick was defeated at Jackson, 50-38, in the semifinals of the Central Jersey Group IV Tournament.
"They definitely had the offense that we heard about," South Brunswick junior Danielle Padovano noted. "They were a good team."
With Hannah Missry (23 points) and Tiffany Montagne (11 points) leading the way, Jackson was able to take a 19-8 lead after the first quarter and build that advantage to 36-15 by the half.
Going into intermission, the South Brunswick coaches and players knew they couldn't do anything about the first half. The only thing they could control was how they played over the final 16 minutes of the game.
South Brunswick had too good of a season to go down without a fight.
South Brunswick played Jackson even (8-8) in the third quarter. It then finished with a 15-6 advantage over the final eight minutes of play.
"In the second half, we just wanted to give our all," Padovano said. "It's been a great season and we wanted to finish strong."
Padovano led South Brunswick with 15 points. Vanessa Perdomo (8 points), Danielle Roberts (7 points), Jackie Harrison (6 points) and Ashley DeGroff (2 points) rounded out the offense.
For the season, South Brunswick finished with a record of 23-5 and won two state playoff games. This was a step up from last season in which the team was 14-9 and won one state game. Fortunately for South Brunswick, it might still have the talent to keep climbing next season.
"It's tough now because it's the end of the season," Padovano said. "We're a big family and we're going to miss each other."
Nevertheless, Padonovano is "very excited about next season."
Padovano finished this past season with an average of 15.7 points and 12.6 rebounds a game. She also averaged about two steals and two blocks a game.
The big graduation losses for South Brunswick are Vanessa Perdomo (4.3 points, 1.6 assists, 1.9 steals and 5.5 rebounds a game), Kelly O'Brien (1.9 assists, 2.7 assists and 5.9 rebounds) and Victoria Jackson (1.6 assists and 1.8 rebounds a game).
In addition to Padovano, South Brunswick will return Danielle Roberts and Ashley DeGroff in the starting lineup. Roberts averaged 10.2 points, 3.7 rebounds and 5.6 assists a game. DeGroff averaged 9.3 points, 2.2 rebounds, 1.2 steals and 1.8 assists a game.
Other returning players are Jackie Harrison (2.5 rebounds and 1.1 assists average a game), Maya Hamilton (3.2 rebounds and 4.1 points), Ashley Berger (2.6 points) and Hailey Hendrickson (1.6 points) and 1.5 rebounds).
"We'll work hard in the off-season and try and continue what we did this year," Padovano said. "We're very excited about next year. We're confident in ourselves that we'll have a great year."
Speaking of this season, Coach Beth Barrio said "it was hard not to get excited because we knew what we had coming back."
Well, feel free to get excited about the 2012-13 South Brunswick High School girls basketball season.