Golden Bear girls waiting for season to restart

LYNDHURST – Although the Lyndhurst High School girls’ basketball team lost most of its offensive scoring power from last season, veteran head coach Perrin Mosca was hopeful that the Golden Bears would be a competitive bunch this year.

For five games, that’s where the Golden Bears were. They won two and lost three.

And then the omicron variant of the COVID-19 coronavirus reared its ugly head in these parts, bringing the new season to an abrupt halt.

With the team’s leading scorer from a year ago, 2020-2021 Observer Female Athlete of the Year Carley Martin, now playing at Misericordia University in Pennsylvania, taking her 1,000-plus points with her, the Golden Bears will need to get scoring from other players.

“We were a little spoiled having Carley,” Mosca said. “We knew that if we needed scoring, Carley would just go and get the points. We knew we were going to have a tough time scoring. We have a lot of new girls, so we’re hoping to play more defensively. Every game is going to be close.”

Leading the way is 5-foot-9 senior center Meghan Docherty, who does a lot of the team’s dirty work not found in the scorebooks.

“She plays good defense and gets her share of rebounds,” Mosca said. “We are trying to get her more open looks. When she was a freshman, we didn’t need her to score much. But n

ow we need her to make some shots. And she can hit the three (point shot). We would like to keep her outside, because she can be a scoring threat. But she rebounds well for us.”

Francesca Castagnetti is a 5-foot-6 senior guard.

“She knew that we needed to have a leader,” Mosca said. “I think the seniors all saw it and did it on their own. I think Francesca was a leader on the soccer team, so I thought she could carry that over to basketball.”

Another senior is 5-foot-4 Melony McCormick.

“She can hit a shot for us and help us in certain spots,” Mosca said. “It’s all relatively new to her, so it might take some time.”

Senior Aylin Alburez is a 5-foot-6 forward.

“She can help us defensively,” Mosca said.

Softball star Ella Todzuman has joined the basketball team. The 5-foot-4 senior guard is energetic and adds speed to the rotation.

The team’s leading scorer could very well be junior guard Lexi Augustyniak. The 5-foot-1 guard, also the leading scorer for the soccer team in the fall, has proven to be a solid scorer on the hardwood as well.

“She plays hard,” Mosca said of Augustyniak. “She’s very fast. She’s great on defense and scores points on her defense.”

Freshman Sam Mayer is the team’s point guard.

“She’s been doing a great job for us,” Mosca said. “She’s looking to Lexi to be the scorer like Carley and running the point. I like what I see so far. She was an All-Star in the (Bill Masopust, Jr. Memorial) Lodi Tournament.”

Freshman Aysa Akar is a 5-foot-9 forward.

“She has untapped potential,” Mosca said. “She could be like (former Observer Female Athlete of the Year) Camila Alonso. She can jump and rebound well. She also has a pretty good shot.”

Keira Docherty is a 5-foot-4 sophomore guard and younger sister of Meghan.

“She’s one of our better shooters,” Mosca said. “She has been hitting big shots.”

Jada Amador is a 5-foot-8 junior forward.

“I call her our Dennis Rodman,” Mosca said, referring to the former Detroit Pistons and Chicago Bulls All-Star. “She gets all the rebounds in practice. She’s getting a lot better. I think there’s something there with her.”

Mosca cannot complain about the effort he has been getting from his girls prior to the break due to COVID.

“Effort-wise, they’re doing a great job,” Mosca said. “In honesty, we could be 5-0 instead of 2-3. The problem we have right now is turnovers. We’re turning the ball over too much and that’s leading to easy baskets. We have to take better care of the ball. It’s as simple as that.”




The Lyndhurst girls basketball team is experiencing some growing pains during the early part of the schedule. From left are Alyin Alburez, Ella Todzuman, Francesca Castagnetti, Meghan Docherty, Melody McCormick and head coach Perrin Mosca. Photo by Jim Hague




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Jim Hague | Observer Sports Writer

Sports Writer Jim Hague was with The Observer for 20+ years — and his name is one of the most recognizable in all of sports journalism. The St. Peter’s Prep and Marquette alum kicked off his journalism career post Marquette at the Daily Record, where he remained until 1985. Following shorts stints at two other newspapers, in September 1986, he joined the now-closed Hudson Dispatch, where he remained until 1991, when its doors were finally shut.

It was during his tenure at The Dispatch that Hague’s name and reputation as one of country’s hardest-working sports reporters grew. He won several New Jersey Press Association and North Jersey Press Club Awards in that timeframe.

In 1991, he became a columnist for The Hudson Reporter chain of newspapers — and he remains with them to this day.

In addition to his work at The Observer and The Hudson Reporter, Hague is also an Associated Press stringer, where he covers Seton Hall University men’s basketball, New York Red Bulls soccer and occasionally, New Jersey Devils hockey.

He’s also doing work at The Morristown Daily Record, the very newspaper where his journalism career began.

During his career, he also worked for Dorf Feature Services, which provided material for the Star-Ledger. While there, he covered the New York Knicks and the New Jersey Nets.

Hague is also known for his announcing work — and he’s done PA work for Rutgers Newark and NJIT.

Hague is the author of the book “Braddock: The Rise of the Cinderella Man.”