The 8th-grade Bloomfield girls basketball team won the 2012 Jamie Bliss Holiday Tournament this weekend.
The Bloomfield Eighth Grade Girls Suburban Essex Basketball beat out West Caldwell 29-17 in the tournament's championship game in Caldwell on Saturday.
The Bloomfield girls defeated West Orange 43-31 and Belleville 45-20 last Thursday on their way to the championship.
The final game was close throughout. Going into halftime, Bloomfield was up 8-6, led by Nayla Hill with 5 points.
Bloomfield came out in the second half with a quick 6-0 run on Grace Cannon's floor leadership and key fast break lay-ups.
West Caldwell started the fourth quarter with some timely baskets to get back into the game. But Bloomfield's tough defense led by Jalia Santos and Hill, along with a timely 3 pointer by Alivia Alston and clutch free throws from Cannon, put the game out of reach as time wound down.
Cannon led all scorers with 9 points, and was named the Bliss Tournament MVP while making the All Tournament team, with 31 points total.
Hill finished with 8 points, with Alston adding 5. Santos played the role of defensive stopper with countless steals and rebounds and ignited many of Bloomfield’s fast breaks.
Though not available for the championship game, Amanda Ayala was a key contributor to Bloomfield reaching the finals, with 16 combined points in the previous two games. Santos and Alston finished the tournament with 17 and 16 points, respectively, in the three games.
Other strong contributions came from: Kasey Coury, who was strong on the boards; 10 points from Ashley Montijo; 9 points from Genesis Collins; 9 points from Uchechukwu Okoh; and 7 points from Amanda Vazquez.
The Bengals (2-0) upcoming schedule will be agsinst Nutley, West Caldwell, Orange and Glen Ridge.