NEWS, SPORTS, COMMENTARY, POLITICS for Gloucester City and the Surrounding Areas of South Jersey and Philadelphia

James B. Cochran, 86, of Hainesport/Bellmawr; Member of the Corvette Club; Served in the Army National Guard
THE STORY BEHIND THE STORY: NJ Ten biggest Tax Deadbeats

WOMENS BASKETBALL: NJCU's Rodriguez, Ramapo's Ventricelli, WP's Renee Wells ...


Headline 2022-23 NJAC Women's Basketball All-Conference Team

Screenshot 2023-02-23 at 21.51.05

PITMAN, NJ --- New Jersey City University junior Damaris Rodriguez (Secaucus, NJ/Secaucus), Ramapo College sophomore Jackie Ventricelli (Sayreville, NJ/Sayreville War Memorial), and William Paterson freshman Renee Wells (Leonardo, NJ/Middletown South) have been named as the 2022-23 NJAC Women’s Basketball major award winners. Rodriguez earned Player of the Year honors; Ventricelli was named Defensive Player of the Year; and Wells was tabbed Rookie of the Year.

Their accolades highlight the 16-member NJAC Women’s Basketball All-Conference Team and were selected based on a vote of the league’s head coaches.

Rodriguez becomes the first NJCU woman to earn Player of the Year honors since Monique Hemingway in the 1988-89 season. A three-time NJAC All-Conference First Team honoree and six-time NJAC Player of the Week this year, Rodriguez led NJCU to its first-ever NJAC regular season title this year on the heels of the Gothic Knights’ first-ever NCAA appearance last season. Rodriguez leads the NJAC in conference-only scoring (24.1 ppg) and conference-only assists (6.8 apg), ranks second in conference-only made threes (2.5 per game) and conference-only assist-to-turnover ratio (1.7), and is third in both conference-only steals (2.8 spg) and conference-only field goal percentage (42.0%). Rodriguez is one of only two players nationally to register a triple-double this year, with her first career triple-double coming in a win over Rowan as she put up 30 points, 14 assists, and 10 rebounds. She is the nation’s leading scorer at 25.0 points per game overall and ranks sixth in D3 in assists (6.0 apg).

Ventricelli, a Week 5 Player of the Week, was a solid all-around player as a sophomore for the Roadrunners this year and earned her first career all-conference honor. The sophomore led all NJAC players in conference-only steals (3.7 spg) and ranks sixth in Division III with 3.9 assists per game overall this year. She also ranked fifth in conference-only scoring with 17.6 points per game. Ventricelli was also among the top 10 in several more statistical categories, including seventh in conference-only assists (2.6 apg), seventh in conference-only free throw percentage (75.7%), ninth in conference-only made threes (1.6 per game), and tenth in conference-only rebounding (6.4 rpg).

Wells blasted on to the scene for William Paterson this season. A six-time NJAC Rookie of the Week, including winner of four straight weekly honors in January, helped the Pioneers to a 10-8 conference mark including big wins over regular season champion NJCU as well as Rowan. She averaged 10.2 points and 5.3 rebounds per game in conference play, as well as 1.9 assists and a steal per game. Wells registered her first career double-double with 13 points and 11 rebounds in a win over Rutgers-Camden in February and hit double figures in scoring in 15 contests this season.

Rowan head coach Demetrius Poles was tapped as the NJAC Coach of the Year for the second time in his career in Glassboro. Poles' squad finished third in the NJAC regular season after a 13-5 mark in conference play. Since taking over in 2019-20, Poles has coached 10 NJAC All-Conference players in just three full seasons. He owns a 60-21 record in his short tenure.