It's not incredibly unusual for two siblings to face off against each other in a high school game. After all, there's no law that states two children who share the same parents have to attend the same school. Still, a sister facing off against a team coached by her sister? That's quite a bit more rare.
Somehow, that was the scenario that unfolded in New Jersey on Wednesday, where the West Morris (N.J.) Central High girls basketball team knocked off Morristown (N.J.) High, 76-42. One of West Morris' leading scorers was sophomore forward Brielle Kelly, who dropped in a whopping 17 points against a team coached by her older sister, Tara Kelly.
As profiled by the Newark Star-Ledger, the Kelly sisters fit into a rare niche; the two are just far apart enough in age to make their different stations in life plausible, but not too far apart to make living under the same roof awkward. In her second high school season, Brielle is walking directly in the path once trod by Tara, who was a key part of the West Morris' Morris County Tournament championship team during her senior season in 2007.
Now, after graduating from Farleigh Dickinson in the spring, Tara is leading Morristown and living in a room directly across a small hallway from one of West Morris' leading scorers. Somehow, that hadn't been an awkward situation until Wednesday night, when it finally sunk in that Tara was going to have to game plan for stopping her sister.
"It was a little weird,'' Tara Kelly told the Star-Ledger. "We were looking at each other and talking before the game, but once it started we both got over it pretty quickly and went right to business. But our parents were there, my dad was videotaping and loving it, our grandma and lot of other friends all came to see us. It was all good and fun."
Clearly it was even more fun for Brielle, who admitted she might even bring up a reminder of the final score in the weeks to come.
"It was a great experience," Brielle said. "And since her room is next to mine, I might have to remind her again."