Late First Half and Second Half Surges Propel Jayhawks to Victory
|Bishop Ahr’s Sean Kudelka shown here contesting a shot against New Brunswick at the Odie Page Summer League on Thursday night, was back at it again with the Central Jersey Jayhawks at the Raritan Bay Summer League on Friday night. Kudelka along with teammate Kieran Hodder blocked numerous shots in the first half to set the tone for a Jayhawks 48-38 victory over Roselle at the Raritan Bay Summer League.|
SOUTH AMBOY, NJ–After soundly defeating the Tigers of East Brunswick Tech in the opener of the Friday quadrupleheader at the 2016 Raritan Bay Summer League, the Central Jersey Jayhawks returned to action against Roselle in the 7:30 PM game. Over the first 7:11 of the game, both teams defenses played well with each team only scoring a basket during that stretch. The Jayhawks would break away from the 2-2 deadlock with a 22-9 surge for the balance of the first half for a 24-11 lead.
Roselle would rally back with a 20-9 outburst of its own over the initial 10:59 of the second half to pull within two at 33-31 with a little over nine minutes to play. Fortunately, the Jayhawks were able to prevail thanks to the clutch play of Derek Astarita and Alex Santiago that spearheaded a 15-7 spurt the rest of the way for a 48-38 victory. Sean Kudelka and Kieran Hodder led the charge on defense with numerous blocked shots, especially early on in the contest.
Points were a little hard to come by early on. The Jayhawks took a 2-0 lead at the 17:05 mark thanks to a layup from Alex Santiago off a blocked shot by the Jayhawks defense. Roselle would eventually tie the game up at 2-2 on a drive in from the left side through a crease in the Jayhawks defense for a layup at the 15:22 mark. Neither team would score for over the next two and a half minutes as Kudelka and Hodder kept Roselle off the scoreboard with a number of blocks.
Finally, the offenses got going again as the Jayhawks went ahead by a score of 5-2 on a Kudelka three from the left side with 11:40 to go in the half. After a score by Roselle closed the gap to 5-4, the Jayhawks reeled off the next four points as Kudelka fought off a double team to score from the left low block, and then Hodder added a score with a layup off a Astarita steal at the 10:04 mark for a 9-4 lead. Hodder then added a layup from the left low block at the 8:27 mark, and a traditional three point play with 7:14 left to cap a 12-4 spurt for a 14-6 lead.
Kudelka got into the act again by scoring a basket as he is fouled with 4:45 to play in the half, and then he got an offensive rebound off the missed bonus free throw, which led to a pull-up jumper from Santiago that gave the Jayhawks a 18-8 lead at the 4:26 mark. The Jayhawks didn’t stop there as they scored 6 of the last 9 points of the half including one of two from the line by Astarita at the 3:14 mark, a three from Hodder with 2:46 to go in the half, and then after a three by Roselle closed the gap to 22-11 at the 2:26 mark, Hodder scored again on a short hook in the paint for a 24-11 lead at the intermission.
Roselle would battle back though at the start of the second half. The Runnin’ Rams scored 8 of the first 10 points over a span of 3:01 to narrow the deficit to 26-19 with just under 17 minutes to play. Highlighting the rally was a couple scores in the first 55 seconds of the half including a jumper at the 19:05 mark, and then two free throws and another score. Santiago did his part to keep the Jayhawks in front though by scoring on a reverse layup off a baseline drive from the left side at the 18:47 mark, and a three from the right corner with 16 minutes to play for a 29-19 lead.
The two teams would exchange scores over the next 2:10 as Roselle got a score at the 14:35 mark to pull within single digits again, and Hodder scored on a putback at the 13:50 mark to put the Jayhawks back up by ten. The Runnin’ Rams then scored 10 of the next 12 points including a three from the right wing at the 10:45 mark, a drive down the right lane for a layup with 9:56 left, and then another layup at the 9:01 mark to pull within two at 33-31. Roselle was unable to get any closer the rest of the way though as the Jayhawks pulled away for the win.
Santiago ignited what would by a 15-7 tear with a layup at the 8:40 mark for a 35-31 lead. The Jayhawks followed that score by scoring 5 of the next 6 points including a transition layup by Astarita for a 40-32 lead with 6:21 to play. After a layup at the 5:59 mark, and a pull-up jumper off the break at the 4:45 mark pulled Roselle within four at 40-36, the Jayhawks scored 8 of the last 10 points including two free throws by Santiago at the 2:56 mark, a layup from the right side by Astarita with 1:26 remaining, and then a bank shot in the paint by Eric Sokolowski with 47.3 seconds left to wrap up the 48-38 win.
The Jayhawks will finish out their summer at Raritan Bay with a game against the Jersey Shore Breakers at 6:30 PM on Tuesday, July 26th while Roselle had a second game on Friday night against Union Catholic.