Hasan And McCleod Shine In Defeat For St. Joseph’s
LINDEN, NJ–While the St. Joseph’s varsity squad is playing up in the Hamilton Park Summer League in Jersey City, the Falcons JV and varsity reserves for next season are getting quite a learning experience by playing tough competition at the Linden Summer League.
Playing the likes of Linden, Paterson Kennedy, Hillsborough, Rutgers Prep, and Hudson Catholic as well as traditional GMC foes in Cardinal McCarrick and East Brunswick, these Falcons are getting plenty of high quality on the job training this summer. While it may not translate into a lot of victories in both Linden and Elizabeth, where they also play, it will have benefits down the road for the Green Birds.
On Thursday, the Falcons took on the Knights of Paterson Kennedy in the finale of the final day of regular season action from the Tuesday/Thursday Division of the 2011 Linden Summer League. It was another tough lesson for St. Joe’s though as the Knights jumped out to a 16-2 lead over the first 6:05 of the contest, and they never really looked back in a 59-40 victory.
Paterson Kennedy never let St. Joe’s get closer than 12 points the rest of the way as they scored 19 points in the first quarter, 16 points in the second period, 11 in the third, and 13 in the fourth. The Falcons tried to show some life with a 9-3 run that ended the third and started the fourth, but the Knights quelled the rebellion with a breakaway layup at the 8:15 mark, and then a steal for a layup attempt that drew a foul and resulted in two free throws for a 53-33 lead at the 8:07 mark of the fourth.
Despite the heat and humidity really making things rough outside, conditions were quite comfortable inside the Linden High School gym, especially if you were sitting next to one of the five fans situated throughout the gym. It didn’t help St. Joe’s though as Paterson Kennedy’s up-tempo, high octane offense wore them down during the course of the contest. The Falcons had five different players score in the game including Salman Hasan, Owen McCleod, Brian Fitzpatrick, and Mike Cintron.
Hasan led the way in a losing cause for the Falcons with 14 points on six field goals including two threes. The soon to be junior also collected three steals and two assists in the loss. McCleod chipped in with 12 points on four field goals including a three, and was a perfect 3 of 3 from the charity stripe while also picking up three steals and an assist. Fitzpatrick added four points along with a steal and an assist, and Cintron contributed with four points and a steal.
For the game, St. Joseph’s got its 40 points on 16 field goals including three treys while making 5 of 7 from the foul line. Paterson Kennedy’s largest lead was 23 points midway through the fourth quarter, and the Knights also led by as many as 22 points on a couple of occasions in the second half. Leading 35-16 at the half, Paterson Kennedy opened the third quarter with a 6-3 burst over the first 4:44 to take a 41-19 lead.
The Falcons finished the period strong though with 9 of the last 14 points as Hasan fed Cintron for a layup at the 3:52 mark, McCleod swiped a steal and drew a foul on a layup attempt that produced two free throws at the 2:26 mark, Fitzpatrick scored a layup off a pass from McCleod at the 1:12 mark, and Hasan hit a jumper as time was running out in the period for a 46-28 Paterson Kennedy lead. Hasan then opened up the fourth with a layin at the 9:36 mark to draw the Falcons within 46-30, but after the two teams exchanged threes, the Knights went on a 10-3 tear over a span of 4:57 to put the game away.
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