Spotswood And Timothy Christian Show Their Mettle Against Ranked Foes In Crossovers On Monday Night
SOUTH PLAINFIELD, NJ–On Monday, there were several interesting crossover games on the schedule. All of them involved either a Blue Division and Gold Division school going up against a Red or White Division school. Classic David vs. Goliath type of stuff. Two of those contests involved division contenders going up against ranked opponents.
Timothy Christian hosted eighth ranked Bishop Ahr earlier in the evening while Spotswood traveled over to second ranked North Brunswick to take on the Raiders. Entering the game on a 12 game winning streak, the Tigers fell behind early to the Trojans. BGA actually held a 24 point lead in the second quarter before going into the locker room ahead 37-16 at the intermission. However, TCS showed some resiliency and battled back with a 22-7 showing in the third quarter, and began the fourth with another run over the first 1:49 to take a one point lead.
Although the lead didn’t last long, the Tigers managed to stay within a possession for a couple more minutes before Ahr began to pull away for the 60-50 victory. Kristian Svendsen poured in 25 points while grabbing 8 boards. He now has a total of 1,228 points for his career. Dan Decker chipped in with 11 points including three treys to raise his point total to 987. Dillon Salva led Bishop Ahr with a double-double of 20 points and 10 rebounds. Four players scored in double figures for the BGA as Kenny Virden chipped in with 13 while Roger Kilgore added 11 and Kevin Douyon contributed with 10.
Meanwhile, over in North Brunswick, Spotswood, which has yet to win a game against the top two teams in its division (Bishop Ahr and Carteret), pushed North Brunswick to the limit before falling in the final minutes. Tied at 29-29 at the intermission, the Chargers opened the second half with an 11-3 tear including a couple threes from junior guard Dalonte Grant to take a 40-32 lead. The Raiders hung in there though, and battled back to take the lead on a 14-5 tear sparked by a score from Dion Rogers, and continued with a three from Iverson Fleming, two free throws from Rogers, and a layup by Fleming for a 46-45 lead.
The Chargers actually had a 45-36 lead thanks to a basket by Jake Dadika, and a three from Corey Brown, but the Raiders scored ten unanswered points to grab the lead. The game went back and forth for a bit as Spotswood scored the next four points including two free throws by Tommy Soulias at the 1:46 mark of the third for a 49-46 lead. North Brunswick fought back again though as Chance Gadsden dished to a teammate for a bucket, and Rogers knocked in a three for a 51-49 edge. However, Dadika ended the third with a traditional three point play for a 52-51 lead.
In the final period though, the Raiders put together a 20-15 showing to get the win. Fleming did much of the damage with 12 points including three treys, a layup, and one of two from the foul line. North Brunswick opened the final frame with an 11-5 spurt over the first 3:26 to take a 62-57 lead. After Grant nailed a triple from the left wing to close the gap to 62-60 with a little more than three minutes to play, NBTHS went on a 7-2 spurt to lead by as many as seven points late in the game at 69-62. The Chargers kept fighting, but couldn’t get closer than four the rest of the way.
Fleming ended up with 18 points on the night along with Shaliek Short, who had a key three himself at the 2:40 mark of the fourth for a 65-60 lead. Rogers chipped in with 17 points to raise his career scoring total to 1,290. Gadsden also scored in double figures with 10 points for the Raiders. Meanwhile for Spotswood, three players scored in double figures led by Dadika with 18 points. Grant chipped in with 17 while Soulias added 10. Brown and Jamal Lewis also contributed with 9 points.
Both the Chargers and Tigers showed that they can compete with the big boys, which will make things very interesting as they enter play in the upcoming Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament over the next two weeks. While Spotswood has a win over non-conference foe Bound Brook over the holidays, it is still searching for its signature win in the GMC. Timothy Christian, on the other hand, got a huge upset by defeating previously ranked Piscataway Tech last week. Those three teams (Spotswood, TCS, and P-Way Tech) are teams to look out for in the upcoming GMCT along with Carteret. Any one of those four are capable of getting an upset or two in the tourney.
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