GMC Summary–Sayreville Comeback Try Falls Short Against Arts, 50-45

Bombers Dig Too Deep a Hole in Loss to Jaguars; Fall to 2-4 at Kean

Sayreville’s Opeolwa Olaloko seen here dribbling down low against a Newark Arts defender in the second half, was a bright spot for the Bombers in the 50-45 loss to the Jaguars at the 2016 Kean Spring League on Monday night.

UNION, NJ–There simply wasn’t enough time for Sayreville. Trailing 28-14 at the half, and 38-26 with 8:45 remaining, the Bombers rallied with a 19-12 finish, but it was too little, too late as Newark Arts won the game, 50-45. The Bombers fell behind early as the Jaguars from the Super Essex Conference, scored the first eight points of the contest, and then led 13-2 with just under eight minutes gone by in the first half.

Sayreville would battle back with an 8-3 spurt that consisted of four points from Olaloko and four from junior big man, Jahsim Floyd. The Bombers, who got their only points of the game early on a transition layup from guard Mike Gray, got a layup from Olaloko and a tap in from Floyd over a span of 2:45 to close the gap to 14-6 at the 9:19 mark. Then, over the next 2:09, the frontcourt duo struck again as Floyd made one of two from the line, and Olaloko netted a three from the left corner to pull the Bombers within a couple of possessions at 16-10.

Sayreville was unable to get any closer though. After Arts called a timeout at the 5:58 mark, the Jaguars scored five straight points including a layup and a three in just 54 seconds to take a 21-10 lead with a little more than five minutes remaining in the first half. Newark Arts then closed out the half by scoring 7 of the last 11 points for a 28-14 halftime lead. The Jaguars finished the half on a 12-4 tear with the Bombers scoring only one field goal during the last 5:58 of the half. Gray had two of the four points for the Bombers with a pair of free throws late in the half.

The Bombers started the second half with a lot of promise. Led by Olaloko, Sayreville scored 9 of the first 13 points over a span of the initial 7:41 of the second half to close the gap to 32-23. Olaloko highlighted the run by getting to the line twice and making 3 of 4 free throws. Once again though, Sayreville was unable to sustain the momentum as Arts scored 6 of the next 9 points over a span of 3:34 to go back up by a dozen at 38-26 with 8:45 remaining. Using some full court pressure, Bombers then rallied with 19 of the last 31 points of the game starting with a 7-2 run over the next 3:45. Gray capped the run with a three from the right wing at the 4:30 mark.

Arts was able to slow the Bombers down though as the Jags didn’t let them get any closer than 7 or 8 points until the final seconds when Zac Kaczmarek netted a jumper from just inside the arc on the left side of the key to make it a 50-45 game with 5.7 seconds to play. Newark Arts then ran out the clock for the five point win. With the loss, Sayreville dropped its second straight, and fell to 2-4 overall at Kean this spring. The Bombers were back in action against Watchung Hills on Wednesday. The playoffs start next Monday with opening round and quarterfinal round games.

DID YOU KNOW? The head coach at Newark Arts is Vernon Freeland, who has had a long career coaching in the high school and even college ranks. Freeland, who has had a previous stint at Arts, has also coached at Marist in Bayonne and Newark Westside, served as an assistant coach at Middlesex County College during the early 2000s under Matt Shoban.