Boys basketball: Kovacevich leads Montgomery over Sayreville

Boys basketball: Kovacevich leads Montgomery over Sayreville

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Boys basketball: Kovacevich leads Montgomery over Sayreville

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SKILLMAN

After scoring 12 first-half points to stake the Montgomery boys basketball team to a 13-point halftime lead over Sayreville, senior guard/forward Justin Kovacevich got very few touches in the third quarter.

The Cougars went the final six-plus minutes of the third without a field goal and their double-digit lead had shrunk to four.

So the Cougars went back to their recipe that worked so well in the first half — they got the ball inside to Kovacevich.

Kovacevich scored the first seven Montgomery points of the fourth quarter and the Cougars pulled away from there, winning 62-47 on Monday afternoon.

The Cougars outscored the Bombers 17-6 in the fourth quarter.

“In the third quarter they took us out of our offense a little bit, but by the fourth quarter I think we got used to their pressure, used to their physicality,” said Kovacevich, who finished with 19 points, nine rebounds and four steals. “My teammates were able to drive and I was just sitting underneath the basket waiting for passes, so my teammates found me down there.”

Sayreville (1-1) led 7-5 early in the first quarter before Montgomery (2-0) closed the quarter on a 10-0 run. The Cougars continued their run into the second quarter and led by as many as 17 as the Bombers’ four-guard lineup had trouble with the length of Montgomery, which at many times had three players on the court 6-foot-3 or bigger.

“We’re a pretty small team so we rely on the 3, that’s for sure, and when we’re not hitting, we’re gonna live and die by the 3,” Sayreville coach John Wojcik said.

The Bombers, though, started to attack more in the third quarter and some of their 3s started to hit. Brian Gay (16 points) and Jehvye Floyd (11 points, 8 rebounds) each scored eight points in the quarter as the Bombers pulled to within four, 45-41, at the end of the quarter after Floyd’s tip-in at the buzzer.

It was the closest they got since trailing 10-7 in the first quarter.

“We have good enough guards where we can attack and I think in the third quarter we did a better job, picked up the defense, made a nice little run to cut it to four, but we just put ourselves in too big a hole and the better team won today,” Wojcik said.

Montgomery lost starter Greg Tarca (10 points) to foul trouble early in the third quarter, while Tim Youreneff (13 points) and Chase Ha were also saddled with foul trouble at different stretches of the game.

“Foul trouble’s really been our Achilles heel through two games, with the type of basketball that we play,” Montgomery coach Kris Grundy said. “We have a tendency to foul a little bit more than we should and that’s what happened today.

“We have a lot of work to do, but I like where we’re at. It’s always good to be 2-0 heading into the break.”

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