Point Beach wins Group I boys title, continues to make history

Point Beach wins Group I boys title, continues to make history

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Point Beach wins Group I boys title, continues to make history

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PISCATAWAY

With each victory the Point Beach boys basketball team gets from this point on in the NJSIAA tournament, the Garnet Gulls are making history for the school.

On Sunday night at Rutgers University, Point Beach added a new chapter to its small postseason history as it kept the Group I state championship within the Shore Conference.

Riley Calzonetti scored 14 of his game-high 18 points in the second half and the Garnet Gulls became the new NJSIAA Group I state champion with a 43-39 victory over Dayton High School in Springfield.

It was Point Beach’s first state title in school history in the school’s first and only appearance in the state final. Meanwhile, Dayton played in its second state final in school history after losing in 2011 to Group I state champion, Asbury Park, which also won the 2012 state title.

“They (Dayton) went to a 2-3 zone which really opened up the middle for us to get easy rebounds and offensive rebounds,” Calzonetti said. “It really cleared up the middle and enabled us to get easy buckets.”

Calzonetti torched Dayton (22-6) in the fourth quarter. He scored 10 of 18 points in the final quarter on four field goals and a 2-for-2 showing at the free throw line.

“It was a real low scoring game. Anytime it is a low scoring game, any basket can break the game wide open. We knew that we couldn’t let them get on a run,” said PJ Kineavy, who scored nine points. “If they had put together a couple nice baskets then they could have broken the game wide open. We had to hold them off with free throws at the end.”

In the final 59.9 seconds, Point Beach (28-3) went 6-for-8 from the foul line making six in a row at one point.

Calzonetti started it off with 59.9 seconds left making two foul shots to increase Point Beach’s lead to 39-33. Kineavy then went to the line at 34.8 and 24.6 seconds, respectively, and went a combined 4-for-4 to stretch the lead to 43-33.

“Those free throws were huge. They hit two 3-pointers at the end of the game,” Kineavy said. “If you take away those free throws we made, it would have been a close game and that last 3-pointer could have won the game for them.”

After Kineavy made the last of his four free throws, Dayton’s Elijah Brown nailed a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 43-36. Point Beach’s Dominique Uhl missed two free throws with 11.8 seconds left and then Dayton’s Anthony Cioffi made a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 43-39.

“We didn’t play very well and we didn’t play our best basketball,” said Matt Farrell, who finished with two points. “However, defense wins championships and everybody preaches that. We just wanted to stay together the whole game no matter what happened.”

Now, Point Beach will be the No. 6 seed in the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions. The Garnet Gulls will play Group IV state champion Atlantic City (29-1), the No. 3 seed, at 8 p.m. Wednesday in a TOC quarterfinal game at the Pine Belt Arena in Toms River. The winner of that game gets No. 2 seed and Non-Public A state champion St. Joseph-Metuchen (26-4) on Friday at 6 p.m. at Monmouth University.

Point Beach (43): Kineavy 2 4-4 9, Calzonetti 7 4-8 18, Farrell 1 0-0 2, Yates 2 1-3 5, Uhl 3 0-0 7, Bryant 1 0-0 2. Totals: 16 9-15 43.

Dayton (39): Cioffi 1 4-4 7, Brown 4 0-0 10, Clayton 2 0-0 4, I. Rogers 1 0-0 2, Zaki 0 2-2 2, J. Rogers 6 0-0 12, Medina 1 0-0 2. McTernan 0 0-0 0. Totals: 15 6-6 39.

PB (28-3) 10 10 6 17 43
Dayton (22-6) 10 7 8 14 39

3-point goals: (PB) Kineavy, Uhl; (D) Brown 2, Cioffi

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