For the season’s first three weeks, Bound Brook High School boys basketball was the Shane Stevens show. On Saturday, the rest of the band joined in.
With Shore Conference foe Raritan tilting its zone to slow the explosive senior, other Crusaders responded to deliver a 56-48 win during the Coaches vs. Cancer showcase at Montgomery. Senior Fred Deensie tallied 19 points, sophomore Anthony Perez chipped in nine and junior Kevin Pacheco added eight as Bound Brook improved to 6-2. Stevens, who came in averaging 26 points per game, finished with 17 and made some key plays late to seal the deal.
“In the beginning of the season I thought Shane was a little more advanced than the rest of the guys, but once these other guys get game experience, varsity experience, in the long term that makes us much better,” head coach Anthony Melesurgo said. “Shane is a good player, but when other guys start stepping up he gets better looks too.”
The Crusaders needed time to get on the same page because Stevens transferred in from Immaculata and Deensie transferred from Franklin, where he played JV last winter. In Bound Brook’s decisive third-quarter run, it was Deensie who did most of the damage.
“The defense was favoring my side, running at me all game,” Stevens said. “We needed an extra player to step up and he did a tremendous job in the third quarter. It was a tremendous help and that’s’ why we got the win.”
Some key late-game stops helped. With Bound Brook protecting a three-point lead and two minutes left in the fourth quarter, Stevens hit a driving layup, then forced a travel. Then Deensie sank a layup off a nice pass from Pacheco and drew a charge on the ensuing defensive possession. Game over.
“In our Somerville and Spotswood games (two one-possession losses), we needed a stop and layup and we could easily be 8-0,” Melesurgo said. “We really stressed making those stops down the stretch. This is a good game to build off.”