North Hunterdon’s Doug Brightly, left, and South Brunswick’s Ryan Moran scramble for a loose ball. This is action of South Brunswick versus North Hunterdon in boys basketball Coaches versus Cancer Shootout at Montgomery High School, January 10 2015 Montgomery NJ. Kathy Johnson/staff photographer BRI 0111Boys BKB SouthBrunswick-North Hunterdon
MONTGOMERY – Between falling behind in a 15-1 deficit to start the game and losing its third leading scorer late in the third quarter with an injury, things were certainly stacked against the South Brunswick High School basketball team against North Hunterdon in Saturday’s Coaches vs. Cancer Shootout at Montgomery High School.
The Vikings though made several hustle plays, stepped up their defensive pressure, and converted a few timely baskets as the prevailed against North Hunterdon, 66-61, in the second game of a six-game slate in which all proceeds raised went to the fight for Coaches vs. Cancer.
“It stings a lot,” North Hunterdon coach Kyle Rehrig said. “They did a very good job defensively of pressuring us and taking us out of what we were doing. Just one of those ones where hopefully we start learning from some of these mistakes that we’ve been making and start getting some of these wins.”
Senior guard Jack Engel scored 16 of his game-high 20 points to lead South Brunswick (6-2) while senior Terrance Wong, who sustained an injury to the knee in the third quarter that forced him to leave the game, and sophomore Mike Ugarte each added 13 in the win.
“It was a very strange game for us,” South Brunswick coach Joe Hoehman said. “We’ve been struggling to put together 32 full minutes of basketball and for a while there, our first quarter has been our best quarter of basketball. And now that we’re getting better down the stretch of games, we started off flat. I haven’t figured it out yet exactly what we need to do to make sure we play a full 32 minutes, but our guys showed a lot of grit.”
The Vikings recovered quickly after their sluggish start, closing the early 15-1 hole to a 20-15 deficit at the end of the first quarter.
North Hunterdon (3-6) was able to take a 32-30 lead into the half, but played much of the second half behind as South Brunswick tied the game on its first basket of the second half and didn’t trail again until Matt Schadel, who scored 14 of his team-high 18 points in the first half for North Hunterdon, put his team ahead 52-50 with 3:23 left in regulation.
After the teams traded baskets a minute later, Jaier Garret’s driving layup for the Vikings off a team-hustle offensive rebound tied the game 54-54 with 1:21 left in regulation as the teams from there held each other at bay, going to overtime.
Offense remained at a status-quo until Doug Brightly, who scored seven of his 13 points in the two overtime periods, put the Lions up 56-54 with 1:36 left in the first overtime.
Ugarte came through though with the game-tying bucket on a drive with 40 seconds left to force a second overtime, where South Brunswick quickly took control as they opened the stanza on a 7-0 run with four Engel free throws and a three-point play from Ugarte.
“We pulled through adversity,” said Ugarte, who scored all 13 of his points in the second half after playing a minimal amount of minutes in the first half saddled with foul trouble. “We’ve been in this situation before. I think it’s gonna help us down the stretch, but the first quarter really put us in the situation.”
Brandon Votek added 16 points and 10 rebounds in the loss for North Hunterdon.
Staff writer Mike Becker: email@example.com