VERONA, NJ - The Verona boys basketball team has found their groove following a 66-43 victory over rival Cedar Grove on Tuesday afternoon.
“They played pretty good, everybody is working real hard. We’re shooting a lot better and the defense has been great,” said Verona Head Coach Eric McElroy.
Verona took a dominant lead in the second quarter of the game outscoring the Panther squad by 20 points. Derek Jocelyn, Pierce Coppola, Kyle Malanga and a cast of others aided the group, which only allowed a mere two points to Cedar Grove.
“I just think once we started getting going we got in their head a little bit and we were moving stuff until the game was over,” said Coppola.
Coppola was a key part of the teams game plan on both sides of the ball. Coppola has come on strong lately producing his third consecutive double digit game.
“I’m feeling a rhythm, but I’m also getting good shots because my teammates are kicking it out when they’re driving and giving me the opportunity to take good shots,” said Coppola.
Verona has been playing great as of late with wins in four of their last five contests. In each of the last five games the group, who are often known for defense has produced more than 45 points per game.
“I think we’re more connected and I think we have a really good bond between us and it’s working and we’re really hitting our shots,” said Coppola.
Verona improves to 8-6 on the season while their Cedar Grove counterparts have dropped to 3-11.
Cedar Grove will look to end a losing streak that has hobbled the squad of late. The Panthers will take on a tough Livingston squad on Thursday in a crucial conference game.
The Hillbillies will look to continue their winning path as they will head on the road to Weequahic and West Essex in the coming week.
“We’ve got to go down to Weequahic on Thursday which is going to be tough. Anytime you go down there it’s going to be tough, they’re impressive and will put a lot of pressure on us, but we’ll get back to work tomorrow and get ready for them and see how it goes,” said McElroy.
All photos by Joe Amati.
TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove is an online newspaper serving the Townships of Verona and Cedar Grove. TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove is accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, and is a locally owned news organization serving the community.