STANHOPE, NJ - After four quarters of hard fought, physical basketball, Lenape Valley and Voorhees needed an extra period to settle the score.
Paced by Mitch Palmer’s five points in the extra session, Voorhees outscored the Patriots 10-5 to propel the Vikings to a thrilling, 61-56 overtime victory over Lenape Valley, Saturday afternoon in Stanhope.
“We had lost three games in overtime earlier this season, it was nice to finally get one for us today,” noted Voorhees head coach Sparky Nanni, whose Hunterdon County squad improved to 3-12 on the season.
Lenape Valley (5-11) got off to a quick 7-2 lead in the first quarter, thanks to an effective inside-outside tandem of center Tom Hoyt and shooting guard Dwight Miko, both seniors. Miko lead the Patriots in scoring on the day with 15 points. However, the visitors from Glen Gardner would go on a 22-9 run, lasting well into the second quarter, to open up a 24-16 lead with four minutes remaining in the half.
The Patriots would respond though, scoring the final seven points of the half, cutting the lead to 24-23 after Bryan Galligan’s lay-up following an offensive rebound. A two pointer from Hoyt to give Lenape Valley a 25-24 at the 6:50 mark of the third quarter would spark a wild second half, one that saw four ties and eight lead changes.
Jimmy Fluke, Lenape’s nifty sophomore guard, single-handedly went on a five point spurt (including a top of the key three-pointer) to build a 42-38 lead for the home team after three quarters of play. But a pair of mid-range jumpers from Palmer and Nick Marini to begin the fourth quarter would deadlock the score at 42 all.
With 2:04 remaining in regulation, it appeared Lenape Valley was on its way to victory after taking 50-45 lead following a pair of free throws from Jeremy Nowling. After clawing back to narrow the deficit to 51-49, Voorhees perfectly executed an inbounds play resulting in a back door lay-up for Ryan Wall, tying the score at 51. After a Lenape Valley turnover, a three point attempt at the buzzer by Voorhees’ Aaron Osgood hit right backboard, sending the fray into overtime.
Lenape Valley was hurt by poor free throw shooting in overtime, only converting on one of eight attempts from the stripe.
"We weren’t able to make our free throws toward the end of the game, along with a few mental mistakes that hurt us today,” explained Lenape Valley head coach Dan Healey.
Both teams will be gearing up for the 4th annual Hunterdon/Warren/Sussex Tri-County Tournament, with the preliminary round of the tournament slated to be Wednesday, continuing with the Round of 16 next Saturday. The seeds and matchups for the 20 team tournament have not been selected yet.
The box score follows:
Lenape Valley (56)
Dwight Miko 2-2-5-15, Tom Hoyt 4-0-2-10, Jimmy Fluke 3-1-0-9, John Leyden 1-1-2-7, Bryan Galligan 3-0-0-6, Jeremy Nowling 1-1-0-5, Vin Gallo 1-0-0-2, Ryan Peach 1-0-0-2, Sean Carroll 0-0-0-0. Totals: 16-5-9-56
Ryan Wall 3-2-4-16, Joe Kirk 5-0-1-11, Jimmy Rumen 4-0-1-9, Mitch Palmer 2-1-0-7, Nick Marini 2-0-0-4, Adam Mohamed 2-0-0-4, Kyle Pierson 2-0-0-4, Sam Caffrey 0-1-0-3, Aaron Osgood 0-1-0-3. Totals: 20-5-6-61
Lenape Valley (5-11): 11 12 19 9 5: 56
Voorhees (3-12): 13 11 14 13 10: 61
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