CHATHAM, N.J. – The high-powered offense attack from the Millburn boys basketball team was too much to handle for Madison in Friday’s opening round of the Cougar Classic.
After jumping out to a 15-4 lead in the first quarter, the Millers cruised to a 54-36 win over the Dodgers at Chatham High School.
Three players scored in double figures for Millburn, as they improved to 3-0 on the year.
“Our transition game, they weren’t ready on how fast we get the ball up the court,” Millburn head coach Roger Blind said. “We got several layups and that was a good way to start.”
The Dodgers had an early 4-2 advantage. However, after a couple of turnovers that led to easy Millburn layups, the Millers saw themselves up 17-6 at the end of the first quarter.
Millburn junior Max Jacobs led the charge with six points in the opening period.
The second quarter was more of the same. Millburn spread the ball around the floor leading to a 35-13 lead at the end of the first half.
Madison head coach Mike Radzieski was not pleased with how the Dodgers opened the game, but was happy with how the Dodgers played in the second half.
“They didn’t give up,” Radzielski said. “I’m more concerned with the way we start games. If you look at the box scores, we have a hard time starting off. Our offense struggles to open games.”
Madison fought back in the second half thanks to the strong play from Kevin Armstrong. The junior guard accounted for 10 of the Dodgers’ 11 third quarter points.
Trailing by 24 in fourth, Madison managed to cut the deficit to 14 in the first four minutes of the quarter. Sophomore Tim Azzolini rallied the Dodgers with six of his eight points before fouling out with three minutes to play.
Once Azzolini left the game, Millburn was able to hit three of the game’s last four baskets to seal the win.
Miller senior Ben Kizel led all scorers with 15 points, followed closely by Jacobs who finished with 14.
Both teams are back in action on Saturday during day two of the Cougar Classic. Millburn will face tournament-host Chatham, while Madison sees New Providence.