SPRINGFIELD, N.J. – New Providence boys’ basketball head coach Art Cattano was as animated as you will ever see him on Friday night at Jonathan Dayton High School.
With his Pioneers trailing by nine at the end the third quarter, Cattano could have screamed and hollered for the full 60 seconds between periods. Instead, he remained relaxed and composed while telling his team to be patient.
What followed was the best 8 minutes of the Pioneers season. New Providence closed the game with an 18-6 run to beat Dayton 45-42.
“That was definitely the best quarter all year,” Cattano said. “A lot of kids contributed, whether it was a couple of minutes here or there, made some big plays. It was a good team effort.”
Four different players scored in the final quarter, no one more than Jordan Morang.
The senior forward put in eight of his team-high 17 points in the final eight minutes, and continuously came through when the Pioneers needed him the most.
Morang scored the first three points in the quarter to pull New Providence within six in the opening minute. Later, after Dylan Thomas tied the game with a free throw, Morang put the Pioneers on top with a shot as he was falling to the ground.
Bryan Joyce and Tyler Curto added baskets to keep the lead in tact in the last two minutes.
Then in the final minute, after leaving the game for a couple of sequences due to a cut on his forehead, Morang sealed the victory with at the free throw line to give New Providence their second win in a row.
“I’ve had those situations and I’ve missed those,” Morang said. “We definitely knew it was going to be a very close game. I knew if it was going to come down to me, I would be able to take the pressure and go for it.”
The Pioneers don’t have time to cherish the road win as they have a rivalry match-up with Gov. Livingston during tomorrow’s Super-Saturday event.
Cattano is not afraid his team will be over hyped from Friday’s win because they’re used to the high energy.
“That’s another great atmosphere,” Cattano said. “We’re looking forward to that. Our kids are fired up and are saying ‘Let’s Play it Now.’ Its’ going to be a packed house, its fun and just a great experience.”
Tip-off is scheduled for 4:30 p.m. from Gov. Livingston High School’s Blue Gym.