WESTFIELD, NJ — The Westfield High School boys varsity basketball team fought hard Tuesday afternoon to beat Abraham Clark of Roselle, 68-62, in a nail-biting finish.
Blue Devil Sophomore Parker Hess led the team, scoring 15 points and putting up strong defense throughout the entire game. Chris Boutsikaris and David Kane were also among Westfield’s leading scorers, largely contributing to the team’s win.
Ram Tyler Crutchfield led the Rams by scoring 20 points, followed by his teammate Andre Williams, who scored 13 points, but ultimately they were unable to seal the win.
In the beginning, Clark took the lead, but Westfield soon came back when a three-point shot by Sean Elliot tied the game 11-11. The Blue Devils gained and maintained a solid lead over the Rams. Control of the ball remained equal on both sides.
“Character was tested,” said Westfield Head Coach Daryl Palmieri “I’m proud of the way that they came back and fought.”
The gap closed between the two teams after Clark’s Tyrone Crutchfield shot a three-pointer, giving them the lead 46-45. For the rest of regulation time, the ball went back and forth between teams. Each kept close tabs on the other and the score remained tied at 54-54.
When Westfield senior Dylan Elliot was fouled with five seconds left, he capitalized on the opportunity by successfully executing both shots, only to see those answered by Clark, bringing the game into overtime.
Throughout overtime, both teams fought hard to maintain the lead. Many fouls were called on behalf of both teams, but end the end Westfield had more luck at the free throw line than Clark.
“We played much better defense in the second half, but they basically scored from the foul line.” said Rams coach Michael Smith.
In double overtime, the Blue Devils proved they could maintain their stamina and widened the score gap between them and Clark, finishing with a score of 68-62 that required heavy defense to hold back the hungry Rams from coming back.
Up next, the Rams will face St. Mary’s on January 15 at St. Mary’s. Westfield will challenge rival Scotch Plains-Fanwood at Scotch Plains-Fanwood on Jan. 17.