WESTFIELD, NJ— Friday night’s contest between Westfield and Rahway on the boys basketball court proved one of the most dramatic of the season to date when the Blue Devils grabbed a victory 57-52 after a back-and-forth affair.
Westfield’s offensive effort was led by forwards Dylan Elliott and Chris Wright, with 13 and 11 points respectively. The Blue Devils started the game with a 12-3 run and maintained its lead until midway through the early part of the third quarter.
But what looked to be a Westfield rout became a hotly contested fight as an inspired Rahway went on its own 12-5 run to take the lead 40-39.
“We’ve had a rough season, but to play as hard as we did and compete with such a quality team, I’m really proud of the boys,” said Indians Coach Kevin Conroy.
From the third quarter on Rahway, led by guard Jason Peoples with 14 points, and Westfield exchanged leads nine times.
“We struggled a little on the defensive end in the second half,” explained Blue Devils forward Sean Elliott, who complemented his brother’s 12 points with seven of his own. “But the defensive effort at the end was the key to the victory.”
Ultimately, Westfield’s senior leaders led the charge in not only creating turnovers but also making those turnovers into points. In the last minute, the Indians could not atone for the composure of Westfield’s team.
“The team was a little sloppy. We need to shoot better from the foul line, but in the fourth quarter we were able to make the key shots,” said Blue Devils Coach Daryl Palmieri.
With the help of forwards Dylan Elliot and David Kane, the Westfield Blue Devils sealed the victory in order to avoid what would have been a shocking loss. By winning despite the Indians’ motivated efforts, Westfield’s resilience proved that its 7-5 record, sparked by five consecutive victories, is no fluke. They will face Governor Livingston Friday on the road.
For Rahway, the loss was a moral victory, as it demonstrated that they could compete in spite of their 2-11 record.
“We tried hard tonight,” said Rahway sophomore guard Tyshon Price. “We just need to hustle more on both ends.”
Rahway will try to turn its improved form into victory next Tuesday at Scotch Plains.