BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ- After previously falling short 57-56 to the Rahway Indians earlier this season, the Highlanders were in pursuit of redemption this past Saturday. Although Gov. Livingston fell behind in the first half, the Highlanders were able to summon an offensive spark in the second, allowing them to chip away at the deficit. However, despite Gov. Livingston’s valiant attempt at mounting a resurgence, Rahway was ultimately able to stave off the Highlanders in a 38-31 victory.
The first quarter was defined by a back-and-forth struggle between both teams. Due to Rahway’s stifling defensive play and Highlander senior Chas DeAngelis’s resilience on the boards, the first half of the quarter resulted in a stalemate. Gov. Livingston was the first to put points on the scoreboard with a jumpshot from the corner by senior guard Billy Pencek. On the next Highlander possession, senior center Kevin Keegan followed up with a post move and a layup from the block. However, the Indians immediately responded with a series of drives and jumpshots. This Indian 7-0 run forced Gov. Livingston to return the sidelines trailing by one point.
In the second quarter, Rahway continued their dominance on both ends of the court. Gov. Livingston got off to strong start with a pull-up jumpshot from the elbow and layup by senior Jason Coldon. However, the Indians quickly answered with a sequence of dribble-drives and back-to-back three pointers. On defense, Rahway perpetuated the Highlander frustration by creating turnovers and forcing missed shots. This impressive performance allowed the Indians to extend their lead 21-12 at halftime.
Rahway continued their offensive control in the beginning of the third quarter by carving up Gov. Livingston’s defense with a series of short range jumpshots. However, junior guard Tyler Mcculloch provided the necessary spark off the bench to recharge the Highlander offense. Due to Mcculloch’s sharp passes and quick drives, Gov. Livingston was able to string together a 5-0 run at the end of the quarter. This allowed the Highlanders to carry the momentum needed in order to mount a fourth quarter comeback.
In the final quarter, Gov. Livingston was still in a position to stage a resurgence. Mcculloch spurred the comeback by burying two long-range two-pointers to cut the Indian lead to six points. Nevertheless, with the clock winding down, Rahway was able to knock down their foul shots and ultimately hold the Highlanders.
Jason Coldon led the Highlanders with 8 points and 10 rebounds. Junior Tyler McCulloch gave the Highlander offense a big boost with a pair of buckets and a three ,finishing with seven points
Next up, Gov. Livingston (6-8) will be traveling to Scotch Plains-Fanwood (15-1) this Tuesday. Tip off will be at 7 pm