ROCKAWAY, NJ - The Governor Livingston boys basketball team, coming off their big elimination win over tournament host Morris Knolls, fell victim to a 20-2 second half Ramsey Ram run as they were defeated in the championship game of the Morris Knolls Holiday Tournament, 47-25, on Wednesday.
Gov. Livingston seniors Billy Pencek and Chas DeAngelis led the Highlanders over the two game tournament. Pencek was the leading scorer in the two game tournament and DeAngelis was a defensive force as both were named to the All-Tournament team.
Gov. Livingston quickly came out with a four-point lead in the championship game after a left-handed layup by junior center Liam Wolfe and a floater in the paint by senior forward Chas DeAngelis. However, the Rams were able to come back at the end of the quarter with a sequence of layups to cut the Highlander lead to only one point.
In the second quarter, the Highlanders continued their offensive control, which allowed the Highlanders to carry the momentum and the lead at halftime. However, in the second half, Ramsey unleashed a succession of long-range jumpshots behind the arch. This outstanding offensive display by the Rams enabled them to reclaim the lead in the third quarter and to extend their lead in the fourth. Ramsey finished the game with a total of seven three-pointers and four field goals while holding Gov. Livingston to only seven points in the second half.
Pencek's Career High 29 Points Propels Highlanders to Game 1 Victory Over Morris Knolls:
Within the first few possessions of game one, senior guard Billy Pencek was able to quickly establish his control from the three-point range by draining two jumpshots from behind the arch. However, the Morris Knolls Eagles responded with a three-pointer and a putback on the next two possessions. Despite the fact that the Eagles’ daunting full-court zone press was able to create a series of Highlander turnovers, Gov. Livingston was able to regain their momentum and claim a one-point lead at the end of the first quarter after a dribble-drive layup from Pencek and a buzzer-beater by junior forward Matt Schuman.
The Eagles’ tight defensive play gave way for an Eagle 7-0 run throughout the second quarter. The Highlanders began to chip away at Morris Knolls’ lead by responding with a post move and layup by senior Kevin Keegan, a three-pointer by junior Evan Reiner, and a steal with a breakaway layup by Pencek. Gov. Livingston returned to their locker room with only a one-point deficit.
The third quarter resulted in a back-and-forth battle between both teams. Gov. Livingston and Morris Knolls were both able to string together imposing offensive performances with a sequence of dribble-drives and kicks for outside jumpshots. This deadlock allowed both teams to return to their respective sidelines tied at 29 points each.
However, in the fourth quarter Pencek and senior Tyler Stapleton electrified the court with their three-point shots and ball movement. Gov. Livingston’s domination in the final quarter allowed them to claim a 51-44 win over Morris Knolls and solidify their place in the championship game. Billy Pencek finished with a career high of 29 points.
The Highlanders (1-3) are looking to bounce back next Tuesday away against Oratory (2-0) with a 7 p.m. tip-off.