NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - Gov. Livingston sophomore Ryan Davey buried a long three pointer with 15 seconds left in the game sending the Highlanders to a thrilling 59-58 victory over neighborhood rival New Providence before a packed gym Tuesday night in New Providence.
The Highlanders, who trailed by double digits in both halves, rallied late with juniors Matt Schuman and Evan Reiner leading the way. Trailing by 10 early in the fourth quarter, Schuman, who scored a career high 16 points, got the rally going with a pair of free throws and a hoop. Reiner then scored 8 of his career high 10 points in a three minute span as the Highlanders erased their second double digit deficit to take the lead.
Down the stretch, Reiner, along with senior Billy Pencek (14 points), came up big on defense with multiple steals which the Highlanders were able to convert to points. With six seconds left in the contest New Providence still had a chance to counter Davey's clutch go ahead three, but a corner jumper was off the mark enabling Gov. Livingston to defeat the Pioneers for the second time this season.
It was an exciting finish, to one of the biggest games of the year, Gov. Livingston Highlanders defeated the New Providence Pioneers, in a game where the Pioneers were in control for most of the game.
It happened in dramatic fashion, as the Highlanders clawed their way back from a sizeable deficit in the first quarter to defeat the Pioneers 59-58, with a game winning three pointer from the Highlander’s Ryan Davey. Davey who only had one field goal attempt, had the most important field goal of the night.
The much-anticipated rivalry game was matched by the number seats that fill the stands. Fans from both New Providence and neighboring Berkeley Heights were in attendance, to witness what proved to be an exciting game.
The Pioneers started the first quarter dominant, outscoring the Highlanders 22 to 9, with Greg Meyers scoring 9 points, with three 3-pointers. Dylan Bedder was an imposing force, playing stifling defense in the paint, as he came away with 8 blocks in the game.
But, after the first quarter the Highlanders began their comeback campaign, first cutting the deficit to four by the end of the second quarter and at the of the third quarter, kept pace with Pioneers, needing only six to tie. By the end of the fourth quarter, the Highlanders had outscored the Pioneers 18-11.
The rivalry game wasn’t the only source of excitement of the night, several notable New Providence residents and students were recognized for their achievements. Senior night was celebrated before tipoff, honoring all Pioneer seniors on the basketball team.
Up next the Highlanders play in a Coaches vs Cancer game as they tipoff against Hillside on a night to celebrate their seniors on Thursday, Feb. 23 at 7 p.m.