BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - The Gov. Livingston boys basketball team dominated most of the game against Roselle Thursday evening, pulling past them, 52-46. The victory was secured by fourth-quarter free throws after a Roselle comeback.
Sophomore Javon Reis-Wilson led GL with 20 points, making 12 of 15 foul shots throughout the game, nine in just the fourth quarter.
"Coming out into the first half, we knew that we had to keep pouring it on and not give them any chance to get back in the game," remarked junior point guard Chris Marzo, who dominated in the Highlanders' ball movement and offensive patience, "Unfortunately, we started missing some makeable shots and we let them build momentum to get back in it. Even with this let up, we kept our poise and closed out the game effectively--specifically Javon knocking down clutch free throws to put the game away at the end."
Senior Pat Mahoney, finishing with nine points, opened the game with a foul shot, and Marzo followed with a fast break layup to spur offensive momentum for the Highlanders. GL (5-9) led, 13-7, by the end of the first quarter, aided by rebounds from junior Rob Imbalzano, who finished with eight points.
Roselle (4-9) continued to battle in the second quarter, coming within five points of the Highlanders, 15-10. Reis-Wilson and Mahoney both contributed 3-pointers and went 2-for-2 on free throws to end the half, 29-16.
Gov. Livingston continued to dominate offensively in the beginning of the second half, not deterred by Roselle's tight man-to-man defense. Imbalzano and John Wills contributed buckets to extend GL's lead, 33-19.
Roselle did not contribute their first foul until the third quarter, while GL already had five. Roselle's Andre Williams, added five points in the third quarter, all foul shots. Williams went 8 for 11 on free throws throughout the course of the game, ultimately bringing Roselle to tie it in the fourth.
Toward the end of the third quarter, GL began to lack on defensive rebounds, leaving the post clear for Roselle's agile players to take possession. The score stayed 38-28 for the last three minutes of the third quarter, an offensive rut and tight defense restricting outside shots and looks to the post.
Wills opened up the fourth quarter, making the score 40-30 GL, followed by Reis-Wilson's two foul shots to make it 42-32. Marzo took a charge, and GL maintained possession, battling Roselle's tight press break and finding offensive outlets at half-court.
With the score 42-38, a charge was called on Imbalzano, changing the tide of the game. Roselle took possession and was fouled on a shot. With the and-one, Roselle came out of nowhere to make it 42-40 with just three minutes to go. Their offensive comeback was aided by Williams and Justin Batson throughout the third and fourth. Williams and Batson were Roselle's highest point scorers of the game, finishing with 12 points a piece.
Roselle's Jason Frometa, tied the game at 42. Roselle's comeback came from GL's inability to make outside shots or control rebounds.
Frometa sunk another shot to tie the game again, 44-44. The end of the fourth quarter was dominated by fouls on GL by Roselle, which helped spur the Highlanders to an assured victory.
Reis-Wilson went 2-for-2 at the line to make it 46-44, followed by one free throw from Mahoney to make it 47-44. Reis-Wilson advanced the score with another foul shot, GL leading 48-44.
Mahoney made it 50-44, GL with two more free throws, followed by a Roselle bucket. Javon was fouled yet again. making both shots to secure the victorious final score, 52-46.
Both teams are back in action Friday, Jan. 31. Roselle faces Scotch Plains-Fanwood at home and Gov. Livingston hosts Rahway.
GL: Javon Reis-Wilson (20); Pat Mahoney (9); John Wills (9); Rob Imbalzano (8); Victor Candeloro (2); John Iorio (2); Chris Marzo (2)
Abraham Clark (Roselle): Justin Batson (12); Andre Williams (12); Jason Frometa (10); Khaye Hudeen (7); Dovyan Wane (3); Tyrone Crutchfield (2).