BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ – It was Super Saturday at Governor Livingston High School, as hundreds of Governor Livingston faithful poured in to watch various sporting events of all levels and raise money for the Highlander Booster Club. The highlight of the day, however, was the varsity boy’s basketball game against rival New Providence.
After a close first half, the Highlanders pulled away with a hot start to the third and a near-perfect fourth quarter to put the game out of reach. Senior guard Logan Kelley led the Highlanders with 24 points, 13 rebounds, and 5 assists.
Governor Livingston’s starting five included guards Reid Harrison and Kelley, and forwards Andrew Romeo, Rendyll Moorman and freshman Robert Imbalzano. The first quarter of play was sloppy by both teams, as neither one was able to score until mid-way through the quarter after New Providence sunk a pair of free-throws. The Highlanders led 7-2 after the first quarter, with Kelley scoring 5 of the team’s 7 points.
To improve their scoring after the first quarter, Kelley said “We just focused on moving the ball better and Reid and I tried to get out in transition more.”
New Providence quickly tied the game at 7-7 after a three-point field goal and a contested layup, and looked to have momentum after they went up 10-7. This, however, would be the last lead for the Pioneers, as Kelley responded with a three-pointer of his own and a layup to put the Highlanders back up 12-10. A buzzer-beating jump-shot as time expired by Imbalzano put the Highlanders up 16-13 at half. Kelley felt the Highlanders played well, saying “We played together and smart.”
The Super Saturday festivities included numerous halftime give-aways, including a $500 Apple gift card and a 50/50 raffle with the pot at $8,140.
After trading buckets to start the second half, a Harrison floater put the Highlanders up by 5, matching their largest lead of the game. Kelley sunk a deep three-point field goal to put the Highlanders up by 8, and forced the Pioneers to call timeout. On the ensuing Pioneers possessions, a Highlander steal started the fast-break leading to an amazing fake-behind-the-back layup by Kelley.
Governor Livingston turned the ball over on their next possession, and sophomore Victor Candeloro chased the Pioneer down the length of the court to stop the fast-break and block the layup but was called for a shooting foul, and a scrum ensued, leading to a technical foul for each team. After long discussion between the officials and both coaches, New Providence was awarded two free-throws and Governor Livingston got the ball. A Pioneer three-point field goal with 30 seconds left cut the Highlanders’ lead to 33-24 at the end of the third.
New Providence looked to be making a comeback as they opened the final quarter with a three to put the score at 34-27. After that, however, the Highlanders put the game away as they went on a 12-0 run, highlighted by an emphatic dunk from Moorman, igniting the Highlander crowd. Moorman finished with 8 points and 7 rebounds. Governor Livingston pulled their starters with 1:12 left in the game to a standing ovation, and cruised to a 46-28 victory.
Junior forward Cameron Defronzo explained the Highlanders impressive victory: “Everybody did what they had to do and we were able to click on all cylinders for a blowout victory.”
The student-sections of both schools were noticeably rowdy during the game, often trading comments, and on two separate occasions police stationed at the game for crowd control had to escort a fan from both schools out of the building.
New Providence dropped to 5-6 and look to rebound at home Saturday 1/21 against West Morris.
The Governor Livingston basketball teams defeated New Providence on all levels on Super Saturday: freshman, junior-varsity, and varsity. The Highlanders improved to 5-4 and will take on Saint Mary’s (Elizabeth) High School on Thursday at home.