SUMMIT, NJ - The Governor Livingston Highlanders boys’ basketball team got back in the win column Tuesday night after a 61-55 win over the division rival Summit Hilltoppers.
Governor Livingston is now 4-4 while Summit drops to 6-5.
Senior guard Javon Reis-Wilson poured in a game-high 30 points while fellow senior Jack Davey chipped in with 13.
Governor Livingston head coach Chris Loeffler got his first taste of coaching in a tough environment like Summit.
“This is a tough place to play which makes tonight’s win even better,” Loeffler said. “I thought we were very patient on offense and did a good job adjusting to the different looks Summit gave us tonight.”
As for Reis-Wilson, to say the crafty guard has been on a hot streak this season is an understatement and that streak continued Tuesday night.
Reis-Wilson scored nine of his team’s 13 first quarter points with two more coming early in the second quarter when the Highlanders lead went to six.
“What a tool to have!,” Loeffler said in reference to Reis-Wilson. “For a coach like myself who’s in his first year to have a point guard like that is awesome.”
“Javon’s all-around game, both offensively and defensively, was on full displaytonight.”
In addition to his nscoring, Reis-Wilson made a concerted effort to keep his teammates involved tonight.
If a few of his passes hadn’t corralled off teammate’s hands, Governor Livingston’s early lead could’ve been more.
Down 19-13, the Hilltoppers began to capitalize on Governor Livingston’s turnovers.
The Hilltoppers pride themselves on getting the ball up the court as fast as possible in transition and turnovers by the Highlanders in the second quarter played right into the Hilltoppers’ hands.
Summit’s 19-2 run to end the first half was built on using strong on-ball defense to force turnovers. Summit’s ability to finish in transition along with Govenror Livingston’s going a bit cold on offense spelled trouble for the Highlanders.
“Summit’s system of getting the ball quickly up the court works,” Loeffler said. “And there were times in the game when our guys weren’t getting back on defense.”
“There were too many instances tonight where we had one or two guys who weren’t getting back. I really had to challenge our guys at halftime to be better in that area.”
It took a while in the second half for the Highlanders to get the mojo they displayed early in the game back. Summit used a 7-2 run to take a 36-27 lead early in the second period and seemed to be pulling away.
Thankfully for the Highlanders, it was at that point that Davey began to assert himself offensively. Davey scored six of his 13 points in a 15-6 Governor Livingston run that allowed his team to regain the lead at the end of the third quarter.
“Jack was really good tonight not only offensively but defensively,” Loeffler said. “His on-ball defense was great tonight. And as for Jack’s offense, he changes the team when he turns it on like that offensively.”
Once Davey got going offensively, the Highlanders never trailed again.
After Summit tied the game at 47 in the fourth quarter, the Highlanders went on a 14-4 run to clinch a much-needed victory.
Reis-Wilson took over once again in the fourth quarter and benefited greatly from another presence offensively such as Davey. “When Javon’s teammates started getting involved more offensively in the second half, it really turned him loose even more.”
“But once again I thought we were very patient on offense and for the most part, did a good job of not forcing the issue.”