BERNARDSVILLE, NJ — Although absent the big runs and the breathtaking pace of some of its victories this season, Bernards nonetheless gutted out a 49-41 boys basketball victory over Hillsborough in the quarterfinal round of the Skyland Conference divisional tournament Tuesday night.
The Mountaineers (8-3) now will move on to face undefeated Bound Brook for the third time in 14 days Thursday in the semifinals on the road.
Bernards clung to a 22-20 halftime lead after struggling offensively, especially in the first quarter, when the Mountaineers went scoreless until the 1:39 mark.
Bernards started the second half with a commitment to take the ball inside against the Raiders, with senior Andrew Holmes scoring the first six points of the third quarter on three layups in the first 2:35 of the period. A foul shot by Elliot Dietrich with 4:59 left to extend the Mountaineers' run to 7-0 to open the half and give them a 29-20 lead.
Hillsborough hung around, though, and closed back to within three points early in the fourth quarter. But senior guard James Gurerro scored five straight points off the bench to highlight a 9-0 Bernards run to give the Mountaineers a 43-31 lead with 3:20 left.
Holmes led Bernards with 14 points and Jacob Insler--who had six assists--and Andrew Infusino each had seven points in the victory.