GLEN RIDGE, NJ--While his team is off to a 10-3 start, Glen Ridge High boys' basketball coach Liam Carr knows there's plenty of work ahead.
The Ridgers held off Montclair Kimberley Academy, 51-49, on Jan. 23, for its fifth straight victory and tenth win of the season. The team has already surpassed last season's win total, of eight.
Glen Ridge was scheduled to host Livingston, on Jan. 25, at 11:30 a.m. On Jan. 28, Belleville comes to Glen Ridge for a key conference game, starting at 4 p.m. The team will also find out where it stands for the upcoming Essex County Tournament, as the seedings were to be announced early next week.
Carr was pleased with the win over Montclair Kimberley.
"We have a good with rivalry with MKA," said Carr. "They beat us early in the season (41-35), and we knew this would be an important game. We could very well see them in the county tournament, as well."
The Ridgers led for most of the game and held a double-digit lead in the fourth quarter, before MKA (6-7) rallied back, thanks to an aggressive defense, which forced a number of turnovers down the stretch.
"That's something we have to work on," admitted Carr afterward of the turnovers. "We shot the ball well and got the lead, but we have to put those kind of games away. You can't let a team back in, especially one as tough as MKA."
The Ridgers led 13-9 after one quarter and 24-16 at the half. Glen Ridge extended to a 36-24 advantage after three quarters but MKA rallied with a 25-15 run in the fourth quarter to make it an exciting finish.
Sam Trunley led a balanced Glen Ridge attack with 18 points, along with 14 rebounds, an assist and a steal. Joe DeLuca had 14 points and five rebounds, Michael Cifelli scored 10 points, Bryan Moussako finished with seven and Carter Koenig scored two points. Moussako also finished with five rebounds and Koenig had four boards.
During the 5-game winning streak, Glen Ridge defeated Cedar Grove, 64-40, Arts, 64-45, West Essex, 49-44, Cristo Rey, 48-38 and MKA.
Trunley, Moussako and DeLuca scored 18, 13 and 10 points against Cedar Grove while Aiden Connaghan finished with eight points. Versus Arts, Trunley led the way with 28 points and 10 rebounds while Trunley scored 21 points and DeLuca had 10 in a big win against West Eesex, on Jan. 16.
Trunley had another big game against Cristo Rey, with 18 points and 17 rebounds.
Following the win over MKA, Trunley smiled and said. "a win is a win."