BLOOMFIELD, NJ – Facing a size and strength disadvantage, the Bloomfield Bengals fell to Hasbrouck Heights Aviators 48-42 during Summer Basketball League play on Tuesday, July 9 at Bloomfield High School.
It was the second game of the night for Bloomfield, and their lack of energy helped contribute to a fast start for the fresh Hasbrouck Heights squad.
The Aviators were a scrappier, more up-tempo team than Bloomfield’s competition in game one, hitting some long-range jumpers to take an early 18-7 lead less than 10-minutes into the first half.
Hasbrouck Heights, with a noticeable height-advantage down low, maintained an 11-point lead through most of the remainder of the half.
Bloomfield had a second wind kick in with 3-munites remaining in the half, outscoring the Aviators 8-2 down the stretch to cut the deficit to 32-26 at halftime.
The Bengals chipped away at the Aviators lead, cutting the margin to 36-35 just 6-minutes into the second half.
Bloomfield briefly sported a 37-36 lead – their only lead of the game – until Hasbrouck Heights pulled away again 40-37 with 10-minutes remaining.
The Aviators held off a late rally by the Bengals to earn the win, 48-42.
It was the second of two evening games for Bloomfield, who defeated Morristown-Beard 46-36 in game one of the Bengals doubleheader.
There are 20 teams participating in the annual summer league, including Becton, Belleville, Bloomfield, Caldwell, Cedar Grove, Clifton, Elizabeth, Glen Ridge, Hasbrouck Heights, Livingston, Manchester Regional, Millburn, Montclair Kimberly Academy, Morristown-Beard, Newark Tech, Nutley, Seton Hall Prep, Verona, West Essex, and West Side.
In the 2018-19 season, head coach Michael Passero and the Bloomfield Bengals finished 12-13 overall and 5-7 in the SEC Liberty Division.
Under the direction of head coach Mike Cebula, Hasbrouck Heights concluded the 2018-19 campaign at 19-9 overall and 12-4 in the NJIC Meadowlands Division.