BLOOMFIELD, NJ – A second half surge by the Bengals fell short as Newark Tech walked away as champions in the final game of the Bloomfield Basketball Summer League Tournament, 32-28, on Thursday, July 25 at Bloomfield High School.
In the semifinals earlier in the day Thursday, the Bengals rallied in dramatic fashion to claim a 43-39 victory over West Side after trailing by as many as 12 points. Newark Tech punched their ticket to the finals with a convincing win over Verona.
Newark Tech was a far more physical team than the up-tempo West Side squad the Bengals met in the semis. The Bengals got off to a quick 6-3 lead, until Tech embarked on a 9-0 run to take a 12-6 advantage.
Bloomfield closed the gap to 12-11 at halftime, thanks to a 5-0 run as the first half concluded.
Led by eight consecutive points from Andre Dean and Uma Kalu, Bloomfield tied the game 17-17 at the 10-minute mark of the second half. After a Tech bucket, Vernon Lee gave the Bengals the lead for the first time since early in the first-half, 21-19.
The Bengals offense then stalled, as Tech pulled away down the stretch thanks to a 13-4 run, until Dean hit a three-pointer at the buzzer, which was too little, too late for Bloomfield as Tech earned the 4-point win, 32-28.
It was a great summer for the Bengals. Dean, Kalu, Lee, Vinny Torrisi, Chino Anyanwu and Khayne Tucker exhibited strong play this simmer for Bloomfield Head Coach Michael Passero.
20 teams participated in the annual summer league that began June 10. High schools included 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.
After five weeks of regular play in the Summer League, the teams were seeded by record in an elimination tournament. The Bengals defeated Millburn on Monday, July 22 in the first-round, then defeated Becton in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, July 24 to advance to Thursday’s semifinal tilt against West Side.