BRIDGEWATER, NJ – Prior to their Senior Night crosstown matchup against Immaculata, five seniors of Bridgewater-Raritan were recognized on their home floor. Panthers guards Zach Letts (#3) and Alvin Cheng (#1) in addition to forwards Rishi Mudduluru (#23) and Mickey Wasko (#32) represented the four Panthers players of the Class of 2020. Bridgewater-Raritan senior Alex Radha, who has helped out with the team’s film, also received recognition along with his fellow Panthers classmates to a big and well-deserved ovation from the most packed crowd of the entire 2019-20 season.

With both Bridgewater-Raritan and Immaculata only a two-mile drive apart and it being Senior Night on the Panthers’ home court, the stage was set for a highly-anticipated showdown. But the red-hot visitors blew the game open in the final ten minutes to secure the win.

Immaculata (17-4) overcame a late third-quarter surge by Bridgewater-Raritan (4-18) by exploding for a 21-9 scoring run in 5:22 spanning the final two frames of regulation. 40 combined points from Spartans starters Jaden Honis, Xavier Harris, and Jordan Myers along with 24 points from behind the arc overall were the difference in a 75-52 victory over the Panthers.

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For Bridgewater-Raritan, Cheng opened the game’s scoring and what ended up being 28 combined points for the Panthers seniors. After a three-pointer by John Mallory two minutes into the contest put Immaculata on the board, a bucket from down low by Panthers forward Alec Whelan gave Bridgewater-Raritan a 4-3 lead with 5:40 left in the first quarter.

But the Panthers did not lead for long, as a 15-1 run by the Spartans over the next four minutes put Immaculata in front for good.

While Whelan hit in the post for Bridgewater-Raritan in the closing seconds of the opening period, the Panthers found themselves down 18-7 at the end of the game’s first eight minutes. Wasko also got on the board in the first quarter to put two of the Panthers’ four seniors on the board, and Mudduluru soon followed suit from under the rim after a three-pointer from Immaculata’s Isaiah Honis. With the Spartans leading 23-9 two minutes into the second quarter, Myers, who had eight points at that moment, picked up his second foul in a game that saw lots of whistles. Bridgewater-Raritan attempted to take advantage of Myers’ absence from the floor for the visitors, but came up empty despite their resulting trips to the charity stripe.

With Immaculata up 29-14 with 2:16 left in the half, Letts then capped off a quick 5-0 Panthers burst with a bucket and one for Bridgewater-Raritan to put all four seniors on the board on Senior Night. The Panthers ultimately scored seven of the half’s final nine points to cut Immaculata’s lead to 31-21 at the break. While they only shot 9-for-16 (56%) at the charity stripe at the first half, Bridgewater-Raritan had the momentum heading into the third quarter.

Timely threes for Immaculata, including a pair from well behind the arc for Jaden Honis, were the difference in keeping the Spartans ahead by double digits in the third quarter. These seemed to stop every burst by Bridgewater-Raritan in the period, and the Panthers got no closer than 11 points behind Immaculata. With the Spartans leading 44-33 with 2:37 left in the third quarter, a buzzer-beating three to close out the period capped off an 11-4 run for Immaculata, who extended their lead to 55-37 going into the final frame.

What ended up being a 21-9 run overall extended Immaculata’s lead to 65-42 with 5:15 to go, including a 10-5 Spartans advantage to open the fourth quarter. The visitors closed it out from there on the way to what ended up being a 75-52 loss for Bridgewater-Raritan.
Whelan added 10 points for the Panthers in their loss.

SCORING:
Immaculata 75, Bridgewater-Raritan 52
Immaculata: Q1- 18; Q2- 13; Q3- 24; Q4- 20; TOTAL- 75

  • Jaden Honis- 15 points
  • Xavier Harris- 13 points
  • Jordan Myers- 12 points
  • Devin Pombo- 7 points
  • Pelton Esannason- 5 points
  • John Mallory- 4 points
  • Darren Tuck II- 4 points
  • Davis Adams- 3 points
  • Sean Givens- 3 points
  • Dylan Hayes- 3 points
  • Isaiah Honis- 3 points
  • Josh Williams- 2 points
  • Thomas McGuire- 1 point

Bridgewater-Raritan: Q1- 7; Q2- 14; Q3- 16; Q4- 15; TOTAL- 52

  • Zach Letts- 12 points
  • Alec Whelan- 10 points
  • Rishi Mudduluru- 9 points
  • Joey Callari- 5 points
  • Alvin Cheng- 5 points
  • Arya Trivedi- 3 points
  • Mickey Wasko- 3 points
  • Mike Pastor- 2 points
  • Brandyn Vaughn- 2 points
  • Gio Nazareno- 1 point

NEXT UP:
One more home games remain for Bridgewater-Raritan (4-18) before their regular-season finale at Bound Brook on Feb. 27. The schedule below is subject to due to the upcoming Somerset County Tournament; please keep checking the below linked schedule for official information about updated games and/or times as necessary.

A Somerset County Tournament game against opponent TBD may take place for Bridgewater-Raritan as soon as Feb. 13.

For detailed Bridgewater-Raritan Panthers Athletics schedules and game locations, please see https://bridgewaterraritanhighschool.bigteams.com/.

Follow him on Twitter (@MrOlivola) for live updates during game days and all things related to Bridgewater-Raritan Panther Athletics. Like The BReeze on Facebook and follow The BReeze on Twitter (@TheBReezeTAP).