BOUND BROOK, NJ – Bridgewater-Raritan senior forward Mickey Wasko made the most out of his final game and start for the Panthers.
Unfortunately, it was not enough at Bound Brook on Senior Night for the Crusaders.
With Panthers forward Alec Whelan out of the lineup one night after scoring 19 points in a loss at Union Catholic, Wasko scored 20 points for Bridgewater-Raritan (4-22) and fellow forward Joey Callari added 18 points for the Panthers. But with the Panthers taking all of the momentum into the final frame, Tyese Robinson scored 10 of his 17 points for Bound Brook (22-4) in a fourth quarter where the Crusaders opened up with an 11-2 scoring run to pull away on the way to a 75-51 win over the Panthers.
Wasko scored the game’s first four points in the paint to give Bridgewater-Raritan an early 4-0 lead before Bound Brook’s Davy McCarty, who led the Crusaders with 20 points of his own, connected from downtown to put the Crusaders on the board with 6:45 left in the opening period. A split pair of free throws by Wasko were followed up by Robinson’s first jumper of the game for Bound Brook, tying the game at 5-5 a minute later. Wasko then answered in the paint for the last of his seven first-period points to give the Panthers a 7-5 lead, but a 10-2 run by Bound Brook including five more points from McCarty ultimately put the Crusaders ahead for good with 3:45 left in the first quarter.
With Bound Brook up 15-9 at this point, Panthers guard Alvin Cheng got on the board with a tough running shot to cut the Crusaders’ lead to four. But a pair of free throws by Quandir Harrell, who also added a three-pointer for Bound Brook, began a burst of seven unanswered points in one minute for the Crusaders. Callari’s first bucket for Bridgewater-Raritan then came in the final minute of the opening frame for the Panthers, who trailed 22-13 after one period.
McCarty and Harrell scored 15 of the Crusaders’ 22 first-quarter points, and while Harrell was held scoreless in the second period, McCarty continued his hot start.
He opened the scoring in the second quarter after a putback following two offensive rebounds by the Crusaders. This extended Bound Brook’s lead to double digits and put the Crusaders up 24-13 with 7:05 left in the half and began a 10-2 run for the home team. After the last of Wasko’s two second-quarter buckets with 4:48 left in the period and a pair of scores by Callari halfway into the period, Bridgewater-Raritan was held scoreless to close out the half. While Bound Brook only managed five points themselves in the final four minutes of the half, including a triple by Marlon Neal to put the final Crusaders starter on the board with 1:45 left in the second quarter, Bound Brook ultimately led 41-21 at the break.
But the Panthers eventually picked up where they left off defensively out of the locker room.
Although a bucket and one by Harrell, who finished with 14 points for the Crusaders, put Bound Brook up 51-30 just over halfway into the third quarter, Bridgewater-Raritan did not go away. A triple by Callari and a bucket in the post from Wasko, who also hit a three-pointer earlier in the period, gave the Panthers momentum and cut Bound Brook’s lead to 51-35 with 3:30 left in the third quarter. Callari then threw an inbound pass the length of the court and found Zach Letts for a fastbreak layup before Harrell broke the Crusaders’ scoring drought with a critical jumper in the final minute of the period. But a quick answer by Callari at the other end for Bridgewater-Raritan closed out a 9-2 run by the visitors and got the Panthers to within 53-39 heading into the final frame.
It did not take very long for Bound Brook to respond when it counted, though.
Cam’Roh Summere, who added 10 points for the Crusaders, opened up the scoring in the final frame from long range. Robinson then scored eight straight points on four field goals for Bound Brook to cap off what ended up being an 11-2 Crusaders run to undo Bridgewater-Raritan’s scoring burst. With Bound Brook up 64-41 with 3:45 to go at this point, three-pointers each by Callari and Letts got the Panthers going, but an answer from long range by McCarty put the Crusaders up 69-49 just over a minute later.
Bound Brook eventually closed it out from there with a 75-51 Senior Night victory, and four Crusaders starters ended the game in double figures.
The Panthers outscored the Crusaders 18-12 in the third period before the aforementioned 11-2 scoring burst by Bound Brook to open the fourth quarter. Bridgewater-Raritan was whistled for eight of the second half’s first nine fouls in their loss.
Bridgewater-Raritan 51, Bound Brook 75
Bound Brook: Q1- 22; Q2- 19; Q3- 12; Q4- 22; TOTAL- 75
- Davy McCarty - 20 points
- Tyese Robinson - 17 points
- Quandir Harrell - 14 points
- Cam’Roh Summere - 10 points
- Marlon Leal - 6 points
- Bryce Cobb - 4 points
- Donovan Nwenyi - 4 points
Bridgewater-Raritan: Q1- 13; Q2- 8; Q3- 18; Q4- 12; TOTAL- 51
- Mickey Wasko - 20 points
- Joey Callari - 18 points
- Zach Letts - 7 points
- Alvin Cheng - 4 points
- Rishi Mudduluru - 2 points
Bridgewater-Raritan finished their 2019-20 season campaign with a 4-22 record. The Panthers lost 11 straight games to close out their season and scored an average of 47.5 points per game in these contests. Their average margin of defeat in these games was 18 points.
The Panthers will lose four seniors: Cheng, Letts, Mudduluru, and Wasko, following the 2019-20 year. Bridgewater-Raritan went 43-62 in the last four seasons, including a 20-8 record in 2016-17 along with a 9-41 (.180) mark over the past two seasons.
But the Panthers will look to bounce back in 2020-21 with key seniors across rival teams in Somerset County and the Skyland Conference slated to depart due to graduation. Even more, forwards Alec Whelan and Joey Callari, who scored 19 points and 18 points respectively in their final games for Bridgewater-Raritan, are currently projected to return as key starters on both sides of the court.
For detailed Bridgewater-Raritan Panthers Athletics schedules and game locations, please see https://bridgewaterraritanhighschool.bigteams.com/.
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