BRIDGEWATER, NJ – After falling at home on Tuesday night as a result of a fast start by Franklin, two nights later, the Panthers flipped that script against Phillipsburg.
Alec Whelan and Joey Callari combined for 41 points for Bridgewater-Raritan (2-6), who trailed 5-4 a minute into their contest against Phillipsburg (1-7). Callari then hit the first of his four first-half three-pointers, while Whelan hit the second of his four opening-quarter buckets from down low just over two minutes into regulation.
Leading 9-7 after that shot, the Panthers never trailed again, and this began a burst of nine unanswered points for Bridgewater-Raritan on the way to a season-high 22-point 1st quarter. The Panthers led by double digits most of this contest, which included a lead of 16 points at halftime and one of this same amount with 5:54 to go in regulation.
Behind Stateliners guards Brandon Yale and Josh Borelli, who combined for 20 of their 45 total points in an explosive 4th quarter by both teams, Phillipsburg responded with a 17-7 run to get within six points of Bridgewater-Raritan with 2:15 to go after a Panthers turnover.
But Phillipsburg got no closer, as Bridgewater-Raritan put the game out of reach at the free throw line from there. The Panthers went on a 10-3 run to extend their lead to 13 points with under thirty seconds to play, and despite a pair of late triples by Phillipsburg, the Panthers eventually secured what ended up being a 71-64 victory at home.
While the Panthers went 21-for-31 at the free throw line, Alvin Cheng, who added 10 points for Bridgewater-Raritan, went 7-for-8 at the charity stripe alone in the final period to close it out for the Panthers. Both teams reached the double bonus in the final period and combined for 32 free throw attempts in the 4th quarter.
Phillipsburg, who scored 45 of their 64 points in the second half and 27 points in the 4th quarter alone, made 18 of their 23 attempts at the charity stripe.
But 24 points in the final period by Bridgewater-Raritan to hold off Phillipsburg’s rally, on top of the Panthers’ dominant first half, was the difference on Thursday night.
Phillipsburg 64, Bridgewater-Raritan 71
Phillipsburg: Q1- 9; Q2- 10; Q3- 18; Q4- 27; TOTAL- 64
- Brandon Yale - 24 points
- Josh Borelli - 21 points
- Jeremy Abbott - 8 points
- Michael Gomez - 6 points
- Jacob Takas - 3 points
- Aidan Harkin - 2 points
Bridgewater-Raritan: Q1- 22; Q2- 13; Q3- 12; Q4- 24; TOTAL- 71
- Alec Whelan - 22 points
- Joey Callari - 19 points
- Alvin Cheng - 10 points
- Rishi Mudduluru - 6 points
- Brandyn Vaughn - 4 points
- Mickey Wasko - 4 points
- Sam Cohen - 2 points
- Zach Letts - 2 points
- Mike Pastor - 2 points
The Panthers (2-6) will return to Montgomery High School, where they played two games in as many days over the holiday break, for the Coaches vs. Cancer Classic. 0-2 in these games against Montgomery and Medford Tech, Bridgewater-Raritan will look for a win in their third try at Cougar Gymnasium, where they will take on Voorhees High School to round out the first full week of the New Year.
Tip against the Vikings will be Jan. 11 at 10:30 a.m.
For detailed Bridgewater-Raritan Panthers Athletics schedules and game locations, please see https://bridgewaterraritanhighschool.bigteams.com/.
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