SKILLMAN, NJ – Not even 24 hours after their 57-43 loss at Montgomery, Bridgewater-Raritan returned to Cougar Gymnasium to take on the Jaguars of Medford Tech to close out the 2019 Cougar Holiday Classic.
The Panthers seemed to put their loss to the Cougars behind them, winning the first and second periods for the first time in 2019-20 on the way to a 31-29 halftime lead over Medford Tech.
But the Jaguars came roaring out of the locker room to deny the Panthers their first win of 2019-2020.
Medford Tech held Bridgewater-Raritan (0-4) to three field goals in the 3rd quarter, and while the Panthers improved their scoring output to 14 in the final period, the Jaguars doubled that and went 12 for 13 at the free throw line in the 4th quarter to pull away. Seven of these made free throws came from Jaguars guard Tyler Jernigan, who lead all scorers with 25 points, as Medford Tech ultimately outscored the Panthers 47-22 in the second half on the way to a 76-53 win over the Panthers.
Rishi Mudduluru scored a season-high 15 points for the Panthers, including on a pair of three pointers in the 1st quarter. His first of the period from long range tied the game at 5-5 just two minutes into regulation, while his second and a pair of free throws by Alec Whelan, who led Bridgewater-Raritan with 22 points, capped off a 9-3 run to put the Panthers up 14-8 with 4:19 to go in the opening period.
Those were actually the final points of the quarter for the Panthers, but Bridgewater-Raritan’s defense kept them in front when the buzzer sounded.
Jernigan, who scored his first of three from long range to open the contest, forced a turnover and scored in transition for Medford Tech before a bucket and one from Cameron Downs cut the Panthers’ lead to 14-13 with 2:45 to go in the 1st quarter. Those two field goals were the final points of the 1st quarter, as the score stood at 14-13 in favor of Bridgewater-Raritan at the end of the period.
Joey Callari opened the 2nd quarter with the first of his four buckets from down low before Medford Tech tied the game at 16-16 not even a minute into the period on a three pointer by Yasir Fowler. Jaguars point guard Nick Powell then found Downs in the paint in traffic for an easy bucket from down low, but Whelan answered at the other end to score the first of his nine second-period points.
Leading 19-18 with 5:55 to go in the half, Mudduluru and Whelan scored six of the game’s next eight points in a span of two minutes, but the first of two second-quarter triples from Medford Tech’s Jeremiah Armstead cut Bridgewater-Raritan’s lead to 25-23 with 3:35 left in the half.
After a turnover at midcourt a minute later, the Jaguars then took a one-point lead on a bucket and one from Jernigan, and Armstead’s second three-point bucket then put Medford Tech up 29-26 with just over two minutes to go in the half. Bridgewater-Raritan then scored the final five points of the period on a pair of field goals by Whelan to take a 31-29 over Medford Tech at the break.
But Medford Tech caught fire out of the locker room, as the Jaguars scored five of the first seven points of the 3rd quarter to take a 34-33 lead over Bridgewater-Raritan a minute into the period. The Jaguars remained in front for the rest of the contest, and two long jumpers from Jernigan extended Medford Tech’s lead to 39-33 before timeout was called with 5:44 to go in the 3rd quarter.
Downs then sunk a pair of free throws for Medford Tech with 4:45 to go in the period to cap off a 12-2 scoring run for the Jaguars before Whelan got the Panthers back on the board. This bucket cut the Jaguars’ lead to 44-37 with just over three minutes left in the 3rd quarter. Back-to-back field goals by Downs then extended the Jaguars’ lead to 11 before a pair of free throws by Mudduluru got Bridgewater-Raritan to within 48-39 with 1:49 to go in the period.
Both teams did not score again in the 3rd quarter, but a bucket by Callari following a pair of scores from each team to open the 4th quarter kept Medford Tech’s lead at eight points with 5:59 to go.
But Medford Tech pulled away in these final six minutes of regulation.
Leading 52-44, the Jaguars then closed the game out on a 21-9 run in a period where they attempted 13 free throws and made 12 of them. Jernigan alone went 7-for-8 at the charity stripe in the final period to cap off his game-high 25-point performance for Medford Tech, who ultimately won by a final score of 76-53.
With the loss, Bridgewater-Raritan fell to 0-4 to close out the 2019 portion of their 2019-2020 regular season. In these four losses, the Panthers were outscored by a combined margin of 76-45 in the 4th quarter.
Medford Tech 76, Bridgewater-Raritan 53
Medford Tech: Q1- 13; Q2- 16; Q3- 19; Q4- 28; TOTAL- 76
- Tyler Jernigan - 25 points
- Cameron Downs - 18 points
- Yasir Fowler - 18 points
- Jeremiah Armstead - 6 points
- Jordan Lomax - 4 points
- Brandon Robertson - 3 points
- Nick Powell - 2 points
Bridgewater-Raritan: Q1- 14; Q2- 17; Q3- 8; Q4- 14; TOTAL- 53
- Alec Whelan - 22 points
- Rishi Mudduluru - 15 points
- Joey Callari - 8 points
- Alvin Cheng - 3 points
- Mickey Wasko - 3 points
- Sam Cohen - 2 points
Bridgewater-Raritan will open up the 2020 portion of the regular season schedule with a home contest against Hillsborough. Tip against the Raiders will be at 7 p.m. at Bridgewater-Raritan High School Jan. 3.
Not even 24 hours later, the Panthers will have a contest against Arts High School on their home floor as well. Tip against the Jaguars out of Newark will be at 1 p.m. Jan. 4.
For detailed Bridgewater-Raritan Panthers Athletics schedules and game locations, please see https://bridgewaterraritanhighschool.bigteams.com/.
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