CLARK, NJ - There was no bite in the Jonathan Dayton (Springfield) High School Bulldogs’ bark Tuesday night, as the visitors lost 68-48 to the Arthur L. Johnson High School boys varsity basketball team on the Crusaders’ senior night.
(Check back for Senior Night Coverage.)
The Bulldogs opened an early advantage, taking a 7-2 lead over the powerful Crusaders starting lineup that would strike back as the quarter rolled along. Johnson junior Joe DiProfio led the team in that effort by scoring four field-goal baskets in five straight possessions as the Crusaders opened a 10-0 scoring run.
The Crusaders and Bulldogs traded a few more shots back and forth, with Johnson leading Jonathan Dayton 17-13 following the first quarter.
The second quarter was where the Crusaders blew the game open, with sophomore Brenden Kelly draining a pair of three-point baskets. Senior Ray Williamson banked in two baskets to keep the rout going. The Crusaders outscored the Bulldogs 25-15 in the quarter to build a 42-28 halftime lead.
Johnson wouldn’t look back as the third quarter rolled along. ALJ junior George Visconti added to the team effort by scoring seven points in the quarter.
“On senior night, it’s great they [Ray and Brandon] got a win, especially since this is the second time we’ve beaten [Jonathan Dayton],” DiProfio said. “We came out and got a convincing win and that’s good to get them a win in one of their last home games.”
On the evening, DiProfio finished with 12 points for the Crusaders.
The Crusaders built a 59-38 lead following the third quarter and would coast their way through the fourth, securing another win in what has become a memorable season for the players and coaches.
“It’s awesome,” senior Ray Williamson said. “It’s an honorable win on our home floor, especially on an occasion like this. It’s awesome. I’m just speechless.”
Williamson finished the night with eight points. He and fellow senior Brendan Stanzione have been a part of the program for their entire high school careers. Stanzione finished the night with five points.
“It was great to get a win,” he said. “This is the best team ever over the years I’ve been with this program and we’ve improved so much over the years.”
ALJ head coach David Kennedy agreed that their contribution extended far beyond the current season.
“It’s not just what they’ve done for the program this year, it’s four years of work,” Kennedy said. “We always want to send off the seniors on their night the right way and they’ve been doing a great job the past few years.”
Overall, Visconti led all scorers in the game with 26 points in the victory for Johnson.
For Jonathan Dayton, senior Nick Ulizio scored 14 points in the loss, while senior Joe Kastner added 13 points for the Bulldogs.
Junior Antonio Salcfas put up 15 points on the evening for Jonathan Dayton High School.
The Johnson Crusaders (14-1) head out on the road to play at David Brearley High School (Kenilworth) Thursday night at 7:00 p.m.
The Jonathan Dayton (Springfield) Bulldogs (7-8) are back in action when they return home to play against Oratory Prep High School Thursday night at 7:00 p.m.
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