CLARK, NJ - The Saint Agnes Ravens 7th grade boys basketball team won the Jersey Basketball Association (JBA) championship game Sunday morning at the Brewer Gym with a 43-33 victory over Springfield.
The No. 4 seed Ravens defeated the No. 1 seed, and historical rival, Westfield on Tuesday night, 46-35, to clinch the spot in the finals.
"The St. Agnes boys were highly motivated going into the semi-finals as they had lost all three prior meetings against Westfield and Springfield," Ravens Head Coach John Ryan said. "The Westfield game was tied at 20 at the half, but the boys went on a 12-0 run to open up the third quarter and never looked back. Springfield beat us by 24 pts in their previous meeting."
That all changed on Sunday morning when the Ravens seized the opportunity for a comeback against Springfield.
St. Agnes came out strong and jumped to an early 15 point cushion, led by the scoring of Matt Zukowski (16 pts), Andrew Popp (12 pts) and Brandon Costa (6 pts).
Springfield made a late run with their up-tempo offense but a key late offensive rebound an jumper by John DeSantis (4 pts) helped turn back Springfield.
Nate Kolibas and Ben Laucik each added two points for St. Agnes. Tenacious defense led by Nick Mitchell, Aidan Edmondson and Jordan Downey denied numerous opportunities by Springfield and kept the lead in double figures. .
“It was a very rewarding season for the 7th grade Ravens, who represented St. Agnes Parish with class. Many thanks to St. Agnes Athletic Director David Broadwell and Coach Bill Mitchell, as well as the parents who helped out all season long,” Ryan said.