Bears Stunned At Buzzer By St. Joe's


EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - This was a game that deserved to be played in February or March, and not December. 

In a game featuring the defending Central Jersey group IV champs and this year’s top ranked team, one could have expected a high quality, all-out battle. That is exactly what the sellout, overflow crowd at East Brunswick High School got.  What nobody saw coming was a last minute, stunning comeback by St. Joseph’s of Metuchen, who stormed back from a 44-38 deficit with a minute left in the game, hitting a layup at the buzzer to hand the Bears of East Brunswick a gut wrenching 46-44 defeat.

The first quarter saw almost as many fouls as points, as the referees seemed determined to keep the game from getting out of hand physically.  It ended with St. Joe’s holding a narrow 13-12 lead and both teams searching for an edge. Things changed in the second quarter when Bears coach Mark Motuesky, in his debut as head coach after years as assistant coach, decided to change things up and switch to a zone defense.  However, the talented St. Joe’s five started hitting shots from long range, opening up the court for their talented senior center, Kentucky-bound Karl Towns, and for the remainder of the second quarter, the Bears had no answer for Towns.  St. Joe’s went on a 9-0 run to end the quarter, and the teams headed to the locker room with St. Joe’s holding a 27-19 lead.

Sign Up for E-News

The Bears came out for the second half playing far more aggressively, and returning to the man to man defense that worked so well early in the game. Bears guards Amir Bell and Garry Baumer keyed a strong run to start the second half, and the Bears quickly erased the halftime deficit, tying the game at 27 with about five minutes to play in the third quarter. The remainder of the third quarter was a tremendous back and forth battle, with the quarter ending with the game tied at 33-33.

The battle continued into the early part of quarter four, with both teams looking to gain the upper hand. The edge finally came with about two and half minutes to play when Bell scored on a driving layup, and then after a defensive stop, the Bears came back downcourt and Baumer hit a long three pointer to give the Bears a 40-35 lead.
After trading baskets and free throws, it seemed the Bears had the game in control with 1:17 to play, when they led 44-38. Then St. Joe’s guard Wade Baldwin hit a three-pointer to cut the lead to 44-41 with 50 seconds to play. After St. Joe’s called a timeout, East Brunswick was called for a turnover while inbounding the ball, and St. Joe’s regained possession. After inbounding the ball, Towns showed why he is one of the nation’s top recruits, hitting a long three pointer with 22 seconds left to tie the game 44-44.

The Bears then inbounded the ball and worked it downcourt, calling timeout with eight seconds to play to try to setup a game winning shot.  Unfortunately, St. Joe’s tied up the Bears players fighting for the inbounds pass, and Towns ended up with the ball, dribbling downcourt and finding an open Raven Owen alone under the basket for the game winning layup as the buzzer sounded.

It was a devastating loss to start the season for the Bears, but for a team that lost a number of key players from last year’s championship team, it was a gritty, gutsy effort against a team that clearly will be heard from in the championship conversations all year long.  In particular, Amir Bell had a fantastic game.  The Bears guard, bound for Princeton next season finished with 15 points, 14 rebounds, 5 assists, and 4 blocked shots.  For coach Motuesky, his debut ended on a disappointing note, but he deserves credit as he really had the Bears ready for this game, and things look really optimistic for this team as the season moves on.

Next up for the Bears, North Brunswick in the Brunswick Classic, November 27 at 2:30 at EBHS.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

Sign Up for E-News

East Brunswick

"Itʼs Time for New Leadership" Say Middlesex County Republicans

May 22, 2018

MIDDLESEX COUNTY, NJ  - On Tuesday, June 12th, elected county committee members of the Middlesex County Republican Organization will have a choice on who will be their next County Chair and party executive board.

Sharon D. Hubberman, former Middlesex County Freeholder Candidate, and current Perth Amboy Republican Chair has announced she will accept her nomination for the ...

East Brunswick Public Library Launches “EB Grow” Seed Library

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—Every spring, library customers visit East Brunswick Public Library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center) to find resources on how to garden. Thanks to a joint partnership between East Brunswick Public Library and the Friends of the East Brunswick Environmental Commission, gardeners will be able to get some “seed money” to start their first crops for the year.

The ...

East Brunswick Public Library Holds “Coping With Aging Parents" Workshop

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ—East Brunswick Public Library (2 Jean Walling Civic Center) hosts the special program “Coping With Aging Parents” on Wednesday, May 30 at 7:15 pm.

Led by counselor Tara Arhakos, this program is for care-givers of aging parents, a task that can impact both emotionally and physically. It can be extremely overwhelming to raise children, help grandchildren ...

The Great Alone by Kristin Hannah (St. Martin's Press, 2018)

            What is the “final frontier” on the Earth's surface? Many people would say Alaska, the 49th state, which was added to the United States fifty years ago. Once one has traveled to that remote land, it is impossible to forget the magnificence of the terrain and beasts. Floating by ship in Glacier Bay, surrounded by ...

The Man in Room 306 at the Luna Stage, West Orange, NJ

            The Luna Stage, a Jersey theater gem, chose to revive its 1995 world premiere drama, The Man in Room 306, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the slaying of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.  Starring Jamil A.C. Mangan as Dr. King, this 90 minute production portrays Dr. King in the last hours of his life as he struggles to write a speech for the Poor ...

Letter to the Editor: "We Seek Clarity, Support" from Mayor Regarding Development on Summerhill Road

May 10, 2018

Dear Mayor Cohen:  

Thank you.  Your issued statement last night regarding the current development plans for the intersection of Summerhill and Old Stage Roads - which will be under discussion at the May 17 zoning board meeting in East Brunswick, is a welcome voice. 

Like you, we have a vision for East Brunswick and share your desire for smart redevelopment that ...

'Turning Off the Morning News' brings comic twist

‘Turning Off the Morning News’ tackles today’s issues with a comic twist

By Liz Keill

PRINCETON, N J – Despite the late night comics, no one quite captures the insanity of the political/social status world like Christopher Durang.

His latest play, “Turning off the Morning News” hit the ground running.  John Pankow as Jimmy addresses the audience, ...

'To Kill a Mockingbird' Sustains Timeless Appeal

SUMMIT, NJ – The Summit Playhouse provides a stellar production of a much loved classic, “To Kill a Mockingbird.”

The Harper Lee novel, later a Gregory Peck film and now a stage production, retains all the warmth, intensity and integrity that made it such an appealing hit in the 1960s. And there will be a new production on Broadway in December with a script by Aaron Sorkin ...