EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - The atmosphere was incredible as the East Brunswick Bears hosted their rivals, the St. Joseph Falcons for the first game of the season. The Bear Den came out in full force and provided the extra spark when needed. It was a hard fought game all night long, but the Bears ended up losing to St. Joe’s 59-52.
The Bears and the Falcons traded buckets in the beginning of the game until the Bears pulled ahead after a 6-0 run, to take a 11-7 lead. At the end of the first quarter the Falcons had a 12-11 lead. Both teams found success in playing solid defense and causing turnovers to set up the offense in the second quarter. St. Joes outscored EB in the second quarter to take a 26-23 lead going into the second half.
About half way through the third quarter the Bears trailed the Falcons 28-33. With four minutes remaining, Senior Mitchell Pingoy hit a big three pointer to cut the deficit to just two points. With time running out in the third quarter, Falcons’ guard Tyree Taganeca-Ford threw down a dunk that seemed to capture the momentum for St. Joes. At the end of the third quarter St. Joes possessed a four point lead over EB.
The Falcons started out the fourth quarter hot and quickly took a 42-32 lead due to a 7-0 run with less than six minutes remaining in the game. A few possessions later Senior Joe Sampson hit a three to end the Falcons’ run. Sampson led the team with 15 points. After ending the offensive drought, Junior Xavier Fitzgerald converted a big and-1 layup to cut the lead to just five points. With just under five minutes in the game EB was slowly crawling back but the Falcons were able to keep answering back with baskets of their own. Ultimately, the Bears fell to the Falcons in the season opener, 59-52.