METUCHEN, NJ - The East Brunswick boys’ basketball team met the St. Joe's Falcons for the second time this season but this time in Metuchen. One of the key factors for East Brunswick was that the Bears had transfer, Travis Cumber playing in his first game. The game was an exciting back-and-forth affair, but ultimately the Falcons came out on top with a 70-66 victory.
East Brunswick came out hot and took an early lead over St. Joe's. The Falcons slowly clawed their way back into the game and possessed a four point lead after the first quarter. The Bears played a great game all-around but had spectacular plays from Seniors Jesse Perel and Joe Sampson, as well as Juniors Xavier Fitzgerald and Travis Cumber.
In the second quarter the deficit for the Bears continued to grow, but Sampson and Cumber were keeping EB within striking distance. The Bears trailed the Falcons 36-27 after the first half. But the Bears came out scoring in the third quarter cutting down the lead with a 7-0 run to get within five points. Cumber drew a foul as well as making the layup to make the score 44-42. A few plays later Jesse Perel knocked down a tough three, resulting in a 48-45 St. Joes lead. Nearing the end of the third quarter the Falcons built up a nine-point lead entering the final quarter.
The Bears went on another run in the beginning of the fourth quarter. Cumber finished with a layup and a few plays later hit a three pointer to cut the deficit to 58-55. The Bears had a couple clutch threes late in the game including a big shot from Xavier Fitzgerald to take a one point lead over the Falcons with a few minutes remaining. However, St. Joes converted on the majority of their free throws down the stretch to extend their lead.
With just under fifteen seconds, the Bears had a chance to tie it up or take the lead but a traveling violation resulted in more free throws for the Falcons. The free throws were the nail in the coffin as the Falcons were able to finish off the Bears with a 70-66 win.