SOMERSET, NJ - Some in the crowd at Thursday night’s Gill St. Bernards-Franklin boys game in Somerset were likely surprised that the Knights had lost two games.
A non-public School state power for years the Knights aren’t experienced with ‘rebound’ games. But the Knights - ranked No. 7 in the state in one poll – were coming off a 64-62 New Years Day loss to St Joseph Montvale. Franklin was playing its first game since capturing ‘The Battle of 206’ at Roxbury.
Gill St. Bernards simply had too much for the Warriors like virtually everyone else in the Skyland Conference.
Gill St. Bernards (5-2, 2-0) got out to a 24-6 first period and won 74-46.
“Defensively we executed everything we needed to do they just killed us on backboards on the rebound and their second chance shots hurt us very badly,” said Warriors’ coach Tony Mento.
“Our decision making offensively hurt us and that gave them some transition points, that was a problem, but we will fix it,” added the coach.
Gill came into the game having beaten Franklin by an average of just over 28 points in the previous 10 games. But the Knights have pretty much done that to everyone.
“Gill is one of the top teams, top programs in the state, they have been for a long time,” said Mento, who saw Gill a lot when he was head coach at Rutgers Prep between 2004-2011. “They happen to be in our division. But every time we play them it’s a great learning experience for our kids.”
The Knights used significant size advantage to dominate for second chance points. The 6-foot-7 Princeton commit Zach Martini had 14 points, 10 in the first half as the Knights built a 42-19 lead. Gill made 22 of 28 free throws.
“You see that size in the private sector a lot, but in our situation where we are playing other public schools you don’t see size like that, but Gill has a terrific program and Zach is a very good player,” said Mento.
Junior forward Anthony Milligan led Franklin with 10 points.
“I do think that tonight we scratched and we clawed, but sometimes pounds and height matters, “ said Mento.
TAPinto Franklin/Somerset is independently owned and operated by Malik A. Lyons FHS Class of 93’ Graduate.
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