BAYONNE:, NJ - Hollywood endings would have Marist, closing its doors in June, battling back from a huge deficit to win a state championship game in the final boys basketball game played at the gymnasium. It would feature the losing team being a powerhouse school that would be getting many of the players from the school after it closes. A wealthy donor would save the school, and everyone lives happily ever after.
Reality was Tuesday evening, in the opening round of the NJSIAA Group B playoffs, as the Royal Knights defeated Montclair Kimberley, 89-35 in a game that was all Marist from the moment the jump ball was completed. Senior Manny Toha had 19 points to lead the charge in which every player on the roster, but one, scored.
The Aviators jumped out to a 13-3 first quarter lead, only to see Montclair Kimberley rally with a 5-0 spurt at the end of the quarter to make the score 13-8.
A 27-5 second quarter, ended any thoughts of Marist losing on its home court in its final appearance.
At halftime, Marist had a senior night ceremony, honoring all four of its seniors, Toha, Alex Fredricks, Oliver Purnell, Jermaine Wheeler for their final home games as seniors.
Toha, led all scorers with 19 points, and grabbed nine rebounded, and six assists and five steals for the Royal Knights. Hasan Jackson had 12 points for the Royal Knights. Donovan Long had seven points, four rebounds, five blocks and two steals.
There is one way that Marist could host another home game, which would require the Royal Knights to win at third-seeded Roselle Catholic on Thursday, while seventh-seed Montclair Immaculate defeats the second seed Patrick School. Marist would then host Montclair Immaculate in a #6 seed versus # 7 seed game.
A run to a Non-Public North B title would be fitting for the school, as 40 years ago. 1980 team captured the Parochial A North title.
|Montclair Kimberley (10-15)||8||5||9||13||35|