HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ - Just 30 seconds into the fourth quarter, Hasbrouck Heights had a 28 point lead over Lyndhurst, 61-33 on Friday evening. A few people left the game early, anxious to get a start on the Valentine’s Day plans. They missed a Lyndhurst comeback that was almost nightmarish in nature for the Aviators.
Lyndhurst outscored the Aviators 23-2 over the final six and a half minutes of the game, putting a scare into Hasbrouck Heights and almost turning Senior Night into one of the biggest collapses in Hasbrouck Heights history. A combination of poor shot selection, turnovers and inspired Lyndhurst play saw the Bears score the last 16 points of the game over the final 5:16 of the game.
The Senior Night starting lineup saw all five Aviator seniors, Captain Matteo Ochoa, Remi Sanchez, Will Koukoutsis, Mario Gomez and Tim Cheng, take the floor as a unit for the first four plus minutes of the game. Gomez, Sanchez and Cheng were replaced with Steven Faussette, Jadan Castro and Kunga Tsering with a 9-6 lead, thanks to five points from Koukoutsis, and two from Cheng and Sanchez.
Koukoutsis continued his hot shooting, finishing the period with 10 points, including two three point baskets, as the Aviators took an 18-13 lead. Joe Nichols for Lyndhurst has all 13 points for the Bears in the first quarter.
Tsering took over for Hasbrouck Heights in the second quarter, scoring eight of the Aviators 16 points as they stretched the lead to 35-23 at halftime.
After halftime, it was all Hasbrouck Heights in the third quarter, as Tsering scored four to start the half. Following four straight points from Lyndhurst, Faussette scored 11 straight points to put the game seemingly out of reach at 48-29.
Then the wheels fell off after Faussette scored five points to start the quarter, to stretch the lead to 61-33. Nichols nailed a three-pointer to start a 7-0 run, before Tsering would score the Aviators last basket of the game, to give Hasbrouck Heights a 63-40 lead.
Lyndhurst would take advantage of several Hasbrouck Heights miscues to go on the run, with Nichols picking up 10 of the game's final 16 points. A missed foul shot with the Bears down eight with 20.9 seconds left cut the Bears rally short, as two made shots would have made it a two possession game. Nichols made the second, to cut it seven, but it was the Bears final points of the game.
Nichols finished with 36 for Lyndhurst. Tsering led the Aviators with 19, while Faussette had 16 and Koukoutsis had 14.