HASBROUCK HEIGHTS, NJ - Kunga Tsering had 25 points and Steven Faussette 21 as Hasbrouck Heights advanced to NJSIAA North 1, Group 1 boys basketball semi-finals with an 80-60 victory over Wallkill Valley Wednesday evening in Hasbrouck Heights.  

The Aviators advance to play Paterson Charter Friday evening in Paterson at 7 pm at Paterson Charter High School. The -teams finished 1-2 in the NJIC Meadowlands Division, with Paterson Charter finishing 16-0 in league, handing Hasbrouck Heights their only two league losses of the season. 

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Wallkill Valley jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter, pulling ahead 11-7 following a 7-0 spurt.  Shawn Falk kick-started the spurt with a basket tying the game. Dan Falk gave the Rangers the lead with a basket, and Reyes Madera nailed a three-pointer to make the score 11-7 before Faussette stopped the run for Hasbrouck Heights with a basket.  Down 13-9, Jaden Castro nailed a three-pointer to cut the lead to 13-12 at the end of one.

The Aviators opened the second quarter with a 5-0 run, off a three-pointer from Faussette and put back by Matteo Ochoa. Chris Ross scored a quick five points for Wallkill Valley, giving them the final lead of the game, at 18-17.  After both teams missed a pair of foul shots, Tsering scored down low, getting fouled in the process. He completed the traditional three-point play for a 20-18 Aviator lead. Faussette followed with another three-pointer, and the Aviators had a five point lead.

Both teams traded baskets the rest of the way, and Ochoa’s put back with two seconds left in the half gave Heights a 34-29 at halftime,

The Aviators stretched the lead ot 12, at 51-39, based on a 17-10 third quarter advantage.  Castro hit back-to-back threes, and following a Rangers basket, Faussette had five straight points to push the lead to 13 at 49-36. 

The fourth quarter saw Wallkill Valley try to extend their zone up the court, hoping to shut down the Aviators and get back into the game.  The increase in tempo helped the Aviators, as they outscored Wallkill Valley, 29-22 in the fourth.  

Wallkill Valley made a run to get back into the game at 3:59 mark when Tsering was assessed a technical foul after being fouled down low and exchanging words with Wallkill Valley’s Tony Ciappara. Instead of adding to the Aviators 17 point lead, with two foul shots, Wallkill Valley was awarded two foul shots and the ball. 

The Rangers sank the two foul shots, and scored on the possession cutting the lead to 13.  But Hasbrouck Heights weathered the storm, maintaining a 69-59 lead with 2:13 remaining. Tsering took over the following minute, scoring down low, drawing a foul and completing the three-point play.

Following a basket by Faussette, Tsering delivered the punctuation on the night with a slam dunk with 58 seconds left, and another with 39 seconds left, much to the delight of the Heights students section, the Black Hole.  

Freshman Anthony Peterson sank four straight foul shots to end the game, giving the Aviators the victory.


Wallkill Valley (13-14) 13 16 10 22 60
Hasbrouck Heights (20-7) 12 22 17 29 80
Wallkill Valley 2PT 3PT FT PTS  
Ivan Hicks 0 0 0 0  
Dan Falk 3 0 0 6  
Shawn Falk 5 1 12 25  
Tony Ciappara 0 0 0 0  
Reyes Madera 3 2 2 14  
L I Reid 1 1 0 5  
Jake Carey 2 0 1 5  
Ryan Nugent 1 1 0 5  
  15 5 15 60  
Hasbrouck Heights 2PT 3PT FT PTS  
Kunga Tsering 9 0 7 25  
Steven Faussette 4 3 4 21  
Jaden Castro 1 5 2 19  
Mateo Ochoa 2 0 2 6  
Will Koukoutsis 1 1 0 5  
Dan Viola 0 0 0 0  
Rocco Minichiello 0 0 0 0  
Tim Cheng 0 0 0 0  
Mario Gomez 0 0 0 0  
Jake Diaz 0 0 0 0  
Anthony Peterson 0 0 4 4  
  17 9 19 80  


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