LIVINGSTON, NJ — The opening tip was about to be thrown in the air. Livingston (1-2), hosting Orange (3-0) in its third game of the year, hoped to get another victory early in the season. Even before the ball was in the air, one of the refs stopped the game, imploring the Tornado guards to shake the Lancers hands.
It was the only thing that could stop the Tornadoes the rest of the night. Orange ultimately defeated Livingston 103-79.
The Tornadoes opened with a 16-2 lead that was not relinquished for the rest of the night. Laflour Wesley proved a competitor for Livingston, breaking down the press and finding the opening man on nearly every offensive play.
The Lancers play a system predicated on pace and full-team swaps, which played into the Tornadoes plans on Thursday. According to Livingston coach Kyle Just, the Lancers must execute their system better to be successful the rest of the season.
“I thought we played good in spurts,” said Just “We got off to a terrible start. . .That obviously put us in a hole, however I was very proud of the team, they never quit.”
Livingston is playing the Grinnell system—trying to shoot 80 a game and focusing on quantity over quality. The system plays at a break-neck place and attempts to force turnovers with every defensive possession.
This being only the third game, Livingston is not quite up to the conditioning that is required to play the Grinnell system yet. Still, there were positives: some forced turnovers and successful three-point shots. Eric Silverstein was a key player, hitting several tough threes to keep the Lancers in the game.
Livingston will attempt to get back to .500 on the road in the coming week. Just said he will look for the Lancers to continue their spurts of good play, hopefully becoming more consistent.
“The attitudes of the kids was completely different,” Just said. “While the game was similar to the Millburn game, they were way more positive and we kept playing until the final buzzer. We lost by eight in the second half, but the energy was never down.”
The Lancers play Clifton next on Dec. 27.