LIVINGSTON, NJ—For the first time in more than 40 years, the Livingston Lancers basketball team tackled a feat that many previous teams have been unable to accomplish: Win a conference title. Livingston improved to 19-3 and captured the Super Essex Conference Colonial title with a 65-21 victory over Christ the King Wednesday night in Livingston.
“It’s just another step in the right direction for our program,” Livingston head coach Dave Cohen said. “We knew what was at stake tonight and it is great we got to do it on our home floor.”
It was the idle night for Livingston to win the conference as it was Senior Night and there would be no better way to send the seniors off.
“We’ve taken the approach of one game at a time,” senior captain Marc Schofel said, who had 12 points and broke Livingston’s all-time 3-point record on Saturday against Barringer. “We set goals at the beginning of the season and a conference title is one of those goals. Next up is a state title.”
Livingston got out to an early lead and never looked back. The Lancers started the game on a 12-0 run in the first four minutes. Six points from fellow captain and senior Alex Kalmus who dominated the entire game in the low post as he finished with a game high of 13 points and 12 rebounds.
“It’s a great feeling,” Kalmus said. “We’ve worked extremely hard this season but our work is not done yet. We have a few games remaining and then the state tournament.”
Christ the King finally got on the scoreboard six minutes into the first period when Anthony Warner hit a layup off a flex cut. However, Livingston closed the quarter out on a 10-5 run and led 22-7 heading to the second period.
There was little Christ the King could do against Livingston’s stout 2-3 matchup zone. The Lancers contested majority of the Newark schools shots and took a 38-15 lead into half.
“Even though we were up by a pretty good margin we didn’t want to show any signs of letup,” Kalmus continued.
Livingston’s Alex Haberman and Jake Dock paced the Lancers with ix points a piece in the third quarter and Thomas Marvin dropped in four and Marc Pierre-Louis hit a 15-foot jumper to close the quarter, but Livingston still held a commanding lead of 49-21 after the third quarter.
Livingston accomplished one more task in the fourth quarter Wednesday night by not allowing a field goal in the fourth period and outscored their Essex County foe 16-0.
Twelve of Livingston’s 13 players registered a field goal and the Lancers only turned the ball over twice, which was a season low.
“Tonight was a total team effort. It all started on the defensive end and not turning the ball over doesn’t give your opponent opportunities for transition points,” senior guard Danny Chasin said.
Livingston has two remaining regular season games left and reaching the 20-win plateau would another record for Livingston as they have never done that in program’s 59 year history.
“We don’t want to get caught up on numbers. All we need to do is stick to what got us here by finishing out the regular season and go into the state tournament hungry and confident,” Cohen said.