LIVINGSTON NJ - The annual Joe Valentine classic took stage at Livingston high school on Saturday afternoon between the Millburn Millers and the Livingston Lancers. Both teams’ student sections were well represented in attendance for the fierce rivalry game. The Millers came out with a 45 to 37 victory to go 8-0 on the year.
Millburn's top contributor was junior guard, Max Jacobs who was responsible for 15 points. Millburn big man, Milo Freeman also added 10 points to the Miller victory. As per the Lancers, Kahlil Garnes bolstered Livingston's performance with 17 points.
The first quarter was met with stiff completion. The Lancers came out on top to start the game, ending the first quarter 10 to 8. The Millers reciprocated and took the lead going into halftime by a score of 24 to 16. Millburn's Milo Freeman led the team's first half sugar by adding 8 points. Livingston's first half leader was Kahlil Garnes who had 9 points for the Lancers.
The Millers kept their offensive momentum going and maintained a steady 12-points lead for most of the second half. The Lancers fought back and cut the Millburn lead to only 5 points with 15 seconds left in the game. The Millers rebounded from this and after a short Millburn timeout; senior-captain Ben Kizel drained two successful free throws to help secure the Millburn victory.
Kizel said, "We played really hard and it was a physical game against a strong team. They tried to prevent Max (Jacobs) from scoring but he persevered and like other team's this season, no one can find a way to beat him." Kizel is the captain of this year's undefeated Millburn squad and the Millers have found success with him as their leader.
An exciting moment in the game came in the fourth quarter when Millburn's Jordan Kahn enthralled the crowd with a monstrous block with three minutes to go in the game. After the game, Kahn said, "Naturally coach expects a good defensive performance out of me. So, I got a good position on the guy and when I blocked the shot I was feeling some type of way."