LIVINGSTON, NJ — Despite a valiant effort in Thursday’s “Senior Night” matchup, the Livingston boys basketball team’s win streak came to an end by way of a 44-41 loss to Orange.
“We fell behind early and [Orange] is a real good team,” said head coach Dave Cohen. “We knew they were good, and when you fall behind against a good team, it’s hard to come back.”
The Lancers were in a double-digit hole since the first quarter and consistently attempted to dig themselves out. The team received a phenomenal team effort in the fourth quarter to close the gap.
Seniors Jake Cohen, Abe Rimatzki and Jake Goldenstein led the charge back on an 11-2 scoring run that saw the Lancers take a one-point lead.
“I give the kids credit,” said Cohen. “They came all the way back…the seniors gave us a chance to win, and that’s all you want against a good team.”
With the game tied at 41 in the final seconds, a steal from the Tornado defense helped for what eventually became the game-winning layup.
The fight in the Lancers team demonstrated the ability and resilience of the squad. A group that produced just four points in the first quarter had a seemingly insurmountable task ahead of them that was a reality by game’s end.
“Everything from [Orange] was coming off of a missed shot in a hurry to us,” said Cohen.
The Lancers offense, which can be sporadic at times, came alive in the final three quarters of the contest and outscored the Tornados, 37-29.
“We started making some shots,” said Cohen. “Making some shots helps us set up our defense.”
Rimatzki, Livingston’s key scorer, was shut out for the first quarter of the game, but managed to finish with 12 points on the evening. Rimatzki has now had double digits in his last two games as he readies for the final few games of his high school career.
“[Rimatzki] is finishing strong,” his coach said. “He’s definitely all in which is great for us.”
Joining Rimatzki with a solid performance was Cohen, who produced a team-high 13 points in the game and is averaging more than 10 points per game down the stretch run of the regular season.
“[Cohen] is playing hard,” the coach said. “He’s real scrappy, and he’s playing with the realization that his career is coming to a close.”
Thursday’s defeat drops the Lancers to 11-10 with one regular-season game remaining. The team still has high hopes of finishing above .500 for the year.
“I know these guys want to win one more to give us a winning record for the year,” said Cohen. “We’ve only had about three of them in the last 25 years so for us it’s a goal…The kids will play hard; I know that, and everything else will take care of itself.”
Beyond their last game on Monday, the Lancers have drawn the 11th seed in the state playoffs for 2020.