MADISON, NJ - Playing on home court, the Madison basketball team faced Newton in the first round of the Dodger Holiday Tournament.
Unfortunately for the Dodgers, the Braves from Sussex County proved to be too strong in this one.
With a pressing defense and a nice inside game when possessing the ball, Newton was able to defeat Madison, 59-36, and advance to the tournament final. The Dodgers will face Parsippany Hills in the consolation game on Wednesday afternoon at 1 PM, while Newton will battle Warren Hills for the title at 3 PM.
Madison, now 0-3 on the young season, had a plethora of open shots in this game in all forms—lay-ups, jumpers, and three pointers—but were unable to convert on many attempts.
“Right now, our skill level isn’t quite where it needs to be if we want to beat quality teams,” said Dodgers coach Bill Cavanaugh, “With that said, these kids are playing hard and and putting in the effort. They will get better as the season goes on.”
One bright spot for the Dodgers was P.J. Mulcahy. With the Dodgers trailing 35-18 early in the third quarter, Mulcahy went on a personal 7-0 run that included a three-ball, a steal and layup, and two foul shots to cut the deficit down to 10. Mulcahy finished with 9 points on the afternoon.
However, a quick 7-0 spurt from Newton essentially put the game away for good.
The opening quarter was a tightly contested stanza. A foul line jump shot from Santi Quintero cut the Newton lead to 9-8 with 3:00 to play. However, the Braves got a pair of mid-range jumpers from Samir Wheeler and Chase Cramer to make it 13-8 after one.
In the second quarter, Newton pulled away with a 20-6 frame that made it 33-14 at half. All the Dodgers were able to muster where three pointers from Quintero and Sam Rosselli in the frame. Quintero led all Madison scorers with 10 points.
Early in the final period, Madison received strong play from guard Michael Giacone, who pumped in a quick four points in a matter of 20 seconds.
Greg Vorel scored a pair of buckets for Madison, while Nick Coviello and Jake Ducey each put in one for the home team. Matt Mulcahy added a pair of free throws in the fourth quarter.
Wheeler led Newton with 16 points, while Braves big man Jason Heter added 14, most of which came in the paint.
Team Records: Madison (0-3), Newton (4-0)