Sports

Millburn Rec Basketball Finals Filled With Excitement

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The 7th and 8th grade Bulldogs line up for a free throw attempt late in the first half Credits: Aaron Friedman
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The Bulldog's, Ben Goodman sinks a free throw to send his team to victory. This important point gave the Bulldogs a 25 to 24 edge Credits: Aaron Friedman
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The Stampede and Rimrockers play for the sixth grade title. Credits: Aaron Friedman
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The Bulldogs and Black Knights face off in the 7th and 8th grade championships. A game where it is the last time some of the players will ever play in a rec basketball game again Credits: Aaron Friedman
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The final scorebard of the 6th grade championship between the Stampede and the Rimrockers Credits: Aaron Friedman
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MILLBURN NJ-The boys' recreation basketball finals included four exciting games, which took place Wednesday evening in the Millburn Middle School’s upper gym. Finalists and champions from grades four through eight were crowned Wednesday and the youngsters walked out of the gym with another great memory to add to their sporting careers.

The first game that was played was between the Colonels and the Grizzlies for the fourth grade championship title. The Grizzlies stole the show with a notable performance from Jason Mazer, who added nineteen points. Other contributors included Jake Zirlin with six points and two points each from Alex Marx, Adam Rose, and David Huang. The Grizzlies’ keys to success were that they put up eight of their points in the first quarter to get off to a hot start, and that they had none of their players foul out of the game. Though the Colonels lost, they kept it close in the second half.  Their biggest flaw was only putting up only three points in the first half. The Colonels had great performances from Ben Goldberg who had fifteen points, Brandon Near, who played well and had four points, and Alec Bachman also added points to the board with a bucket in the third quarter for the Colonels.  

Next up in the MMS gym was the 5th grade championship where the Heat beat the Lakers by twenty points, making the final score 40 to 20. For the victorious Heat, Ryan Koplitz came out with sixteen points on the day, with nine coming in the first quarter. Kyle Torre and Jack Wenzel combined for twenty points. All of these great scorers helped the Heat become the 5th grade boy’s Millburn recreation basketball champs. The Lakers played as a team and shared the points between many scorers. Griffin Schwartz had nine points and his teammate Austin Wolk was the second highest scorer with six points for the Lakers.  

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At seven o’clock, the sixth grade boy’s championship was up for grabs between the Stampede and the Rimrockers. The Stampede ran over the Rimrockers with a final score of 29 to 11.  Notable performances from the 5th grade champs include top-scorer, Jared Simmons, who had twelve points and Andrew Aronson who added a decisive six points to the Stampede’s total. Harrison Barr and Robbie McDonough combined for nine points. The runner-up Rimrockers had important contributions from Sam Meyerowitz, who had a three-pointer in the fourth quarter, Tyler Bernard who had four points, and Ben Sinins who had two points.

Finally, in the primetime 7th and 8th grade matchup, the Bulldogs emerged victorious over the Black Knights.  The first three quarters were all Bulldogs, where they combined for 20 points and allowed only 12 for the opposition.  The fourth quarter is when things really started to get interesting, the Bulldogs were up 22 to 16 until the Black Knights got hot and tied it up to make it 22 to 22. This matchup ended up going to a 24 to 24 overtime. The Bulldogs escaped by the skin of their teeth and prevailed to be victorious after Ben Goodman, who had nine points on the day, made a free throw to break the tie and make the final score 25 to 24. The second highest scorer for the victorious Bulldogs was Robby Aronson who despite fouling out had six pivotal points to contribute to his team’s win. Twelve points came from other Bulldogs, including Adam Klein, Andrew Kam, Ryan Dana, and five critical points from Ethan Denemberg. The top scorers for the Black Knights include Jack Haber, who had 11 points until he fouled out, and Kyle Speckhart and Connor Fell who each had 4 points. Connor Lally and Evan Fleisig had two points each. This very exciting game ended the way it started, with the Bulldogs ahead of the Black Knights.

When asked about the outcome of the last day of the rec basketball games, Chris Myers, the Millburn Recreational Department Director said, "Everything ran smoothly throughout the season and we cannot thank all of the coaches, parents, players, refs, and other staff enough for their key roles in the smooth flowing season that we have had this year and many years in the past.”

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