BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ — Junior Brice Facey delivered an offensive spark off the bench and finished with 11 points to go with another dependable effort from the upperclassmen on Saturday to lead the Gov. Livingston boys’ basketball team to a 56-40 victory over Roselle on Senior Day.
The Highlanders earned their eighth straight victory while improving to 8-1, and have not lost since a 54-31 setback against Union in the season-opener on Jan. 28. The winning streak surpassed Gov. Livingston’s previous standard, seven-game run in 2019.
With the 11 a.m. tip-off the day belonged to the Highlander’s senior contingent of stalwarts Matt Quinn, Evan Accardi, Chris Micca, Victor Chait, Kyle Sottosanti and Jay Schmidt. Quinn, Accardi, Micca, Chait Sottosanti all started for the Highlanders.
“It was Senior Morning for us,” said Gov. Livingston coach Chris Loeffler. “You never know what’s going to happen, so we wanted to get this in and honor our seniors. We started those five seniors, and they were strong.”
Meanwhile, Facey came off the bench in the second quarter with the Highlanders holding a 16-13 advantage, and delivered all his 11 points to fuel a 19-12 run that gave his club a 35-25 lead.
“Brice could be a starter on most teams,” Loeffler said. “He comes off the bench and is a huge asset for us. He’s so athletic, is a good rebounder and can score. He showed that again today when he came off the bench and scored all his points in the second. That was the difference.”
For Gov. Livingston, Micca finished with nine points, junior Brian McGrath collected eight points, junior Nick Gold hit for seven, and Accardi and junior John Schmidt added six apiece.
The Highlanders played well in the opening quarter but held that slim three-point lead (16-13).
“They were matching us, and we were up by just three points,” Loeffler said. “It was a really close game. We played good defense, but their shots were falling. In the second Brice got us going, and we built that 10-point lead and stayed with a straight man-to-man half-court defense. Then we pulled away in the third.”
A recurring aspect for Gov. Livingston has been it’s “everybody contributing” offense, where each game a different player produces the big points, and the scoring is so spread out.
It certainly hasn’t gone unnoticed by the coach.
“Our scoring is so balanced and that’s always nice,” Loeffler said. “You can’t key on one guy, and if somebody is having an off night somebody else will pick up the slack. We’ve gotten big games from everybody all season. They understand that and that’s our team mentality, they’re all in and unselfish. It’s not a coincidence that we’ve won eight-straight.”
As for this current streak?
“They are aware of it,” Loeffler observed. “Two years ago we won seven straight, and the win today broke that streak. This is the longest winning streak now in my six years.”
Gov. Livingston will play host to neighboring rival New Providence on Monday before traveling to Clark to battle Johnson Regional on Tuesday.
“New Providence is a very good team, and it’s always a battle. That’s a game that’s always packed with fans, so it will be a lot different from other years. But the intensity from both teams will be just as strong.”