BERKELEY HEIGHTS, NJ - Governor Livingston boys basketball was close to digging itself out of an early Pingry lead on Tuesday night, February 4. Alas, the late effort for the Highlanders was not enough, as Pingry knocked down clutch free-throws to secure a 59-48 win over GL on its senior night.
Prior to the game, the Highlanders honored their senior players, cheerleaders, and managers. Senior basketball players are Connor Bigelow, Blaine Gyory, Peyton Hopeck, Reid Kiernan, Sean McCulloch, Vinny Mellusi, and Ferd Melo. Senior cheerleaders are co-captain Amanda Anthenelli, co-captain Lexi Gonnelli, co- captain Daniella Aiello, Lauren Cronin, Emma Dinunzio, Sara McGlynn, , Weronika Chojnowska, Olivia Rudgard, Victoria Wojcik. Cheer managers Jocelyn Chen and CJ Joseph and senior basketball managers Juliana Manieri and Ava Messler.
Pingry got off to a quick start in the game, scoring a quick layup off an inbounds play on its opening possession after a GL turnover. GL came down the floor and converted on a Melo corner jumper after a long possession. The jumper would be accompanied by a Gyory layup as GL’s only points in the quarter, as Pingry held an 18-4 advantage.
In the second quarter, the Highlander took advantage of Pingry’s early foul trouble and got to the charity stripe. However, GL missed its first six attempts at the line, including two front ends of one-and-ones. Despite its struggle GL remained in the game, trailing by 12 at the break.
Pingry extended its lead to 16 after the third quarter, but GL came out hot in the fourth, cutting Pingry’s lead to as little as five with three minutes to play, in part due to big three point shots from Mellusi and Kiernan. Unfortunately for coach Chris Loefler and company, Pingry got some big breaks under the rim for easy shots and converted on its free throws, pulling away at the end of the game to win by 11.
Brain McGrath and Mellusi each led GL with 11 points apiece, with McCulloch adding 8 and Melo adding 7. Bigelow came down with 8 rebounds despite not scoring in the contest.
GL will look to avenge an early season loss when it travels to Summit on Thursday. A win is much needed to secure a spot in the state tournament.