NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - Coming off a heartbreaking loss on Monday to North Plainfield, the New Providence boys’ basketball team bounced back in impressive fashion with a wire-to-wire victory over Arthur L. Johnson, 67-44, on Tuesday night.
The Pioneers wasted no time building up their lead, as they started the game on a quick 8-0 run. New Providence finished the quarter strong to take an 11-4 advantage heading into the second period.
“We wanted to put pressure on them from the start and try to keep an up-tempo pace the whole time,” New Providence head coach Art Cattano said. “I thought we really did a good job with that throughout.”
A balanced scoring effort steered the Pioneers through the first quarter, but senior guard Kevin Haggerty, in the absence of big scoring threat Matt Romeo, stepped in and carried New Providence from behind the arc and on the fast break.
“Offensively I was able to get going because my teammates found me when I was open and we moved the ball real well,” Haggerty said. “We know we have a bunch of guys who can score and tonight I was able to knock down my shots.”
The second quarter showcased some back and forth scoring, but Johnson was never able to crack single-digits as the Pioneers maintained a 13-point advantage at the half.
Haggerty’s season-high 24 points led an overabundance of scoring that included junior guard Kevin Vass along with senior forwards’ George Daniel and Tyler Curto opening up a 19-point lead in the third quarter.
“It doesn’t matter who does it, and that’s what’s good about our team,” Cattano said, referring to his plethora of scoring options. “I thought we played well without Matt Romeo and Dylan was hurting with his hand so I thought we played really well.”
The fourth quarter was again dominated by the Pioneers, as the whole roster checked in at some point and were able to keep the lead in double digits, finishing out the game with a commanding 67-44 triumph.
With the win, the Pioneers pick up their fifth victory in six games, and will look to start a new winning streak on Thursday when they visit David Brearley at 7 p.m. in Kenilworth.
Brett Caminiti is a junior at New Providence High School participating in a journalism program with TAP into New Providence