Sports

Boys Basketball: Johnson Crusaders Hold Off New Providence in Second Half to Win Home Opener

2ed916697273e66bba24_ALJ-New_Providence__1.JPG
Arthur L. Johnson High School junior Brenden Kelly (#5) scored 15 points in the 68-58 win. He credits the team's defense for helping to create scoring chances when the team struggled earlier on. Credits: Daniel Collins
f642b2c182aef4fcead0_ALJ-New_Providence__3.JPG
Arthur L. Johnson High School senior Joe DiProfio (#33) scored 15 points in the Crusaders' victory. He said the team's overcoming of their sluggish first half was best about the second half rally. Credits: Daniel Collins
d8ad965d8b769629007d_ALJ-New_Providence__2.JPG
Arthur L. Johnson High School senior George Visconti scored 16 points, including eight free throws in the fourth quarter. Johnson outscored New Providence 38-28 in the second half to capture the win. Credits: Daniel Collins
0e4d4e1ec09c2c9ab6d3_ALJ-New_Providence__5.JPG
Arthur L. Johnson High School senior Jeff Drajin (#3) scored ten points and credits the turnaround to the starters all playing together as one. Credits: Daniel Collins
de55fd3593aa7e256230_ALJ-New_Providence__6.JPG
New Providence High School junior Brian Kelly (#3) scored 13 points in the loss. He says his team played a solid game, but adds Johnson connected for more shots in the second half. Credits: Daniel Collins
c363ec48a7932bae95a3_ALJ-New_Providence__7.JPG
New Providence High School junior Dylan Bedder (#30) scored 17 points on the night for the Pioneers. Credits: Daniel Collins
3888b6944abaee5fd6b9_ALJ-New_Providence__4.JPG
The Arthur L. Johnson High School Crusaders and New Providence High School Pioneers right before the opening tipoff. The two teams meet again on Thursday, January 18, 2018 at 7:00 p.m. Credits: Daniel Collins
4be2469f2b6a293a5b5a_DSC_7857.jpg
Credits: Jimmy Alagna
e624f48244f8e76cb439_DSC_7749.jpg
Credits: Jimmy Alagna
5e6017b2d7c09739fc14_DSC_7703.jpg
Credits: Jimmy Alagna
30a4a0698e732114d65f_DSC_7672.jpg
Credits: Jimmy Alagna
b0928823ffede7c0e1da_DSC_7656__2_.jpg
Credits: Jimmy Alagna
2ed916697273e66bba24_ALJ-New_Providence__1.JPG

CLARK, NJ- After a sluggish performance in the first half, the Arthur L. Johnson High School Crusaders boys varsity basketball team hit the reset button at halftime and came back to win 68-58 against their conference opponent, the New Providence High School Pioneers.

The Crusaders, who finished last year with a 22-5 record and an appearance in the NJSIAA Central, Group 2 State Sectional Final, made the needed adjustments to win.

The teams went into halftime tied at 30-30, after Johnson held a 16-15 lead during a fast-paced, back-and-forth first quarter.

Sign Up for E-News

“We knew that New Providence was going to be a difficult opponent to beat,” Johnson head coach Dave Kennedy said. “We had to slow down. Opening night is very exciting for both teams.”

As the third quarter started, New Providence held a 35-30 lead with 6:50 left in the third quarter, before Johnson senior Joe DiProfio ignited an 11-0 Crusaders scoring run with a three-pointer to cut the deficit down to 35-33.

Junior Brandon Hund got into the mix with a three-pointer of his own to make it a 39-35 lead and added another basket making it 41-35.

“In the locker room, we had to regroup as a team and come together. We had to play better and come out and play better in the second half,” Johnson senior Jeff Drajin said. “All five [starters] played as one and played our hardest and in the end, we got the win.”

New Providence rallied with a scoring run of their own to tie the game at 41-41 with less than four minutes to go in the third quarter. Johnson controlled the offensive pace in the closing minutes to take a 51-46 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

Johnson took control in the opening minutes of the final quarter with a balance on offense, featuring another three-point basket from DiProfio, free throws from Visconti and another basket from Drajin as Johnson built a 58-48 lead with 4:51 left in the fourth quarter.

Johnson’s focus on the defensive side of the ball also contributed to the scoring opportunities, as well as holding off New Providence at times on the night.

“It’s good to know we can focus on our defense when our offense isn’t going too well,” Brenden Kelly said. “We’re a defensive team and knowing we’ll get wins off our defense after knowing our offense isn’t playing well, pushed together, pulled together and pulled it out.”

Visconti scored 16 points, while DiProfio and junior Brenden Kelly scored 15 points apiece on the night. As a team, Johnson connected for eight three-point baskets, three of them from DiProfio and three more from Kelly.

Hund added 12 points and Drajin put up ten points, putting all of Johnson’s starters in double figures on the night.

“We’re getting everybody else involved in it for us,” Kennedy said. “Movement and balance will be important for us down the road.”

“[Johnson] had other kids who stepped up and took some big shots,” New Providence head coach Art Cattano said.

Johnson also made 16 free throws on the night, ten of them in the fourth quarter. They led the entire fourth quarter and put away New Providence to secure their first win in the home opener.

“What was great about our play in the second half was being able to regroup after how bad we played in the first half,” DiProfio said. “The best part about it was that we recovered from our first half.”

“There’s some execution, playing smarter with the ball and we did a good job of making free throws at the end,” Kennedy said. “It was a great team win for us.”

The Pioneers, who finished last year with a 12-12 record and a playoff appearance, received 17 points from junior Dylan Bedder and 13 points apiece from juniors Greg Meyers and Brian Kelly.

“We had a five-point and we didn’t expand on it in the second half,” Cattano added following the game. “I thought it was a good basketball game and a good opener for both teams. Hopefully, we’re going to keep improving.”

As a team, the Pioneers connected for six three-point baskets and controlled the pace of the game early on.

“We just put in all our effort in the second half,” Brian Kelly said. “[Johnson] made a lot of shots in the seconds half, but all-in-all, we played a solid game. Our defense was there, [but] they made more shots than us.”

The Johnson Crusaders (1-0) are back in action when they play Roselle Park HS on Tuesday, December 19 at 7:00 p.m.

The New Providence Pioneers (0-1) are back in action for their home opener when they play Dayton HS Tuesday, December 19 at 7:00 p.m.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

New Providence

The Role of Meal Replacements in Weight Loss

January 15, 2018

Obesity is at epidemic proportions in the United States and in other developed and developing countries. The prevalence of obesity is increasing not only in adults, but also in children and adolescents. We all know that obesity is a significant risk factor for various chronic illnesses, most importantly heart disease and diabetes, but also cancer and osteoarthritis, liver and kidney disease, ...

Paterson Music Project Winter Concert January 27

January 21, 2018

PATERSON—Wharton Institute for the Performing Arts’ Paterson Music Project (PMP) students will perform a Winter Concert on Saturday, January 27 at 1:00 p.m. at the School 26 Auditorium located at 1 East 32nd Street in Paterson. The concert is free and open to the public.

Students from the Community Charter School of Paterson, School 1, School 26, School 15, Norman S. Weir ...

The Springfield Recreation Department is Now Accepting Applications for Summer Jobs at the Pool and Camp

SPRINGFIELD, NJ – The Springfield Recreation Department recently released 2018 summer employment information for pool and camp.

The Springfield Recreation Department announced it is now accepting applications for summer jobs at the Community Pool, Pool Camp, and Chisholm Playground Camp.

The positions include: head counselor, counselor, substitute counselor, lifeguard, pool front ...

Claude Fusco Joins Imagine Board of Trustees

 

Claude had a 36-year career at Ernst & Young LLP including 25 years as a partner serving in various roles around the globe including an International Tax Client Service Partner, Director of Tax for Ernst & Young International, Global Chair of Expatriate Tax Services, and New Jersey Managing Partner.

Claude resided in Westfield with his family from 1986 to 2009. He was married ...

Men of Bronze, Harlem’s Rattlers Featured in Union County Black History Month Celebration

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders is pleased to welcome all residents and visitors to the 2018 Union County Black History Month Celebration event, featuring a screening of Men of Bronze, a rare 1977 documentary about the 369th Regiment in World War I.

Keynote speaker Dr. Jeffery Sammons, Professor of History at New York University, will provide commentary on the film and present his ...

Somerset County 4-H Trainmasters Annual Winter Show Set

BRIDGEWATER, NJ - The Somerset County 4-H Trainmasters annual Winter Train show at the Ted Blum 4-H Center, on Milltown Road, is being held Jan. 27 and 28, from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. both days.

Admission is $4 for adults and $2 for children under 12 years old. Children under the age of 2 years old are free. Admission pays for entry to all areas of the show. The ...

An Amazing Summer Camp Experience Begins at the Summit Area YMCA!

With single-digit temperatures and snow on the ground, it’s encouraging to know that sunny, warm days lie ahead. Summer and Summer Camp at the Summit Area YMCA will be here before you know it! At the Y we strive to ensure your child has the best summer camp experience ever!

With over 50 camp choices for children ages 3 – 17, the Summit Area YMCA offers a wide variety of camp ...

One Dead in Kenilworth House Fire Monday Evening

January 9, 2018

KENILWORTH, NJ – A 68-year-old women was killed in a fire at a Kenilworth home on Monday night, Detective Sergeant Jim Grady of the Kenilworth Police Department said.

The name of the victim is being held pending an autopsy, he said.

The fire was reported in a two-level home in the 200 block of North 9th Street. The downstairs resident reported the fire at approximately 6 p.m. after ...

Union County Manager Faella Announces His Retirement Effective March 1

January 9, 2018

 

ELIZABETH, NJ---Mountainside resident and Union County Manager Alfred J. Faella, the County’s top-appointed executive responsible for the day-to-day operations of a government that provides services to more than half a million residents, has announced his retirement effective March 1st.

Faella, 62, announces his retirement after a career spanning 25 years in City, State ...

Rutgers ​Plans New Chapter for New Brunswick's Riverfront

January 21, 2018

NEW BRUNSWICK, NJ - For decades, the remaking of New Brunswick's riverfront has been a tug of war between historical and environmental conservationist​s​ on the one hand, and developers and city officials on the other.

The 2030 physical master plan for Rutgers University has ignited a potentially new chapter for the city's relationship with ​its ​river, in the​ ...

Upcoming Events

Mon, January 22

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Carousel_image_7f6c107703df2d416aa6_barre_intesity

Mon, January 22, 8:00 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Barre Intensity

Health & Wellness

Tue, January 23

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

Carousel_image_3c7abbb40c05a3108a26_yoga_stretch

Tue, January 23, 10:30 AM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Essential Hatha Yoga

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_7f6c107703df2d416aa6_barre_intesity

Tue, January 23, 5:30 PM

Providence Health and Fitness, New Providence

Barre Intensity

Health & Wellness

Wed, January 24

Scherman Hoffman Wildlife Sanctuary, Bernardsville

NJ Audubon: Volunteer Art Show!

Arts & Entertainment Green

I’m Not Happy

Rewind to August.  The car was anxiously packed, summer reading was done (does the movie count?), and it was time to start the journey to campus.  There had been so much anticipation for this moment and you excitedly thought about what your first few days on campus would be like.  Maybe they were everything you thought they would be, maybe not.  Maybe somewhere along the way ...

New Providence Lions Club Tours NJ Sharing Networn

“We thank the Sharing Network of New Providence and my friend, Pete Desarno, for the tour of the Sharing Network facility. The Lions Clubs of New Providence and North Plainfield enjoyed the educational experience immensely. We thank the Sharing Network for their life saving efforts, educational outreaches,  and for their continued good service to our community. They are great community ...