NEW PROVIDENCE, NJ - The Pioneers came into Saturday afternoon's competition two games above .500, with a 9-7 record to face-off against the 17- 1 Scotch Plains – Fanwood Raiders boys basketball team. The Pioneers kept it close through three quarters, gaining an early lead in the first quarter, but in the end the Raiders pulled away with a big fourth quarter, defeating the Pioneers 61-45. 

After a slow start by the Pioneers, they gained their composure midway through the first quarter. Sophomore Greg Meyers was the first to score with a 3-pointer and continued to show his range from the 3-point-line, scoring 14 game points, 12 of them from the beyond the arc. Will Faucher participated in the 3-point shootout, with two of his own, finishing with 9-points.

Meyers’ and Faucher’s pair of first quarter 3-pointers seemed to energize the team, especially Dylan Bedder, who became a force in the post, both on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Bedder who finished with 16 points, also earned himself a double-double, with an additional 13 rebounds, six defensive and seven offensive rebounds, which allowed for some much needed second chance shots.

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Jackson Barletta did the team’s dirty work, playing relentless defense, procuring seven rebounds and four steals, as well as four assists and scoring two points on the offensive side.

The Pioneers kept it close, trailing by four at the start of the fourth quarter, 41-37.  But the Raiders went on a massive 20-8 fourth quarter run to take a 61-45 win.

With the win, the Raiders improve to 18-1 and the Pioneers fall to 9-8. [Pioneers remain 8-2 in conference play.]

New Providence will host the 14-3 North Plainfield Canucks,Thursday, February, 9 at 7 p.m.