WARREN, NJ - Jayden Pierre hit with :02 left in the game to lead Elizabeth over Watchung Hills in the N2G4 State Sectional Championship on Tuesday, 56-54.
Watchung Hills (25-5) was led by Trevor Bokach with 13 points. Michael Bressler and Pat Stefurak each added 10 points and junior forward Chad Martini chipped in nine points and a game-high 12 rebounds.
The Warriors took an early lead, an 11-point lead at one time, and closed out Q1 up 21-13. The Minutemen forced five turnovers in the second quarter and converted on all but one, out scoring Watchung Hills, 18-9. Pierre had 18 points, Jordan Price 17 points, and Al-Fatir Connor added 12 points for Elizabeth.
Watchung Hills reclaimed the lead, 43-38, in the third quarter but with less than a minute left in the quarter, Connor and Pierre each scored to bring Elizabeth to within 43-42.
Elizabeth’s defense held Bressler to 10 points, 9.7 under his average, and five assists.
The sold out crowd was in place and ready as both teams warmed up, and in an emotional end, Warrior nation gave senior Bressler an ovation after the game.
Warrior fans stood in line at 6 am to score tickets to the game.
Elizabeth moves on to face Paterson Kennedy in the Group 4 semifinals at 7 p.m. Thursday at home in the Dunn Center.