PISCATAWAY, NJ -- Piscataway High School didn’t have a ton going on in the athletics department this week in terms of competition.
The varsity boys basketball team, back from a three-week absence due to COVID-19, hosted St. Joseph (Metuchen) on Saturday, the same squad it faced in its last game before the shutdown.
With no practice time ahead of the game, Piscataway fell by just five points, 73-68, on Saturday, and did so still without its full roster. The Chiefs lost to the Falcons 92-69 back on Jan. 30.
“It was uncomfortable at first because we were off for 16 days without a practice or game and only returned on game day against St. Joseph,” head coach Darius Griffin said. “On top of that, we still have six players who were not cleared by the school doctor yet. We’re thankful to be playing again and look forward to continuing to work hard to improve every day.”
Piscataway and St. Joseph went back and forth in the first half with St. Joseph leading by one after the first quarter. The game was tied at 33-33 at halftime and the Chiefs led by three, 54-51 at the end of three, but St. Joseph’s depth and talent was too much for the home team in the final frame. The Falcons outscored Piscataway in the fourth, 21-14.
Aaren Austin led the way for Piscataway with a team-high 15 points. Justin Wyatt made three 3-pointers and finished with 13 points, Azeem Marks tallied 12 points, and Kasir Hart added 10 points as well as four players reaching double figures.
To wrap up the regular season, Piscataway (0-3) has three games remaining this week. Tuesday, the Chiefs take on South Brunswick in Monmouth Junction. Wednesday they are home against Old Bridge, and they hit the road again on Saturday morning against East Brunswick. South Brunswick has won three games in a row against Piscataway, Old Bridge has won four of five, and Piscataway has taken four of five with East Brunswick, though the Bears won the last matchup last January by four.
After a grueling four-game week, the Lady Chiefs (0-8) hit the hardwood just once on Saturday at St. Thomas Aquinas, which is ranked No. 17 in the latest NJ.com Top 20. Tori Fisher made three 3-pointers and netted a game-high 19 points in the Trojans’ 78-33 rout. Courtney Edmundo also had eight points while three others scored two points apiece.
Piscataway has another four-game week ahead of it with home games against Edison (a makeup from last week) and South Brunswick on Monday and Tuesday respectively before facing Old Bridge away on Thursday and East Brunswick at home next Saturday. The Lady Chiefs also close with Old Bridge on March 1.
Edison topped Piscataway in double overtime in the second game of the season, though Piscataway has taken three out of the last five. South Brunswick beat Piscataway by six earlier this month, breaking a streak of multi-wins in a row for the Lady Chiefs.
Chris Puder’s team has had Old Bridge’s number the last few years. East Brunswick edged Piscataway by three points on Jan. 6, but Piscataway won the previous at least four games before that.
On the lanes for the bowling teams, Deziree Graham rolled a solid 428 series against Sayreville this week with games of 163, 144, and 121. Kristina Todd also threw a high game of 158 and Samantha Ortiz notched a 136. Vincent Novak carded a 352 series as well. They have four matches this upcoming week and one more on March 1.
The swim team’s first meet with St. Thomas Aquinas was canceled due to snow last week, though it is scheduled to face Old Bridge on Wednesday at the Piscataway YMCA.
Winter track had its first two meets with Monroe and St. Thomas Aquinas postponed last week as well and the Chiefs’ first meet will be against Old Bridge on Wednesday at the YMCA.
Saturday, senior Kaelen Mitchell will be going for the New Jersey indoor long jump record at the Adidas Indoor Nationals in Virginia Beach. He’s also competing in the 60-meter dash and fellow senior Jenna Engels will be competing in the pole vault. Engels placed sixth in the event at last March’s Meet of Champions.
For the full schedule of events, click here.
Follow Chris Nalwasky on Twitter @ChrisNalwasky.
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