Boys Basketball: Piscataway Bounces Millburn From State Tournament, 57-45

Ross Gang (33) challenged by Piscataway forward Antonio Chandler (23) Credits: Guy Kipp
Ross Gang finishes a breakaway jam. Credits: Guy Kipp
Credits: Guy Kipp
Credits: Guy Kipp
Ethan Fine (5) Credits: Guy Kipp

MILLBURN, NJ - Six minutes into its state tournament game against Piscataway, the Millburn boys basketball team had a nine-point lead.

Normally under those circumstances, that's a big enough spread to enable the Millers to set the tempo and impose their will on an opponent with their customary disciplined, patient offensive style.

But Piscataway would have none of it.

Sign Up for E-News

The fifth-seeded Chiefs came right back to grab a five-point lead by the middle of the second quarter, and for the rest of the way, fourth-seeded Millburn was forced to play uphill. Mattias Arrindel  scored 17 points to lead Piscataway to a 57-45 victory in the quarterfinal round of the NJSIAA Section 2, Group 4 tournament Thursday night.

Stellar senior swingman Ross Gang scored six of his 20 points right out of the gate as Millburn (23-4) established an 11-4 lead and looked poised to patent another of its clinics in scintillating fundamental basketball. But that's not nearly so easy to sustain when your opponent has won 23 games itself, and when that opponent possesses more size, athletic ability and shooting versatility than almost any team you've seen all season.

Arrindel led the charge back, as Piscataway (23-3) ran off 12 straight points during a stretch bridging the first two quarters to swipe a 16-11 lead and the early momentum away from the Millers. Arrindel had 10 points in the first half, which closed with Piscataway ahead, 20-17.

Millburn clawed back to take one more ever-so-brief lead, 21-20, early in the second half on a putback by Gang, but Piscataway responded to that with a 9-0 run to take a 29-21 lead. Millburn was unable to run its halfcourt offense with its customary efficiency against a Piscataway 2/3 zone defense that made it tough for the Millers to get high-percentage baskets off the crisp cuts and patient ball movement on which they usually thrive. Millburn was 7-for-16 from the field in the first half, and just 1-of-5 from 3-point range.

A 3-pointer by Bryan Levy early in the fourth quarter brought Millburn within six, 36-30, but a 3-pointer, two layups and a putback put Piscataway in the driver's seat with a 45-32 lead.

Millburn, which greatly exceeded the expectations of many in a season with four new starters surrounding the 6-foot-6 Gang, had one more salvo left in it. Switching to full-court, run-and-jump pressure for the first time in many games, the Millers threw a scare into the visitors from Middlesex County, forcing several quick turnovers. Joe Blum sank a free throw, Matt Bernstein turned a steal into a layup and converted the ensuing free throw for a 3-point play, Gang made a steal and sank one of two free throws, and Levy drove for a basket after another Piscataway turnover.

Millburn was back in the game, down six, 45-39, with 2:31 left.

But Piscataway sank 8 of 12 foul shots over the final 1:32 to put the game away.

Antonio Chandler finished with 15 points for Piscataway. Levy had eight points for Millburn, and Bernstein finished with seven points, five assists and four steals in the loss.

Despite a roster with scant collective varsity experience, Millburn matched the school record for victories in a season with 23 this winter.


TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


East Brunswick: I Don't Wanna Close Up, I'm a Toys-R-Us Kid

March 16, 2018

EAST BRUNSWICK, NJ - East Brunswick used to be the home of Meyer's toy store, an almost idyllic wonderland of all sorts of Barbies, parts for swimming pools, and clanging model trains until it closed in 2002.  Kay-Bee toy store was a popular stop at the Brunswick Square Mall until 2009, with a salesperson often displaying the newest gadget outside its door, causing eager kids ...


Piscataway – Reinhard Rudolf Kiefer, 85, died Sunday March 11, 2018 at home. Born in ...
Read more
Piscataway, NJ – Manuela Cruz, 94, born July 17, 1923, passed away peacefully on March 8, ...
Read more

Celebrate National Ag Day at the Middlesex County EARTH Center

March 13, 2018

EARTH CENTER, NORTH BRUNSWICK, NJ - Consider this: just about everything we eat, wear and use comes from agriculture. That is why America’s farmers and their crops are celebrated each year on National Ag Day, which falls this year on March 20.

To honor this day, the Rutgers Cooperative Extension of Middlesex County has planned a new seminar entitled The State of Agriculture and ...

Darby Road to Host Fifth Annual St. Patrick's Day Festival

SCOTCH PLAINS, NJ -- Darby Road Public House (450 Park Ave., Scotch Plains) has announced the dates and times of its hugely popular St. Patrick’s Day Festival, which will be set up in the municipal parking lot.

The festival features Irish bands, Irish step dancers, bagpipers, great Irish fare and enough Guinness to go around! The event also will have a bounce house, ...

Piscataway Libraries Host Annual NJ Makers Day Program

PISCATAWAY, NJ – The Piscataway Public Libraries were once again hosts to dozens of “makers” for the 4th Annual NJ Makers Day celebration.

The Saturday events at the Kennedy and Westergard Libraries featured activities and demonstrations by members of the maker culture with a focus on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, art, and math) initiatives.

Among other ...

Rutgers Student on Front Lines of Orangutan Conservation, Research

NEW BRUNSWICK - Deep in a tropical forest in Borneo 15 years ago, Rutgers student Didik Prasetyo first encountered a young male orangutan that he named “Jerry.”

The great ape was one of several orangutans that Prasetyo and other researchers followed at the Tuanan Orangutan Research Station in the Mawas Conservation Area in Indonesia. Prasetyo was skeptical when colleagues said ...

Upcoming Events

Sat, March 17, 1:00 PM


International Food Festival

Food & Drink

Sat, March 17, 5:30 PM

St. Francis Episcopal Church, Dunellen

St. Patrick's Day Annual Dinner

Food & Drink

Thu, March 22, 7:00 PM


The Basics of Starting a Business

Business & Finance

Fri, March 23, 8:00 PM

State Theatre New Jersey , New Brunswick

Motown the Musical

Arts & Entertainment

Franklin Student Escorted from School; Loaded Gun Found in Backpack

March 16, 2018

FRANKLIN TOWNSHIP, NJ - A 17-year-old high school student was escorted from school yesterday by police who found a loaded 9mm semi-automatic pistol in his back pack along with narcotics, according to Somerset County Prosecutor Michael H. Robertson.

Robertson said the initial investigation by law enforcement revealed that there were no known threats to the students or faculty; he commended the ...

Get Smart

I don’t want to be on a first name basis with my refrigerator.


Oh don’t get me wrong, I am all for cool technology—when it works—but I draw the line at talking to appliances.  I have enough trouble carrying on conversations with humans.  


But in what must be one of the truly great technological oxymorons of our time, the dawn of the ...