RAHWAY, NJ - A potent scoring attack and large halftime deficit was too much to overcome as the North Plainfield High School varsity boys basketball team fought, but fell, to the Rahway Indians Thursday afternoon in a battle of one-loss teams, 71-64.
Keyshawn Cummings poured in a team-high 26 points and Zion Pendleton and Kamaje Tennet added 17 and 13 points respectively for Rahway, which jumped out to a 38-21 lead after two quarters.
The Canucks, led by Tony Godwin's 26 points to match Cummings, stormed back in the second half, outscoring Rahway 43-33. The junior guard netted 15 of his 26 points in the fourth quarter alone. Teammate Ka-Ron Dock chipped in with 11 points.
North Plainfield head coach Reggie Sainte Rose shared his thoughts after the road defeat.
"Rahway matched up well with us," Sainte Rose said. "It was a tale of two halves. (Rahway) coach (Jeff) Lubreski is the best there is in New Jersey. He does a great job with his kids. We fought back down 17, cut it to five, but ran out of gas and time."
With the win, the Indians improve to 7-1 on the season and host Roselle on Saturday afternoon. North Plainfield drops to 6-2 and face Hackettstown on Saturday in the Coaches vs. Cancer Showcase in Montgomery.
The special even means something and then some to Sainte Rose.
"It means so much to play in this game," said Sainte Rose, who doubles as principal at NPHS. "So many are affected by this disease. Both my parents who are now in remission had cancer and my college roommate, who I just saw today, is battling cancer and is at the John Theurer Cancer Center at Hackensack University Medical Center.
"This means a lot to me personally and to my team who has had family members and friends suffer form this disease. I have had teachers at my school battle and win the fight with cancer. So, we thank Montgomery and coach (Kris) Grundy for inviting us. We will be playing for a lot of people on Saturday."