Boys Basketball: Fourth Quarter Dooms Raiders in Senior Night Loss to Roselle

Lamont Cruse, center, with Tommy Drubulis, right, and Jack Brady, left. Credits: TAPintoSPF Staff
(L/R) Seniors Lamont Cruse, Jack Brady, Dwight Laylor and Tommy Drubulis. Credits: @SPFBasketball on Twitter
Ryan Muench, left, and Tommy Drubulis, right, in a file photo Credits: Guy Kipp

SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD — An odd, different, yet relaxed sort of vibe slowly crept over Scotch Plains-Fanwood as the night went on. Then it grew into a full out disaster as the fourth quarter ticked away. 

Something was just off — it was clear from the opening tip-off to the final buzzer. Perhaps the spectacular Senior Night ceremonies set everyone back, or maybe the fact that it was the last regular season game before the state tournament regular season set in. 

Whatever the case, it was not a good look for Scotch Plains-Fanwood Friday night. 

Sign Up for E-News

A festive atmosphere quickly turned into a bewildering one, as Roselle, which has made a habit of stunning the Raiders in recent history, marched into Scotch Plains and won, 61-57, to pull off another upset. Scotch Plains-Fanwood’s Senior Night was spoiled in the process, and the Raiders now head into the state tournament with a record of 19-6. 

The same Roselle team that nearly upended the Raiders in the UCT First Round two weeks ago was led by some familiar faces from that February 10 overtime thriller. Isaiah Chase and James Alderman combined for 35 points, while Chris Lango, Jason Smith, and Lamar Moore teamed up to put in 25 of the Rams’ points. Roselle outscored Scotch Plains-Fanwood, 20-11, to pull away in a fourth quarter that the Raiders entered with a 46-44 advantage. 

As Scotch Plains-Fanwood was clinging to a one point lead, Lango hit an acrobatic layup with 1:37 left to put Roselle ahead, 58-57. On the Raiders' very next possession, the Rams came very close to purposely fouling, but were able to interrupt SPF by forcing multiple inbound restarts on reach in fouls. The plan eventually worked and coaxed a Raider turnover, to which Chase finished with a fastbreak to make it 60-57 with 38 seconds left, and after the Raiders were forced to foul, Lango hit a foul shot in the final seconds to seal the deal. 

Chase drained nine of his 18 total points to lead Roselle's fourth quarter surge.

After each team traded leads for most of the first half, it appeared that Scotch Plains-Fanwood was going to take charge for good early in the fourth. Tommy Drubulis drilled a three-pointer with 6:02 left to give his team a six point lead, and seconds later, Lamont Cruse hit an acrobatic layup to make it 55-49. However, from that point on, the Raiders’ lead only shrunk, and fell to one point on a Lango “and one” play at 2:07.  

Drubulis, one of the Raiders’ nine senior players, scored a team-high 15 points on a trio of both three-pointers and field goals. Petris, also a senior, added 11 points, and fellow classmate Dwight Laylor pulled down a staggering 16 rebounds in the loss. 

With Drubulis and Petris each chipping in five points with a three-pointer, the Raiders jumped out to a 12-8 lead after the first quarter. Roselle struck right back in the second with their first of two 20 point frames, though the Raiders, helped by Drubulis and Muench three-pointers, hung on for a 29-28 advantage at halftime. 

Shots seemed to have a hard time falling for Scotch Plains-Fanwood, which was successful on just 44 percent (22-for-50) of attempts from the field. 

This is not the first time that the Raiders have fallen victim to Roselle. Last year, the Rams ended SPF’s undefeated start to the season in January, and cost the Raiders a conference championship on the regular season’s final day a month later. Roselle also won a meeting between the two in the 2015-16 season.  

Prior to Friday night's game, 12 senior members from the Scotch Plains-Fanwood boys' basketball team and six senior cheerleaders were honored. They were:


Brendan Beriont
Jack Brady
Lamont Cruse
Tommy Drubulis
Nick Jackson
Dwight Laylor
Ryan Muench
John Petris
Brogan Quigley
Matt Kipp, Manager
Ryan Sta. Rosa, Manager
Alex Lipshitz, Manager


Liz DePaola
Grace Fontana
Tabea Jansen
Paige McMorrow
Shakir Philipe
Ally Vuono


TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Scotch Plains/Fanwood

Small Fire Extinguished at Addams Tavern in Westfield

June 13, 2018

WESTFIELD, NJ — It likely started with a smoldering cigarette, according to Deputy Fire Chief Anthony Tiller.

The fire that started in a flower planter on an outside deck on the second floor of Addams Tavern Wednesday caused a lot of smoke as it spread to the flooring, but only about a three-foot by three-foot area was damaged, Tiller said.

The restaurant at 115 Elm St. is ...

Is Summer Camp the Right Choice for My Child?

Is your child attending camp this summer? Is it their first experience away?  If yes, it can be an experience causing anxiety for you, for the parent and the child. 

This experience can be frightening to your child if it is their first time and it is so important that they do not see your worry or anxiety about leaving home for the first time… especially if it is sleep ...

What Are The Warning Signs of Suicide

The recent passings of Kate Spade and Anthony Bourdain remind us to take mental illness seriously. 

Many of us feel uncomfortable to ask when someone in distress is suicidal for fear we are putting this thought in their minds. This is not true. It is a myth that asking about suicide increases the risk of suicide. The most common mental illness is depression. Some people are ...


In honor of the Lubavitcher Rebbe's (of righteous memory) 24th  Yahrtzeit (anniversary of his passing) this coming Saturday the 16th.

Excerpts from an address given by Nobel-laureate Elie Wiesel on April 7, 1992, at a congressional dinner held in Washington on the occasion of the Rebbe's 90th birthday.

Some of you are aware of my admiration, not only ...

We Must Address The Unrealistic Affordable Housing Process Now

June 19, 2018

Dear Editor:

I would like to thank all the residents who attended and watched last Tuesday’s Town Hall meeting on over-development and legislative solutions with Assemblywoman Holly Schepisi and I. If you were unable to attend, I encourage you to watch the meeting on SPTV or the Township’s Facebook page at ().

The meeting was a real eye-opener for many of our residents. It ...

Union County Residents Can “Recycle Right” without Plastic Bags

June 19, 2018

The Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders reminds residents that plastic bags and other excluded items cannot be recycled through their local curbside pick-up programs.

“Union County residents have a good recycling rate compared to other counties in our state, and we want to improve on this record and set a high bar,” said Freeholder Chairman Sergio Granados. “Every ...

Upcoming Events

Fri, June 22, 7:30 PM

Crossroads, Garwood

Benefit Concert

Giving Back

Mon, June 25, 9:00 AM

Terrill Road Baptist Chruch, Scotch Plains

LifeWay’s 2018 Vacation Bible School at Terrill ...

Religions And Spirituality


Mon, July 9, 10:00 AM

Scotch Plains Public Library, Scotch Plains

Join the Summer Jewelry Making Club at the Scotch ...

Arts & Entertainment Health & Wellness Home & Garden