ROSELLE PARK, NJ — Against Cranford Thursday night, Scotch Plains-Fanwood was without leading scorer Tommy Drubulis. Facing Roselle Park on Friday, Drubulis returned but the team was missing another important piece, forward Ryan Muench.
The Raiders certainly could’ve used Muench’s shooting ability, but another balanced offensive effort led SPF to a 62-45 victory over Roselle Park as the team moves to a perfect record of 8-0.
Drubulis came back to the lineup and scored a game-best 18 points, while in Muench’s place, sophomore Justin Guy stepped up in his first varsity start and dropped 13 points, gathered nine rebounds, and dished out five assists. Jack Brady also reached double digits in scoring, pumping in 15 points, and Dwight Laylor contributed eight points and 11 rebounds to pace the Raiders.
Roselle Park, a below .500 Group 1 team (4-5), hung tough with Scotch Plains-Fanwood and actually came within two possessions during the second half. But the Raiders rode Drubulis’ hot hand and outscored the Panthers, 19-9, to pull away during the fourth quarter.
With six minutes, 30 seconds remaining in the final quarter, Drubulis popped a three-pointer which gave the Raiders a more comfortable three-possession (49-40) lead.
Feeding off the momentum from the clutch shot, which quite literally silenced Roselle Park’s home crowd, the Raiders put a cap on things when Dwight Laylor threw down a monstrous dunk on top of a Roselle Park defender.
Scotch Plains-Fanwood took a 33-25 lead into halftime, and after a tight opening quarter, was given energy on a 6-0 run that opened up the second quarter.
Eight of Jack Brady's 15 points came during the second half. The lengthy forward used an array of deft scoring moves, often spinning and muscling towards the rack or hitting smooth fadeaway jump shots. Brady's 15 clip was a season-high mark.
Lamont Cruse shot a perfect six-for-six from the free throw line to help the Raiders capitalize on Roselle Park’s 21 total team fouls. Cruse also brought down nine boards.
Peter Talbot scored 17 points and Kevin Cadet chipped in 13 for Roselle Park, which held just one lead, occurring early in the first quarter.
Scotch Plains-Fanwood will have a day to catch its breath on Saturday before it hits the court again on Sunday. The Raiders will take on Woodbridge, a perennial North 2, Group 4 contender, at Kean University in the Eric LeGrand Classic Sunday at 6:00.