SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- In a matchup between the sixth and 19th seeds in the Union County boys basketball tournament, it was a tighter game than expected, with Scotch Plains-Fanwood escaping with a 53-45 victory over Oratory Prep.

What got the Raiders through the tough game was the play of senior point guard Teddy Willmott, TAPintoSPF's Yeti MMA Athlete of the Week. With his left-handed stroke, Willmott nailed four three-pointers in the game on way to 16 points.

“(Teddy) shot with confidence today, he definitely gave us some good looks,” SPFHS head coach Steve Siracusa said. “When he is on, he is tough to guard and he energizes the team. I’m glad he came off to a hot start today and kept it going throughout the game with his shooting ability.”

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Willmott used his creative skill to facilitate the offense while mixing in layups in the paint and draining shots in the corner from beyond the arc.

Although Willmott helped advance the Raiders to the second round for a game against Plainfield, Siracusa’s take away from the game wasn’t ideal.

“I think our effort at times during the game wasn’t at the standard we’ve been trying to keep it at this season,” Siracusa said.

Siracusa’s viewpoint was due to multiple Oratory offensive rebounds and the fact that the defense didn’t play to its full potential. The miscues allowed the 7-10 Rams to reach an eventual three-point deficit in the fourth, something that seemed to be an unlikely scenario before the game.

“Our defense was good, not great,” said Siracusa. “We have to get better help, we have to make sure we get those 50-50 balls, take some charges and rebound the basketball. That was a big thing tonight that we didn’t do.”

Even with the negatives of the game, Siracusa knows his team will put forth a better effort next contest because they will prepare not worrying about Plainfield.

“We have to get better ourselves. I don’t even want to focus (on our next opponent) as much as us and improving our fundamentals and things we’ve been preaching since day one,” Siracusa said.

The Plainfield vs. SPFHS will be played at night on Wednesday, Feb. 15 as a Raider home game.

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