UNION, NJ — No Scotch Plains-Fanwood boys basketball team has ever started off this well.
With their statement 54-47 victory over Woodbridge in the Eric LeGrand Showcase, the Raiders advanced to 11-0 for the first time in school history Sunday at Kean University.
The highly anticipated matchup lived up to its hype. Senior Nigel Nelson erupted for 14 points, including a thunderous dunk, to lead Scotch Plains. Eight of Nelson’s 14 points came in the Raiders’ 20-point third quarter. Joining him in the 13-point category was Tommy Drubulis, who caught fire in the middle stages of the game to keep Scotch Plains ahead of a strong Woodbridge team (9-2).
With Scotch Plains holding onto a convincing lead entering the fourth quarter, Woodbridge mounted a furious rally led by Kamari Persel, who scored seven points in the quarter. But Cooper Heisey held off the comeback, as he dropped eight points in the final quarter to keep Scotch Plains ahead.
After falling behind, 13-7, at the end of the first quarter, the Raiders outscored Woodbridge to go up, 21-18, entering halftime.
Scotch Plains-Fanwood, which competes in the Union County Conference (UCC), is now 6-0 against Greater Middlesex Conference opponents.
"It was a great experience for our team to play on a bigger stage at Kean University in the Eric LeGrand showcase," said SPFHS Coach Steve Siracusa. "Woodbridge is a real tough and talented team too, so it was a big test for us. I'm proud how our players stepped up to the challenge and played their hearts out today."
The Raiders will play another pivotal matchup Tuesday at 7 p.m., when they host rival Rahway, which is currently in second place in the Raiders’ division — the UCC Valley — and which has not lost a conference game.