SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ — Taking advantage of a dominant second half, Scotch Plains-Fanwood boys basketball defeated Summit, 48-35, in the Raiders’ home opener Tuesday afternoon.
Lamont Cruse dropped a game-high 16 points — 14 of which came in the second half — and the Raiders outscored the Hilltoppers, 30-22, in the final two quarters to pull away with a key Union County Conference Valley Division victory. Tommy Drubulis (13 points, three 3-pointers) and Jack Brady (11 points) joined Cruse in double-digit scoring.
Both Cruse and Drubulis are averaging 13.0 points-per-game on the young season.
Summit initially jumped out to a 10-7 lead at the end of the the first quarter after remaining atop for the majority of the opening frame. However, the Raiders recovered in the second and took momentum into halftime when Drubulis and Ryan Muench banked acrobatic layups in traffic during the half’s final minute. Both buckets gave the Raiders a five-point advantage entering the locker room, and the lead only grew exponentially.
"Tonight was a big first conference win for us against a very tough Summit team. They gave us some problems throughout the game but I'm glad how our team dug deep and grinded out the win as a unit," said Raiders head coach Steve Siracusa in an interview with TAPintoSPF. "We will watch the game film, learn more from it, and continue to strive to improve on a daily basis."
The Raiders never looked back and sealed the deal with a 17-point fourth quarter, which featured a crowd-awakening Dwight Laylor highlight reel dunk and eight points from Cruse.
Allowing less than 40 points for the second time in as many games this season, Scotch Plains-Fanwood has thrived defensively. This was again the case Tuesday, as the Raiders have now allowed an average of just 33.5 points-per-game against two opponents this season.
Now 2-0, the Raiders hit the hardwood again on Thursday. They play host to fellow Group 4 Edison, a team that the Scotch Plains-Fanwood beat 35-28 last season.