SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- Backcourt play has been especially strong for undefeated Scotch Plains-Fanwood so far this season. Led by senior guards Tommy Drubulis and Lamont Cruse, the dynamic duo has contributed 169 combined points for the Raiders, who are now 8-0.
While Drubulis is currently the Raiders leading scorer, Cruse has taken his game to another level this week. Setting career highs and cramming the stat sheet, Cruse’s exceptional play on the hardwood have landed him this week’s Joint Motion Physical Therapy Athlete of the Week honors.
Averaging 11.0 points-per-game and leading the team with 29 free throws made while typically manning the shooting guard position, Cruse has been a main offensive presence for the Raiders all season. Prior to this week, however, he had not yet put up a statement game. But that all changed on Tuesday, and the senior has been torrid during the first two contests of his team’s four game marathon week.
Against divisional foe Gov. Livingston on Tuesday, Cruse dropped a team-high 22 points while helping lead the Raiders to a decisive 59-42 victory at home. Draining seven field goals and converting seven shots from the free throw line, Cruse turned in the highest scoring game of his three-year varsity career.
Two nights later, when Tommy Drubulis was sidelined with illness, it was Cruse who stepped up big time and led his team to another key divisional victory. Against Cranford, albeit the Union County Conference Valley Division’s last place team, Cruse posted his first career double-double as the Raiders went on to claim a 49-37 victory in Scotch Plains. The senior scored 11 points — matched by Ryan Muench for a team-best mark — brought down 10 rebounds, and came away with five steals. He gained his team 15 possessions (rebounds and steals) as the Raiders entered a virtual tie for first place with rival Rahway as a direct result of the victory.
In the Raiders' third game of the week on Friday, Cruse shot a perfect six-of-six from the free point line and pulled down nine rebounds to help guide his team in a 62-45 win over Roselle Park.
Prior to this week, Cruse has put up a 16-point performance against Summit on December 19 and poured in 10 points against Colonia on opening night four days prior. He currently owns 329 career varsity points.
But Cruse’s game does not just stop at scoring. He is regarded as one of the team’s best defenders, consistently stopping the premier guards each opponent has to offer in addition to crashing the boards — five of his 10 rebounds Thursday night came on the defensive end. With Cruse helping set the defensive tone in the backcourt, Scotch Plains-Fanwood has held its competition to a mere average of 36.8 points scored per game.
Cruse and the Raiders continue a demanding week on Friday, when they look to remain unbeaten and travel to take on Roselle Park at 5:30. Then on Sunday, the team will meet North 2, Group 4 counterpart Woodbridge at 6:00 p.m. in the Eric LeGrand Showcase at Kean University.
Joint Motion Physical Therapy is located across the street from the Stage House Tavern and shares a free, handicap accessible parking lot with the Scotch Plains Public Library. Joint Motion can be reached for an appointment by phone 908-322-3202, or email email@example.com. You can also learn more at www.facebook.com/JointMotionPT.
Joint Motion Physical Therapy
373 Park Ave.
Scotch Plains, NJ 07076