PATERSON, NJ -- The Union Catholic boys basketball team used a big second quarter surge and efficient long-range shooting to pull away and defeat Passaic, 72-53, in the semifinal round of the Paterson Charter Holiday Tournament on Saturday night.
The Vikings, now 3-1 on the season, will defend their tournament title vs. host Paterson Charter on Monday at 6:10 p.m. Paterson Charter advanced by beating DePaul, 76-59.
After a close first quarter that saw UC clinging to a 17-15 lead, the Vikings exploded for 23 points in the second quarter to open a 40-24 lead. UC kept rolling in the third quarter when the Vikings extended the gap to 59-36.
Union Catholic's victory was fueled by its prolific sharpshooting from behind the arc, connecting on nine of 21 three-point attempts (43 percent), and a suffocating defense that came up wth 16 steals.
As has been the case in all four of its games so far this season, Union Catholic received contributions from several players
Junior guard Elijah Barlow continued his torrid start to the season by lead the Vikings with 16 points, including three 3-pointers, and dished out five assists, and had four steals.
Senior Matt Tracey had 15 points and six rebounds, junior Bradley Young played the best game of his varsity career so far by scoring a career-high 14 points (he made two 3-pointers), and he grabbed a team-high eight rebounds, and a handed out a team-high seven assists. Austin Squeri also had a huge game for the Vikings as the junior guard sank all three of his 3-point attempts and finished with a career high 14 points.