MARLBORO, NJ -- Yathin Vemula's layup with less than one second left gave the South Brunswick boys basketball team a 72-71 victory over Marlboro for the Central Jersey, Group 4 championship Tuesday night.
The Vikings (25-5) will play South Group 4 champ Atlantic City in the Group 4 state semifinals Thursday at 5:30 p.m. at Egg Harbor Township.
Trailing, 71-70, South Brunswick worked the ball around the perimeter. Finally, guard Alex Strange, from the right side of the arc, rifled a pass to Vemula, who was cutting to the basket from the right side of the lane. Vemula beat the buzzer for the victory.
Justin Carbone led fourth-seeded South Brunswick with 30 points and Devin Strickland finished with 24 points, nine rebounds and three assists in the victory. Aleksy Friedman had 21 points and seven rebounds for third-seeded Marlboro (23-7).
Akhil Edekar handed out six assists, grabbed four rebounds and came up with two steals for the Vikings. Vemula finished with eight points and three assists.
Marlboro led, 38-34, at halftime and went up by as many as seven in the third quarter. But South Brunswick rallied and took its first lead of the game, 53-52, on a putback by Strickland to end the third quarter. Strickland also sank two free throws with 37 seconds left to give South Brunswick a 70-69 lead before Marlboro retook the lead by a point, setting up the frantic final seconds.