MONMOUTH JUNCTION -- Coach Eric Maxwell's Southern Regional Rams prevailed 2-1 in Tuesday's overall state semifinal contest against Bridgewater-Raritan. The Rams won the first game 25-18 but lost the second 27-25. The Rams bounced back in game 3 after facing match point in the third set to win 27-25 in a tough contest.
The win moves Southern into the championship for the ninth straight year, a tremendous accomplishment. The Rams face Fair Lawn High School Thursday at 5 p.m. at South Brunswick High School.
In the third set, the Rams went ahead 8-2 early but Bridgewater-Raritan came all the way back to take the lead. The Panthers could have won the contest when they were ahead 24-23 at match point. Southern scored the next two points to take 25-24. Bridgewater-Raritan scored the next point but the Rams reeled off the last two to win 27-25. Those last two points includes blocks by Shane Drayton and Shane Bent.
Southern was led by Zack Hem's 13 kills, and Shane Bent's eight kills and seven blocks. Brennan Davis had 35 assists and 13 digs, while Colin Lockwood added five kills and 14 digs.