SUMMIT, NJ - Like an arm wrestling match between two evenly pitted opponents, The Summit High School Boys Varsity Basketball Team's game versus Governor Livingston (GL) had its ebbs and flows, long stretches of stalemated strength and will, and -- ultimately -- came down to one final move at the very end. In that ultimate moment, a 28-foot, three-pointer from Higlanders' Jack Davey as time expired was the difference, as GL beat the Hilltoppers, 43-41.
The contest was a far cry from the teams' previous encounter January 13, in which the Highlanders enjoyed a relatively comfortable 64-49 victory at home, a game that saw GL's Rob Imbalzano score 18 points as Summit could not solve GL's half-court game on either end of the floor. After that game, which led to a relatively protracted team talk that centered, according to Hilltoppers Head Coach Dan Healy, "on what type of team we wanted to be," Summit -- now 8-8 on the campaign -- has won four of six and is vastly improved.
Tuesday night, Imbalzano had a quiet 11 points to lead GL, while Summit was led by 12 points from Jordan Gonzalez, and 11 from Alex Dadourian, who had a very strong game coming off the bench. Pat Maloney also chipped in 10 for the Hilltoppers.
A jumper from Dadourian at the first quarter horn knotted the game at 10-10 and Summit, behind balanced scoring from a quartet of players, took a 19-16 lead to halftime in a game that lacked scoring, but not intensity. The Hilltoppers had a rough start to the third quarter, falling behind after committing six consecutive turnovers to begin the frame. After five minutes of the quarter, Summit had scored just a lone point, but a late three from Gary Green meant the teams were headed to the final quarter all even, 27-27.
Both teams were in the bonus just three minutes into the fourth, and the lead see-sawed back and forth until a pair of buckets from Gonzalez ultimately put Summit up 39-36 with 1:30 left to play. Maloney made it 41-37 Summit moments later, but a quick hoop and foul conversion from GL brought the lead to just a point at 41-40. After the foul shot, the Highlanders called time-out. On the re-start, Summit made an errant pass on the inbounds play, however the Highlanders appeared to commit a blatant traveling violation on the intercept, taking at least four steps before their coach used another time-out.
The subsequent inbounds pass went to Imbalzano in the corner, whose shot from behind the arc was blocked, however GL regained possession and threw the ball out high to Davey, and his on-target shot as the horn sounded added injury to the insult of the non-call which led to that opportunity.
"Give credit to GL, they made the plays down the stretch. They are a very good half-court team on offense and defense, and we were flying around trying to disrupt them when they were running their sets, " said Healy. "I know we could have won this game and, more importantly, that is how our players feel, It was our game, and they took it from us."
Next Game: February 5 at Jonathan Dayton - 7 p.m.
Next Home Game: February 7 v. Roselle Park - 1:30 p.m.
JV, Freshman Teams Defeated
The Summit High School JV Basketball Team dropped a 47-45 decision to GL, as Jaden Jackson had 19 points, and Liam Lawler added 8 for the Hilltoppers. The Freshman Team also fell to the Highlanders, 52-39.
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