SUMMIT, NJ - In a lackluster performance, the Summit Hilltoppers were defeated by the Rahway Indians 67-51 on Tuesday night. Summit's record now falls back to the .500 mark where the team has hovered all season.
Summit was down early, with Rahway taking an 8-1 lead after only 2:15 in the first quarter. Rahway's defense was superb all night playing very tight defense and forcing a lot of turnovers. The Indians were consistently able to keep Summit from scoring inside the paint and forced them to take the outside shot. The defense held Summit to only nine points in the second quarter and the first field goal made by Summit in that quarter came from center Matt Wholey with 1:20 left. "It's frustrating because we know we are better. We didn't come prepared and it showed on the court," Summit junior forward Clayton Johnson said. Summit guard Shawn Hillas made the only other field goal that quarter for the Hilltoppers and, at the half, Summit was trailing 36-19.
Summit began to show some life in the third quarter. The Hilltoppers were beginning to drive in the paint and were able to play much tighter defense. Matt Rea made a lay-up that put Summit within 9, at 45-36. But Rahway then scored six unanswered points, which all but sealed the victory for the Indians. Summit was able to get within 10 in the fourth quarter on a Clayton Johnson three-pointer, but it was too little too late.
When asked what the team needs to do to become an above .500 team, Clayton Johnson replied, "We need to play together and get focused before every game. If we do that, we will be fine."