SUMMIT, NJ - Not enough defensive pressure and too much Javon Reis-Wilson.
The combination of those two factors was enough to send the Summit Boys Varsity Basketball Team to their second consecutive defeat, falling to Governor Livingston 61-55 at the Main Gym.
After the game, a clearly frustrated Summit Head Coach Dan Healy lamented the pace of the game, as dictated by the Highlanders, and the lack of sustained defensive pressure by his team. He also praised Reis-Wilson, the senior GL point guard whose game-high 30-point night was highlighted by bursts in the first and fourth quarters, the latter of which proved to be the dagger.
The game was slow and methodical for the better part of the first quarter and a-half, until a Hilltopper run brought a five-minute energy shot to the contest and fueled a Summit lead at the break.
Trailing 13-11 after one, with Reis-Wilson scoring nine of the Highlanders points, the game somewhat slogged along until the midway point of the second when the Hilltoppers, led by 10 points from Will Schaffer, cranked up the defensive intensity and scored a flurry of points to take a 29-21 halftime lead. Summit outscored GL 18-8 in the second stanza and had all the momentum hearding to the locker room.
The second quarter mojo last all of about 20 seconds into the third, with the Highlanders scoring two baskets in the paint and the Hilltoppers looking flat. While it was not a lightning strike -- more like a slow drizzle, in fact -- GL chipped away at the lead and eventually pushed ahead 42-40 on a Reis-Wilson three-point play with 11.3 seconds left in the frame. In the quarter, Summit was methodically and soundly beaten, 21-11.
After a three-ball from Schaffer and an end-to-end dash and bucket from Wayne White, Summit was within a point at 45-44. But Reis-Wilson scored 11 points in the fourth, a big blow being a three-ball with just over three and a-half minutes to go to make it 53-48, and the Hilltoppers were forced to chase the game the rest of the way.
Schaffer ended up leading Summit, now 6-5 on the season, with 18 points.
"We didn't make them work hard enough," said Healy. "They got the half-court tempo they wanted and got the result they wanted. Offensively, we didn't display the patience and poise we need to and, defensively, our rotation wasn't there, we didn't get the stops we needed, and they hit their shots."
Summit stays home to face West Morris Central January 16 at the Main Gym. Tip off is scheduled for 1 p.m.
Tough Fourth Quarter Sinks JV, Freshman Tested But Win to Go 8-0
Despite Jack Washburn's 15 points, the Summit High School Boys JV Basketball Team lost to Governor Livingston, 52-44. A two-point final quarter, offensively, by the Hilltoppers proved decisive.
Trailing 7-0 to open the game, the Hilltopper Freshman Boys climbed back into the contest against the Highlanders, but still trailed by a point at halftime and at the end of the third. Making key defensive stops and timely buckets, Summit opened a four-point lead late in the fourth quarter and then hung on for a 39-38 win, as a potential game-winning GL shot clanged off the rim as the horn sounded.
The Freshman have opened the season 8-0 under Head Coach Tim Simo.