Sports

Boys Basketball: Cedar Grove Advances to Holiday Tournament Finals With Win Over West Essex

3e380116c7502de2ccac_Shane3.jpg
Shane Benson Credits: Joe Amati
fc00bf007c16ab2b4f1b_ShaneBenson.JPG
Shane Benson Credits: Nick Teodoro
c2eacae7743ffb082389_Dennismitolla.JPG
Dennis Mitola Credits: Nick Teodoro
13a5e5eedbd31e4061dc_MitolaCarry.JPG
Dennis Mitola Credits: Nick Teodoro
5dd5398320aaafd083a4_SammyVentola__2_.JPG
Sammy Ventola Credits: Nick Teodoro
26e65ad835b9895826f5_Dennis2.jpg
Dennis Mitola Credits: Joe Amati
6fc5402d507259621f64_Dennis3.jpg
Dennis Mitola Credits: Joe Amati
956a476bfead0c1c62cc_Joey2.jpg
Joe Amati Credits: Joe Amati
1bbeadc47b7c703da5a7_John_G.jpg
John Guaimano Credits: Joe Amati
864d56d224755df91ffc_Luca2.jpg
Luca Greco Credits: Joe Amati
811e52fcfd2980bde53f_Pronesti2.jpg
Mike Pronesti Credits: Joe Amati
dd04c4f20e6b1636dcb0_Pronesti10.jpg
Mike Pronesti Credits: Joe Amati
9667edf6f4380276f4dc_Sammy.jpg
Sammy Ventola Credits: Joe Amati
218a44994a1e6790fd02_Shane4.jpg
Shane Benson Credits: Joe Amati
d13fd4f46f8e38fdd9f7_shane10.jpg
Shane Benson Credits: Joe Amati
5a6ed0fd2a98d057b818_TJ.jpg
T.J. Jones Credits: Joe Amati
3e380116c7502de2ccac_Shane3.jpg

CALDWELL, NJ - A determined and confident Cedar Grove Boys Basketball Team dominated West Essex in the Holiday Tournament by a final score of 40-20 on Thursday afternoon at Caldwell University.

“It’s always good to get a win in the holiday tournament…you only get three tournaments a year so it’s nice to get a win in the first round of any of those,” said Cedar Grove Head Coach T.J Jones.

The Panthers started strong in the first quarter with a swarming defense that held the Knights to just four points for the frame. Seniors Shane Benson and Mike Pronesti combined for nine of the team’s 11 points in the quarter to send Cedar Grove on their way to victory.

Sign Up for E-News

“I think we gain a lot of our energy on the floor from defense…I think when we get big stops or an over the back call  [because] we try to do the little things well [and] stress that as a staff so when we do those things and guys get excited, that kind of defensive energy starts promoting better offense from us,” said Jones.

For Benson it was the start of a special game as the senior began to tear apart the Knights defense. Benson notched a game-high 15 points for the Panthers nearly half of which came during the key scoring period between the end of the first and midway through the second quarter.

“I think our mental switch was there.  I think the confidence was there, our defense led to our offense, we like to bring energy on the defense so we can begin to get transition buckets,” said Benson.

Both teams had a quiet second quarter of play as the defensive intensity rose. The two squads exchanged baskets with Cedar Grove winning the frame 6-3 and taking a 17-7 lead into the half.

“We just brought energy right out of the gate we wanted to be physical and cause turnovers whether they’re five second calls or bad passes…that’s just the energy we like to bring,” said Benson

Cedar Grove knew with a strong third quarter they could put a stranglehold on the game and erase any chance of a Knight comeback. The defensive play of Cedar Grove continued with a shutout of the Knights offense in the third quarter. Benson’s scoring was supplemented by foul shots from Luca Greco and John Guiamano, which gave Cedar Grove a 26-7 commanding lead at the end of the third.

“I think the scouting [report] was a huge thing and we followed that to a T so using that got me and some other guys easy buckets,” said Benson.

Cedar Grove’s victory improves the squad to 3-1 on the season as they’ve now won their last two games in a row. The Panthers will look to win the Holiday Tournament with a key game Saturday night against Verona at 7 p.m. at Caldwell University.

TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove  is an online newspaper serving the Townships of Verona and Cedar Grove. TAPinto Verona/Cedar Grove is accredited by the New Jersey Press Association, and is a locally owned news organization serving the community.

Sign up for our FREE daily eNews and follow us on Facebook and Twitter.

Got a news tip or opinion? email us at jmoreno@tapinto.net

Download the FREE TAPinto App!  Click here for Android - Click here for iOS to get news as it is happening.

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News

Verona/Cedar Grove

Millburn 1 of 13 School Districts in NJ to Close Schools for Diwali

July 19, 2018

GLEN ROCK, NJ - Next year, Millburn Township Public Schools will be closed on November 7 for Diwali, the Hindu festival of lights. Thirteen schools around the state, including Millburn, will close on the most popular day of the Hindu festival Diwali, while one will close on Nov. 6. 

As the festival of lights, Diwali "aims to dispel the ...

Cedar Grove Police Blotter

July 8, 2018

July 2, 2018 – July 8, 2018

On July 3, 2018 at 7:22 a.m., Ptl. Kristian Schneider responded to a David Road address to take a report of a suspicious vehicle. The resident observed a black four door vehicle stop in front of her home at approximately 5:20 a.m. She noticed that both passenger side doors were open and then observed two black males walking from the area of her driveway. She ...

Got Mint? Bayonne Police Charge Man with Stealing $1,000 in Toothpaste

July 17, 2018

BAYONNE, NJ – The case of a near lifetime supply of toothpaste that was taken from a Bayonne pharmacy has been solved.

Marcos Baez, 40, of Isabella Avenue, was charged with four counts of shoplifting after police identified him as the person responsible for stealing more than $1,000 worth of toothpaste, according to a police release.

Police were called to the Rite Aid at 12-16 North ...

Upcoming Events

Carousel_image_c59c9acb1abc7cdb8c6a_mini_magick20180510-124227-5wdsnf

Mon, July 23, 9:00 AM

Sellitto Field, Verona

Verona Football 2018 Summer Camp

Sports

Mon, July 23, 7:00 PM

Hospital Auditorium, Glen Ridge

Tour of the Birthing Center

Health & Wellness

Carousel_image_c59c9acb1abc7cdb8c6a_mini_magick20180510-124227-5wdsnf

Tue, July 24, 9:00 AM

Sellitto Field, Verona

Verona Football 2018 Summer Camp

Sports

Calling Local Artists!

July 17, 2018

The Township of Verona is looking to run some new events around town focused on the arts and would like to hear from all the amazing local talent we have here in Verona and the surrounding towns. Please send an email to stneale@veronanj.org if you would like to hear more and get involved.

LOCAL BUSINESSES: Please contact if interested in hosting an exhibit at your location.