Sports

Boys Basketball: Defense Propels Verona To 50-39 Victory Over Glen Ridge

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Credits: Nick Teodoro
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Jack Farrell had 10 points in Verona's 50-39 win over Glen Ridge Credits: Nick Teodoro
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Travis Jocelyn scored 26 points for Verona. Credits: Nick Teodoro
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Joey Zecchino soars towards the basket after in a recent game against Glen Ridge Credits: Nick Teodoro
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Travis Jocelyn drives the lane against Glen Ridge Credits: Nick Teodoro
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VERONA, NJ -  The Verona Boys Basketball Team is back on the winning track after an impressive 50-39 victory over Glen Ridge on Saturday.

“We played a lot better today [than lately], we played cleaner, crisper, we were definitely better today,” said Hillbillies Head Coach Eric McElroy.

Verona utilized a strong defense to stifle and overpower a Glen Ridge team that had come into the game winning three of their last four. Clinging to a mere four point lead with four minutes remaining the Hillbillies never waivered in their belief of a victory.

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“We’re not going to put up 60 or 70 points a game so we have to guard and they know it...when you have the Zach Zaccone and Matt Zacchone, Matt Farrell and Travis [Jocelyn] guarding the rim like that it makes you breathe a little bit easier,” said McElroy.

Offensively Verona was lead by Travis Jocelyn who sparked the group with his dominance inside the paint. Jocelyn staked Verona to an eight-point halftime lead after a second quarter where he netted seven of his game-high 16 points.

“We were moving the ball a lot, we were trying to get good looks. I thought we were more athletic and more physical,” said Jocelyn.

For Jocelyn it’s been status quo as he’s averaged 14 points per game in his last three contests.

“I just try to stay confident, if I miss a shot I try to not worry about it as much and keep shooting…I’m just trying to be active,” said Jocelyn.

Jocelyn was joined in the second quarter by teammate Andrew Sieglein who helped in the paint. Sieglein’s four second quarter points helped to keep double teams off of teammates Jack Farrell and Zach Zaccone who were fresh for the second half.

“Sieglein is a great kid to have off the bench. He was great, he plays so strong, he finishes well and is an excellent asset to have,” said McElroy.

For Verona, the victory improves the team to 8-4 on the season. This victory has helped turn the momentum in the Hillbillies favor as they’ve now won three of their last five.

They will look to continue on the winning path with Newark Tech coming in on Tuesday, but refuse to take a big picture look at the season at this stage according to their coach.

“We take it day by day I don’t know about building upon it. We still have a ton of work to do, we’ve got a talented Newark Tech Team coming in on Tuesday and it’s going to be tough to prepare so it’s day by day and it always is how we treat it here,” said McElroy. 

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