CLARK, NJ-  The Arthur L. Johnson HS Crusaders boys varsity basketball team fell to the Verona High School Hillbillies by a final score of 51-41 Saturday morning in Clark. Verona closed out the game on a 15-5 scoring run to secure the victory on the road.

The Hillbillies started the game with a quick run to an 11-2 lead, but with three minutes left in the opening quarter, the Crusaders battled back to tighten the score. After the first eight minutes of play, Verona led Johnson 14-9, but the battle between the two teams would take over the rest of the game.

The second quarter started slowly, with few baskets scored in the earlier minutes, but Johnson would ultimately take the lead as the quarter drew to a close, leading 21-18 at halftime. The Crusaders outscored the Hillbillies 12-4 in the quarter to open up the slim head before the second half began.

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With the third quarter underway, the Hillbillies and Crusaders would trade a few baskets and free throws on both sides, with Verona holding a slim 34-33 lead heading into the fourth quarter.

With the score tied 36-36, the Hillbillies took over, keeping the Crusaders at bay and not allowing major chances for them. Johnson got to within 43-39 with 1:28 left, but Verona put the game out of reach and came through with the victory on the road.

For Johnson, junior George Visconti led his team with 21 points, while junior Joe DiProfio added 11 points.

For Verona, senior Travis Jocelyn led the way with 19 points in the victory. Seniors Jack Farrell added seven points for the Hillbillies and Zack Zaccone added eight points..

The Johnson Crusaders (18-3) will try and rebound from the loss when they go on the road to play at New Egypt HS Tuesday night at 7:00 p.m.

The Verona Hillbillies (17-5) are back in action when they head home to take on West Caldwell Tech HS Tuesday evening at 7:00 p.m.

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