Boys Basketball: In High-Scoring Affair, Westfield Falls to Union Catholic, 71-61

Mark Natiello drains a jumpshot from the paint in the fourth quarter. Credits: TAPintoWestfield Staff

WESTFIELD — Quite the opposite style of game was played Friday night compared to the last time Westfield and Union Catholic met, though a similar outcome was yielded by the two divisional foes. 

After battling in a tight defensive battle on Jan. 12, Westfield and its Union County Conference Mountain Division counterpart met again on Friday with both teams running the floor and scoring early and often. Though the Blue Devils held plenty of leads and put forth a late rally, the Vikings ultimately pulled ahead and remained that way after a 35-35 tie at halftime, claiming a 71-61 victory in Westfield. 

While Adam McDaniel dropped a game-high 22 points and Matt Crowley added 19 for Westfield, Rob Miller, Ibn Lynn, and Justin Archer scored 19, 18, and 17, respectively, to lead Union Catholic. The Vikings were also boosted at the free throw line, where they outshot Westfield, 20-4. 

Sign Up for E-News

Though Westfield is much stronger than its record would indicate, the Blue Devils fall to 3-13 with Friday’s loss. 

Mired in a 35-35 deadlock after an eventful first half, Union Catholic opened up the third quarter on a 13-3 run and Westfield was never quite able to recover. During the overpowering stretch, Miller scored eight of Union Catholic’s points, including a three-pointer with 5:41 remaining to give his team a 41-38 lead, and from that point on, the Vikings would never trail again. 

Though Union Catholic never relented the lead from that point, it didn’t mean Westfield wasn’t going away without a fight. 

The Blue Devils fell behind by as many as 11 points before mounting a fourth quarter rally led by McDaniel and Mark Natiello that was nearly completed. In just over two minutes time, Westfield turned a four possession deficit into a two possession one on a pair of three-pointers from McDaniel’s hot hand, and pulled within four points of their neighboring rivals on Natiello’s two-point field goal with 1:31 left to play. Natiello again came up clutch 53 seconds later when he swished a three ball, again making it a four point game (65-61). 

In an attempt to coax a turnover and pull even closer, Westfield went to a full court press after Natielo’s late three. Union Catholic was able to break it on three occasions, and Justin Archer put the game on ice when he tossed down two thunderous breakaway dunks and added a layup, all during the game’s final 35 seconds. 

Archer took over the game late and scored 13 of his 17 total points in the fourth quarter. 

The Blue Devils’ largest lead of the night was five points, and it came 35 seconds into the second half. On the final bucket of a 7-0 Westfield run, McDaniel connected on a two-point field goal which gave his team a 20-15 lead at the time. Crowley hit his first and only three-pointer of the game 20 seconds earlier and opened the run on a first quarter buzzer beater. Westfield’s first true run marked the first time the game’s score exceeded a single possession. 

McDaniel went on to knock down a total of four shots from the three-point line and matched a career-high with his 22 points. The senior is now averaging 11.2 points-per-game this season. 

Crowley added two more buckets during the final minute of the opening half, including a highlight reel “jelly” layup in transition off of a steal with 20 seconds remaining. The layup gave Westfield a 35-33 lead, only to be equalized by the Vikings on Isiah Hill’s buzzer beater. 

A junior, Crowley netted 13 points alone in the first half, however, the Vikings’ Ibn Lynn also had a dominant opening 16 minutes and had 15 points by the time both teams entered the locker room. 

Before Westfield went on its minute run midway through the opening half, both teams were within a possession of each other during the first quarter. Lynn drained a trifecta of three-pointers to account for 12 of Union Catholic’s 15 points, but Westfield came out hot as well and matched the Vikings’ 15 points. 

Westfield was sent to the to foul line just twice — though it shot a perfect 4-for-4 — while Union Catholic was at the stripe a startling 15 times and hit 20 shots. Coincidentally or not, last night the Vikings outshot Scotch Plains-Fanwood 18-3. 

It’s a quick turnaround for Westfield, which hosts Hillsborough Saturday night at 7 p.m. Union Catholic next hits the court against defending Tournament of Champions winner, The Patrick School, on Monday. 

TAP Into Another Town's News:

You May Also Be Interested In

Sign Up for E-News


Springfield Acupuncturist Charged with Sexual Assault of Patient

February 24, 2018

SPRINGFIELD, NJ — A Springfield-based acupuncturist and was arrested and charged with sexually assaulting a patient, Acting Union County Prosecutor Michael A. Monahan and Springfield Police Chief John Cook jointly announced Friday.

 Edward Raskin, 55, of Chatham Township, Morris County, was charged with second-degree sexual assault and fourth-degree criminal sexual ...

Mayor Brindle’s Update

February 15, 2018

The following are highlights from the update that Mayor Shelley Brindle gave at Tuesday night’s town council meeting.

I first want to congratulate Nick Calello and David Went for their promotions to patrol officers in the Westfield Police Department. I’d also like to welcome and congratulate new Patrol Officer Fortunato Riga, who joins the police department this week upon his ...

Upcoming Events


Sat, February 24, 1:00 PM

Westfield Area YMCA, Westfield

Free Kids Expo and Water Safety Event

Arts & Entertainment Health & Wellness

Sat, February 24, 7:00 PM

Grand Summit Hotel, Summit

The Burlesque Ball

Arts & Entertainment Giving Back


Sun, February 25, 10:00 AM

Camp Riverbend, Warren

Camp Riverbend Open House

Westfield Police Blotter: Man Steals 60 Pairs of Pants from Downtown Store & More

February 21, 2018

February 14, 2018 10:53 p.m.

Officers Gill and Weiss arrested Luis Murillo, age 30, of Rahway, NJ, for two outstanding warrants out of Westfield Municipal Court ($500) and Woodbridge Municipal Court ($500) pursuant to a motor vehicle stop in Scotch Plans Township. Subject was transported to headquarters, processed and released after posting requisite bail.


February 15, 2018 5:24 ...

Union County Hosts First LGBTQ Roundtable

February 24, 2018

On Tuesday, February 20, the Union County Board of Chosen Freeholders, through the Office of LGBTQ Services, hosted a roundtable with over 20 leading LGBTQ advocacy and ally organizations that serve Union County and New Jersey. Facilitated by Christian Fuscarino, Executive Director of Garden State Equality, more than 40 participants met to discuss LGBTQ-related programs, services, issues and ...

The Missing Moses

A seemingly dubious distinction belongs to this week’s Parshah, Tetzaveh (Exodus 27:20–30:10). It is the only reading in the Torah — from the first Parshah of the book of Exodus (in which he is born) until the end of the book of Numbers — where the name of Moses is not mentioned. Tetzaveh’s opening words are V’atah ...

‘Month of Hope’ at Wilson School

Inspired by the HOPE Week Initiative introduced in 2009 by the New York Yankees, Mr. Joseph Malanga, principal of Wilson School and a fan of the American League professional ballclub, declared January the “Month of Hope” at Wilson.

Malanga called on the school’s faculty Acts of Kindness Committee to choose the charitable organizations to be recipients of the weekly donation ...


AtlantiCast: Episode 12

On this week’s episode of AtlantiCast, decade of excellence makes headlines, as Atlantic Health’s place on Fortune Magazine’s 100 Best Companies to Work For List leads off the newest episode of AtlantiCast. Also on this week’s show, check out the newest “hybrid” operating room at Morristown Medical Center and find out how Atlantic Health is helping local ...

Would the Stock Market Affect Your Home Purchase?

"Fasten your seatbelts; it's going to be a bumpy night." ("All About Eve.") While most people misquote this as "It's going to be a bumpy ride," the actual quote works better for the movie. Bette Davis delivers this with the classic style that made her one of the most loved actresses of her generation.

Well for the stock market it’s been a wild bumpy ...

Good News in NJ for Veterans

Beginning in the 2017 tax year, New Jersey will give an additional $3,000 exemption for military veterans. You are eligible to claim this exemption NJ state income tax return if you are a military veteran who was honorably discharged or released under honorable circumstances from active duty in the Armed Forces of the United States on or before the last day of the tax year.


The ...

How to Talk with Kids About the Florida Shooting

February 13, 2018

The tragedy of the Florida school shooting is devastating, leaving 17 killed and 15 injured. Our children can easily identify with what occurred yesterday. It will be the topic of conversation today in schools everywhere. School administrators are doing all they can to provide support and guidance. The shootings affect children, teachers, and school personnel. The school shooting ...

Love Craft Beer But Hate the Tour? State Assembly Moves to Make it Easier for You to Belly Up to the Bar

Good news is a brew for New Jersey craft beer advocates. In February 2018, the New Jersey Assembly’s Agriculture and Natural Resources Committee paved the way for the introduction of Bill A2196, which would remove a current licensing rule requiring breweries and distilleries to provide a tour of their facilities before serving alcoholic beverages to consumers. Currently, breweries holding a ...

'What Stays' exposes family secrets and lies

‘What Stays’ exposes family secrets, resentment and lies

By Liz Keill

SUMMIT, NJ – In an original play by Laura Ekstrand and Jason Szamreta, the Dreamcatcher Repertory Theatre has provided an enlightening, funny and heart-felt view of family foibles.

Ekstrand has said that the germ of the play came from conversations with the ensemble members of the troupe, based on ...

Is FAANG Long in the Tooth?

Investors love to rally around a stock story. Today it’s all about the FAANG stocks. Facebook (FB), Amazon (AMZN), Apple (AAPL), Netflix (NFLX) and Google (GOOG) are a major reason why the S&P 500 rallied so much in 2017. Mr. Market is convinced the FAANGs are impervious to a sell-off. “Its different this time” is ringing loud and clear, but will the outcome really be that ...

Imagine a Chatham Toboggan Ride from the Top of Fairmount Avenue to Main Street

Did you know….
there was a time when Chatham kids could ice skate from downtown Chatham all the way to Florham Park? And that a toboggan ride could last from the top of Fairmount Avenue down to Main Street and beyond?

Those were the days!

This was back in the early to mid-1900s. The Passaic River meandered through grassy meadows and woods on the north side of Chatham. The marshy ...


Kathleen Marie Christian (nee Helmstetter), age 73 of Surf City, NJ, passed away peacefully at home ...
Read more

NBA Star Dennis Rodman Enjoys Life in Livingston

February 23, 2018

LIVINGSTON, NJ — Former National Basketball Association (NBA) star Dennis Rodman’s friends say he is “living like a Livingston kid” while he is in town doing an outpatient program for Turning Point Rehab Center.

Livingston native Chris “Vo” Volo, an agent for Prince Marketing Group, has been representing Rodman for seven years and the two quickly became ...