Sports

Boys Basketball: Westfield Tops Union in Senior Night Thriller, 60-56

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Blue Devils Matt LaCorte (2), Phil Zanfagna (13) Jeff Gagum (1) and Phil Martini (12) set up on defense. Credits: Max Budashewitz
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WESTFIELD, NJ — An efficient offensive performance from the Westfield High School boys’ basketball team led to a 60-56 victory over Union Thursday night.

Senior Matt LaCorte’s team high 18 points in front of his home crowd proved too much for Union to fend off, despite 15 points on five three-pointers from Union’s Justin Beckett.

“We really focused on being disciplined on offense, using ball fakes and back-door cuts to relieve pressure and working for good shots,” Westfield senior Phil Zanfagna said. “All of that was on display tonight and we executed pretty well”.

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Westfield’s five seniors Matt LaCorte, Tristan Quallis, Phil Zanfagna, Phil Martini and Jeff Gagum kicked off the game with an 11-8 lead, and Westfield finished the quarter strong with the help of sophomore Marshall Roberson and junior Adam McDaniel. LaCorte scored 9 points including a deep three ball in the first frame.

The Blue Devil’s lead was pushed to 24-14 early in the second, but a 16-2 run from the Farmers to cap the half sent the game to break at 30-26 in favor of Union.

A close third quarter ensued, ending at 46-40 with the Farmers still in the lead. Corey Thelisme and Beckett each scored 6 points to power Union following halftime.

LaCorte started the fourth on fire with seven early points to tie the game at 49. Union’s Derryen White then went 1 of 2 from the line, leaving a thin one-point advantage for the Farmers.

McDaniel followed with a huge shot from beyond the arc at the top of key, bringing the score to 52-50. Following some play, Union’s Beckett made a three of his own with 29 seconds left closing the gap to a 56-54 lead for Westfield.

However, strong defense and clutch free throw shooting prevailed, as Westfield pulled out the victory 60-56.

The Blue Devils (5-5) plays away against Elizabeth next Tuesday as they look to spark a winning streak, while Union (4-8) heads to Union Catholic that day.

Max Budashewitz is a student at Westfield High School participating in a journalism program with TAPinto Westfield. 

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