Tech Overcomes Early Deficit To Roll Past Rival Raiders, 63-50
By Greg Machos
December 28, 2007
PERTH AMBOY, NJ—Prior to the start of the Championship Game of the inaugural NJTAC Holiday Tournament at Perth Amboy Tech High School on Friday afternoon, Piscataway Tech head coach, Karl Towns paid a greeting to GMC Hoops, and stated that he was going to try something different on this day, and stay seated throughout the entire game. Well, it worked for about a half. While former Piscataway standout, and current P-Way Tech assistant coach, Rob Freeney, Jr. tried to coach the Raiders for much of the first half, the Gold Division team, which won only five games last season after being a top team in the division for the previous five seasons, took an 11-0 lead to start the game, and then proceeded to give it right back, and then some. Amboy Tech went on a 34-9 surge over the final twelve minutes of the first half for a 34-20 halftime lead thanks in large part to 22 first half turnovers by the Raiders including 14 in the second quarter alone. Then, in the second half, the miscues by P-Way Tech kept coming, and the Patriots took advantage with a 22-17 showing over the first 11:46 of the second half for a 56-37 lead with 4:14 to go in the game, and Perth Amboy Tech went on to win by a score of 63-50. When the dust finally settled in this contest, the Raiders, which bring to the table one of the tallest teams in the GMC, turned the ball over a mindboggling 41 times.
The plethora of mistakes, both physical and mental by the Raiders, put a damper on a solid performance by senior 6'6" center, Justin Braxton, who came up with 5 of 10 shooting from the floor, and only 2 of 6 from the line for 12 points, but grabbed 16 rebounds, and drew four charges before fouling out of the game with 4:09 left in the contest. Leading the charge for Perth Amboy Tech was junior guard/forward, Anthony Patterson, who connected on only 7 of 24 shots, but 3 out of 5 from long distance, and one of two from the foul line for a game high 18 points. Patterson also collected 12 rebounds for a double-double while picking up seven steals and three assists on the day. Chipping in for the winners was fellow junior, Joey Castro, the team captain, who made 7 of 15 shots from the floor, and 2 of 4 from the foul line for 16 points while collecting 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 2 blocks, 2 charges, and a steal. Mohammad Conteh, a 6'5" junior forward newcomer, helped out in the losing cause for Piscataway Tech with 12 points and 10 boards for a double-double despite only shooting 33.3 percent from the floor overall. For the rest of the individual stats on the game, please check out the stats page on this contest in our new Game Stats section. For the game, Piscataway Tech shot only 21 of 55 from the floor for 38.2 percent including 4 of 13 from beyond the arc for 30.8 percent while making a paltry 4 of 16 from the free throw line for 25 percent. On the other hand, the Patriots made 23 of 65 shots overall for 35.4 percent including 5 of 14 from beyond the arc for 35.7 percent, and made just 12 of 25 shots from the charity stripe for 48 percent. In a nutshell, this game was not a pretty one as both teams combined for 64 turnovers.
In other statistical areas, Piscataway Tech dominated the boards with a 45-22 overall edge in rebounding including roughly a 16-10 advantage on the offensive glass. In addition, the Raiders had more blocks (5-3), and charges (6-3), but Perth Amboy Tech had the edge in turnovers (23-41), steals (20-7), and assists (14-9). The turnovers and steals played a decisive role for Amboy Tech in this one as it outscored the Raiders by a 63-39 margin over the final 28 minutes of the game for the thirteen point win. The Patriots outscored P-Way Tech in the second and fourth quarters while the Raiders held a slim edge in the third, and the two teams tied at 11-11 after one period of play. Amboy Tech, which came into this tournament losers of two straight after losses to Dunellen (54-41) and at Bound Brook (82-39), advanced to the Championship Game by defeating East Brunswick Tech for the second time in two weeks, 78-45 in the opening round while Piscataway Tech had a bit more of a challenge in a 57-53 win over Warren Tech. Speaking of E.B. Tech and Warren Tech, those two teams met in the Consolation Game in a rematch of last Wednesday's one point win by the team from Warren County. This time, the Raiders pulled out the victory for its second win of the 2007-08 season, 53-48. The first quarter began as if the Raiders were going to blow the Patriots right out of their own gym. In the first 3:07 of the game, P-Way Tech reeled off the first seven points on a putback by junior forward, Maurice Graves, a three pointer by junior guard, Tim Leonard, and a drive in from the left wing for a layup by Conteh at the 4:53 mark as an irate Amboy Tech coach, Artie Wachtel called for time.
At first it seemed as if the timeout wasn't the tonic for the Patriots as Piscataway Tech continued the assaulted with a baseline jumper from the left side by Conteh, and then an offensive rebound, and follow by Braxton before Anthony Rodriguez put the home team on the board with one of two at the line for an 11-1 P-Way Tech lead at the 3:42 mark. However, Perth Amboy Tech gradually regained their composure, and eventually took over the game. First, the Patriots stormed back with an 11-0 tear of their own to close out the first quarter as sophomore guard, Anthony Vidal was fouled on a three point attempt from the perimeter, and made two of three from the charity stripe at the 2:21 mark to follow two earlier scores for an 11-7 Raider lead. Then, nearly a minute later, Castro was fouled underneath, and sank one of two at the charity stripe for an 11-8 P-Way Tech lead at the 1:25 mark. Two seconds later, Braxton picked up his second foul of the game, and had to go to the bench, and the Patriots then closed out the period scoring with a three pointer from the left side by Anthony Patterson from Alex Sanz to tie the game at 11-11 as the Raiders ended the frame with eight turnovers. The second proved to be ultimately the decisive factor as Piscataway Tech turned the ball over some 14 times in the stanza, and Perth Amboy Tech took advantage with a 23-9 showing for the fourteen point halftime lead. Things looked as if they were going to be exactly like they were to start the game as the Raiders got on the board first in the period with a score for a 13-11 lead. However, the Patriots put together a 9-0 run over a two minute span for a 20-13 lead.
Sophomore guard, Wilson Lopez got Perth Amboy Tech going with a three pointer. Then, Patterson, who made 5 of 12 shots including a three pointer for 12 points in the half along with 7 rebounds, 6 steals, and 2 assists, swiped the ball away and took it in for a layup, and Castro later grabbed an offensive rebound for a putback that made the score, 18-13 at the 5:59 mark. Twenty-three seconds later, Sanz stole the ball from Cruz, and that eventually led to a layup by Lopez at the 5:36 mark for a 20-13 lead as the Raiders, which already committed four turnovers in the stanza, called for time. The timeout would not have much an effect on the situation as the Patriots proceeded to continue right where they left off. Scoring eight of the next eleven points over a span of 2:39, Perth Amboy Tech was now on a 28-5 surge since trailing 11-0, and had the lead 28-16 as Patterson made one of two at the line with 2:57 left before intermission. On the next Raider possession, Patterson picked up another steal, and converted it into a layup at the other end for a 30-16 advantage as P-Way Tech again called for time at the 2:41 mark. Following the timeout, and subsequent return to the floor by Braxton, Amboy Tech took a 32-16 lead before Conteh got a field goal, and Braxton scored in the paint as the buzzer sounded for a 34-20 Patriot edge at halftime. In the second half, Piscataway Tech would only managed to outscore Perth Amboy Tech by a 30-29 margin, which wasn't enough to overcome the huge hole it had dug itself into during the first half.
For the second time in the game, Vidal was fouled on a three point shot attempt, but this time, it was from the left wing. The sophomore made two of three for a 36-20 lead with just nine seconds gone by in the third. Braxton made one of two at the line to make the score, 36-21 at the 7:01 mark. Thirty-five seconds later Braxton had a chance to score again after being fouled on a scoop shot attempt, but missed both foul shots. However, Graves picked up his frontcourt mate with an offensive rebound and putback for a 36-23 lead with 6:26 to play in the third. The Raiders, which outscored by Patriots by two in the frame, scored four of the next six points including a Braxton layup from Conteh at the 5:24 mark to trim the deficit to eleven at 38-27 as Amboy Tech called for time. Following the stoppage, the Raiders got one of two from the line by Braxton to close to within ten at 38-28 at the 5:00 mark, but then Perth Amboy Tech ended the period with a 7-5 effort for a 45-33 lead as Piscataway Tech made nine more turnovers in the frame for 31 up to this point in the game. The fourth and final period of play began with Amboy Tech getting a score for a 47-33 lead before Conteh scored on a layup that he was injured on at the 7:14 mark. After being on the floor for a few moments with an apparent ankle injury the junior got up, and walked off the floor on his own power. Following the injury timeout, the Patriots reeled off six of the next eight points in a 2:23 span including one of two efforts at the line by Vidal at the 6:14 mark, and Ruben Plata at the 4:51 mark for a 53-37 lead.
Over a half minute would go by before another score would occur, but it was the final blow as Vidal canned a three pointer at the 4:14 mark for a commanding 56-37 Patriot lead. Five seconds afterward, Braxton fouled out of the game as Kurt Grothusen drew a charge on the Raider forward with 4:09 to play. From that point, Piscataway Tech outscored Amboy Tech by a 13-7 margin for a 63-50 Perth Amboy Tech victory. With the win, the Patriots moved up to 3-2 overall, and 3-1 in conference play while Piscataway Tech dropped to 1-3. You can read up on even more stuff that happened at the 2007 NJTAC Tournament including what players made the All Tournament Team by reading the blog entires on the opening round and Championship from our Perth Amboy Tech Volunteer.
Perth Amboy Tech (3-2)
Piscataway Tech (1-3)
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