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Amboy Knocks Off Piscataway In Overtime, 59-53
By Greg Machos
December 18, 2009
PERTH AMBOY, NJ--Amboy basketball is back. After six plus seasons of mediocrity, the Panthers made a huge statement on Friday night against the defending Greater Middlesex Conference champion and sixth ranked Piscataway Chiefs. It took overtime to do it, but Perth Amboy got it done. The home team went 8 of 9 from the foul line including a combined 6 of 6 by juniors Chabel Hernandez and Victor Verdecia to pull away after fellow teammate and junior guard, Kearny Canela drained his only three point basket of the game with 3:30 left in the overtime to put Amboy up for good.
The game had nine lead changes and one tie over the final 12 minutes of play. Neither team had a lead bigger than eight points. Wayne Newsome, the only returning starter from last year's championship team, led the way for the Chiefs in a losing effort with a game high 23 points on 9 of 14 shooting from the floor, and a 5 of 8 effort from the line. He also pulled down 13 rebounds for a monster double-double to go along with 4 assists, a steal, and a block. Verdecia led the Panthers with a team high 16 points on 5 of 13 shooting from the field, and a perfect 6 of 6 from the foul line. He also pulled down 7 rebounds while handing out 3 assists, and collecting 2 steals.
Canela struggled from the field, but managed to get four field goals including the a three pointer early in overtime while making 5 of 8 from the line for 14 points. He also collected 4 rebounds and 2 steals. Hernandez added 7 points on 2 of 5 shooting and 3 of 4 from the line while picking up 6 rebounds and 4 assists. Rahman Ruff and sophomore Vik Singh added 5 points each in a losing cause for the Chiefs. For the game, Perth Amboy shot 19 of 50 from the floor for 38 percent including 2 of 12 from long distance. The Panthers performed well at the line, which was the difference by going 19 of 31 for 61 percent.
On the other hand, the Chiefs were 19 of 57 from the floor for 33 percent including 3 of 20 from beyond the arc for 15 percent. P-Way went 12 of 18 at the charity stripe for 67 percent. In other statistical areas, the Chiefs outrebounded the Panthers 36-29 including a 15-12 edge on the offensive glass. It was turnovers that did in the Chiefs though as Amboy forced 24 P-Way turnovers while only making 19 themselves. Piscataway had more assists (13-10) and blocks (2-0) while Perth Amboy had more steals (15-8). Each team drew a charge. Perth Amboy won the lion's share of quarters by getting three of the five including the decisive overtime.
The first period saw both teams struggle from the floor as Piscataway took an 11-6 lead. The Chiefs connected of 5 of 14 from the field in the frame while limiting the Panthers to just 3 of 13. Each team had six turnovers. P-Way jumped out to a 5-0 lead at the 4:29 mark on a three pointer by Ruff from the right wing, and a jumper by David White (4 points) from the right side. Meanwhile, Amboy struggled as they were called for a backcourt violation. After Perth Amboy finally got on the board, Newsome got into the act with an offensive rebound and putback while drawing a foul. Despite missing the bonus free throw for the traditional three point play, Newsome put his team back up by five at 7-2 with 2:52 to play in the period.
Over the next 1:27, the Panthers fought back with a 4-0 run on two steals by Verdecia that were converted into layups by Canela to make the score 7-6. Piscataway then went back up by three on a Isaiah Carrington layup off an assist from Newsome. Amboy could have made it closer, but Yoelbin Sanchez (7 points, 5 rebounds, 5 steals) went 0 of 2 from the charity stripe. The Chiefs then closed out the scoring with another field goal for its five point lead heading into the second. In the second period both teams heated up offensively as Amboy made 5 of its 8 shots from the floor while P-Way clicked on 5 of 12. Both teams combined for 32 points with the Panthers getting a 17-15 edge in the stanza.
Perth Amboy opened up the second quarter with four straight points on two layups by Kent Encarnacion to close the gap to 11-10 at the 7:20 mark. Newsome then got a layup off an assist by Tyjohn Young to got up by three, and then Encarnacion missed two foul shots at the 6:07 mark. P-Way added another score before freshman Hamilton Capellan (2 of 2 FGs for 5 points, a rebound, and two assists) fired in a three pointer from the right wing to pull the Panthers within two. Young put the Chiefs back up by four with two free throws at the 4:31 mark for a 17-13 lead. Less than a half minute later, Young committed his second foul that produced two free throws from Sanchez at the 4:04 mark for a 17-15 Chiefs lead.
Newsome would score on a layup, but then missed on opportunity to put his team up by more when he missed two foul shots at the 3:22 mark. The senior would redeem himself though with a three point play that put Piscataway up 22-17 with 2:43 to go in the half. The P-Way lead vacillated between three and five points as the Chiefs got a layin from sophomore Tajae Sharpe off a feed by Newsome to make the score 26-21 with 1:43 left in the half. Following a Perth Amboy timeout, the Panthers got the final points of the first half to make the score, 26-23 at the intermission.
Looking at the first half statistics, the Chiefs went 10 of 26 from the floor overall including 1 of 7 from downtown while the Panthers were 8 of 21 from the field including 1 of 4 from beyond the arc. Amboy went 6 of 11 from the line while P-Way was 5 of 10. Turnovers were almost even as the Panthers had a slight edge (8-9). The key was rebounds. The Chiefs outplayed the Panthers on the boards with a 20-13 edge including an 8-3 showing on the offensive glass. Piscataway also had more assists (9-6) and charges (1-0). Amboy hung in there with an edge in steals (5-3). Newsome led the way for the Chiefs by going 5 of 6 from the floor for 11 points, 6 rebounds, and 3 assists. White chipped in with all four of his points.
For Perth Amboy, Canela led the way with 8 points on 3 of 5 shooting and a perfect 2 of 2 from the line while Verdecia added 6 points, 4 rebounds, an assist, and a steal. In the third quarter, the Panthers came out with a lot of enthusiasm on defense, but Piscataway fought through that to put together a 5-0 run that put the Panthers on the ropes. Singh hit a three pointer off an assist by White, and then Newsome handed out an assist on a layup by Marquis Watson before Amboy head coach, Edwin Santana called for time at the 7:06 mark with the score, 31-23 in favor of the Chiefs.
The timeout had a very positive impact as the Panthers closed out the quarter by limiting the Chiefs to only two points on foul shots by Singh at the 3:38 mark. Amboy ended the period with an 8-0 run for a 11-2 finish that gave the Panthers their first lead of the game heading into the fourth. Canela started the rally with one of two free throws followed by a Verdecia layup at the 4:33 mark. Following Singh's free throws, Amboy reeled off eight points including a layup by Verdecia at the 1:26 mark, a field goal by Capellan, and a jumper by Verdecia for a 34-33 lead. Piscataway fought back to start the fourth by scoring the first five points to go back out in front.
Newsome took over early on in the fourth for P-Way with an offensive rebound and putback at the 7:18 mark, and a three point play at the 6:25 mark for a 38-34 lead. However, the Panthers responded again with five straight points including one of two from the line by Hernandez, and an offensive rebound and putback by Wencel Arias for a 39-38 lead with 5:03 left in regulation. Newsome replied with a layup at the 4:30 mark for a 40-39 P-Way lead. A little more than a minute later, the Panthers went back out in front at 41-40 with a layin by Sanchez for his first field goal of the game.
Following a Piscataway timeout at the 3:05 mark, Julius Nadarajah got his only points of the game on a three pointer from the right side off an assist by Ruff to put the Chiefs ahead again at 43-41 with 2:50 to go in regulation. Sanchez had a chance to tie the game back up, but went 1 of 2 from the line at the 2:29 mark. Encarnacion put Amboy ahead again with a layup, and then Arias added two free throws for a 46-43 lead at the 1:40 mark. The Chiefs fought back though as Newsome made one of two from the line at the 1:28 mark to make the score 46-45. Following an Amboy timeout with 1:21 left, Sanchez had a chance to put the game away when he stole a Nadarajah pass, and drew a foul, but he missed both free throws at the 36 second mark.
With new life, P-Way came down the floor, and Nadarajah redeemed himself somewhat when he drove the left baseline, and dished to Young, who was fouled. Perhaps a bit nervous, Young missed the first shot, but then after being a bit jumpy, netted the second foul shot to tie the game at 46-46 with 21 seconds left in regulation. Moments later, the Chiefs trapped Verdecia at midcourt, and the Amboy junior traveled with 18 seconds left. However, the Chiefs couldn't take advantage as Newsome's left baseline jumper got stuck on the backiron as time expired. In the overtime period, Piscataway drew first blood, but Amboy finished strong for the win.
Just 17 seconds into the extra session, the Chiefs went out in front as Ruff got an offensive rebound off a Nadarajah miss, and put it back in for a 48-46 score at the 3:43 mark. On Amboy's next possession, Canela hit the three to put the Panthers back up at 49-48 with 3:30 left. Arias then drew a charge on Nadarajah with 2:52 left, and then Hernandez scored on a layup with 2:27 to play for a 51-48 lead. Newsome responded with an offensive rebound and follow while being fouled for a three point play that tied the game at 51-51 with just under two minutes to play. Moments later though, Amboy took the lead for good as Hernandez sank two free throws for a 53-51 lead at the 1:51 mark.
The Chiefs were unable to tie the score and Verdecia put the game away with two free throws at the 55 second mark, and 36 second mark while Canela wrapped up the scoring with a one of two effort in the waning moments as Perth Amboy won, 59-53. With the victory, Amboy starts the season at 1-0 while Piscataway drops to 0-1.
Perth Amboy (1-0)
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