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Velez Double-Double Leads Old Bridge Past South Brunswick, 64-54
By Greg Machos
January 30, 2010
OLD BRIDGE, NJ--Two of the surprise teams in the GMC Red Division went at it on Saturday as the Vikings of South Brunswick traveled up to Old Bridge to take on the Knights. At one point this season, the Vikings were 7-3 and in third place in the division while Old Bridge began the season at 4-0, handed fifth ranked East Brunswick its first loss of the season, and will probably qualify for the state tournament for the first time since the 2002-03 season when it reached the Central Jersey Group IV Championship Game. The Vikings are a young squad with only one senior, but have a bright future with six juniors, four sophomores, and two freshmen. The Knights, meanwhile, are more of a veteran squad with eight seniors, but have three sophomores and a freshman on the roster.
The last time these two teams met was in South Brunswick back on January 6th. Old Bridge had just come off a solid effort in a 56-51 loss at top ranked St. Joseph's two nights earlier. The Vikes ended up handing the Knights a surprising 59-41 loss. So, on Saturday, OBHS was looking for a bit of payback, and it got it in the form of a 64-54 victory. Sophomore Isaiah Velez scored a career high 20 points on 8 of 11 shooting from the floor, and 4 of 6 from the line while pulling down 10 rebounds for a double-double to lead the way for Old Bridge. Senior forward, Tyler Abad chipped in with 12 points on 5 of 7 shooting in addition to a free throw while handing out seven assists, grabbing four rebounds, and swiping two steals.
SBHS sophomore Jevon Tyree led all scorers with a game high 21 points as he connected on 7 of 16 shots from the floor, and four of six from the line while also collecting four rebounds, four steals, and an assist. Fellow sophomore, Michael Green chipped in with 12 points on 5 of 12 shooting from the floor including two threes while also picking up three rebounds, two assists, a steal and a charge. Freshman T.J. Taylor also scored in double figures for South Brunswick with 10 points on 5 of 8 shooting along with 6 rebounds, 2 assists, and a steal. The Vikings had more players get into the scoring column (7-6), more players score in double figures (3-2), and made more threes (9-4), but still lost the game as all of Old Bridge's players scored seven points or more. The Vikes had three players with four points or less.
For the game, Old Bridge shot 23 of 43 from the floor for 53 percent including 4 of 17 from long range South Brunswick was 21 of 46 from the field for 46 percent including 9 of 22 from beyond the arc. At the foul line, the Knights were 14 of 22 for 64 percent while the Vikings were 9 of 18. In other statistical areas, OBHS had fewer turnovers (15-16), more rebounds (26-22), assists (13-8), and blocks (2-1). SBHS had more offensive rebounds (10-7) and charges (3-0). Both teams had 10 steals. Old Bridge outscored South Brunswick in three of the four quarters played including an 18-10 second period showing that proved to be the difference. The Knights jumped out to a 7-2 lead over the first 4:07 as Femi Adeleye (9 points, a rebound, and a steal) swiped a steal, passed ahead to Julian Daley (3 of 5 FG and 2 of 3 FTs for 8 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, and 2 steals), who dished to Sultan Aminu (3 of 4 FGs and 1 of 2 FTs for 7 points, 7 rebounds, 3 steals, and a block) for a layup at the 3:53 mark.
The Vikes responded with four of the next six points to close the gap to 9-6 as Old Bridge called a 30 second timeout at the 2:17 mark. Following the brief stoppage, the Knights went back up by five with a 4-2 run of its own before Tyree connected on a three pointer from the right wing with 40 seconds to go to end the first quarter scoring for a 13-11 OBHS lead. The Knights then opened the second with a 4-0 run for a 17-11 lead at the 6:42 mark. Old Bridge then scored nine of the next eleven points over a span of 2:47 for a 13-2 spurt, and a 26-13 lead as South Brunswick called a 30 second timeout at the 3:55 mark. Highlighting the run was an offensive rebound and follow by Aminu, a layin by Velez off an assist by Gaffigan, and a steal and assist by Daley on a layin by Gaffigan. The Vikings pulled to within nine at 26-17, but the Knights went back up by 14 as Velez put in two more scores and Gaffigan made one of two from the line for a 31-17 lead. South Brunswick then got two free throws from Danny Strickland (2 points), and another score to trail 31-21 at the intermission.
The third quarter started out with promise for South Brunswick as Nick Muha (4 points, 6 rebounds, 2 steals, and 2 charges) connected on a three pointer at the 7:37 mark for a 31-24 Old Bridge lead. The Vikes had a chance to get closer, but Green misfired twice at the line with 7:17 to go in the period, and then Gaffigan netted a trey at the 6:28 mark for a 34-24 lead. The Knights then made it a 9-5 run as Velez added three more scores for a 40-29 lead with 2:31 to play in the period. Tyree then pulled the Vikings within ten again on one of two from the line at the 2:25 mark, but Abad found Daley for a layup as the sophomore was fouled for a traditional three point play, and a 43-30 lead at the 2:18 mark. Tyree then connected on a three pointer to close the gap to ten again, but Daley put the Knights back up by a dozen with a field goal at the 1:11 mark for a 45-33 score. Tyree stepped to the line again to make two more free throws at the 1:02 mark for a 45-35 OBHS lead. Adeleye then connected on a three pointer for a 48-35 advantage before SBHS closed out the frame with a 5-0 run including a three pointer by Moses Railey (3 of 5 three pointers for 9 points, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, and a steal) from the right wing, and a steal for a layup by Tyree to make it a 48-40 score heading into the fourth.
Over the first 2:02 of the fourth, Old Bridge increased its lead slightly to nine as Abad came up with a three point play and Velez made one of two at the line to counter Railey's second three for a 52-43 lead with just under six minutes to play. Josh Varughese (2 points, 2 rebounds, an assist, and a steal) got his only points of the game on two foul shots at the 5:34 mark, and Tyree added a one of two showing at the charity stripe to make it a six point game at 52-46 with 4:19 remaining. However, Old Bridge got some much needed breathing room with a 5-0 run including a three pointer by Adeleye from Gaffigan and two free throws by Velez for a 57-46 advantage with 3:43 to play. South Brunswick couldn't recover from that as it only got as close as nine points on a three pointer by Green at the two minute mark. The Knights then closed out the 64-54 win with a 6-5 showing the rest of the way. With the victory, OBHS improved to 10-7 overall on the season including a 7-5 mark in the GMC Red while SBHS falls to 7-7 overall, and also 7-5 in divisional play. Analysis will be forthcoming in the blog.
Old Bridge (10-7)
South Brunswick (7-7)
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