After the long wait to finally get a first Boys Basketball program UCT trophy, the team repeated the feat this past Saturday night at Kean University, as the Lions defeated Patrick School 71-66. After narrowly defeating Pats twice in Union County Conference play during the season by a total of 6 points, the third meeting of the season occurred on the big stage on the court at Hardwood Arena in front of a capacity crowd.
Pats took the lead out the gate, and led 14-10 at the end of the first quarter. The Lions inched their way back in the second quarter, tying the game in the final seconds of the half. A Pats turnover put the ball into Senior Josh Pierre-Louis' hands who launched a 65 foot shot as the buzzer sounded. As the ball swished through the hoop, you could feel the energy and excitement had turned to the Lions favor as they took a 3 point lead into the locker room. The second half was tight, with the Lions trying to pull away in the fourth but Pats continuing to knock the lead down to a one possession game. The Lions were able to hold off the Celtics however, and take home a 2nd UCT Crown. Pierre-Louis led RC with 20 points, while Cliff Omoruyi and McDonald's All American selection Kahlil Whitney each chipped in 16. Colby Rogers hit for 12 points on the day, including a corner jumper which put him over the 1000 career point mark. Richie Greaves rounded out the score adding 7 of his own on the evening.
The team celebrated the UCT Championship, but had to return right back to work, with the State Tournament getting underway this week. In an NJSIAA State Tournament First Round double header, the Lady Lions Girls Basketball team defeated Trinity Hall followed by an RC Boys Basketball win over Morristown Beard. Both teams will play in Second Round action this evening, with the Girls heading out to Gloucester Catholic for a 5:30 PM game, and the Boys will host Marist High School at 6PM in the Lions Den. If the Lions win this evening, they will once again likely face Patrick School in the Lions Den at 7PM on Monday night, a fourth meeting of the two teams this season, in the State Section Semifinal game.