East Rutherford played a man-to-man pressure defense and had great shot selection on offense to put to rest any thought of a Wolvesâ€™ upset Tuesday night as the Cavaliers came away with a 70-51 victory at Lincolnton High School.
The Cavaliers broke open an 8-8 game late in the first quarter and into the second, outscoring the Wolves 24-13 during that stretch to go into the locker room at the half with a 32-21 lead.
The second half was more of the same, as East Rutherford had a 10-0 run midway through the third period to all but put the game away. At the four-minute mark of quarter number three, the Cavaliers had taken their biggest lead of the night at 46-27.
The teams traded baskets in the fourth quarter, but the Wolves could get no closer than 14 points the rest of the way.
The tough East Rutherford defense forced 21 Lincolnton turnovers, and most of those turnovers turned into points on the Cavalier`s offensive end. At times, the Cavaliersâ€™ fast breaks looked like an ESPN highlight reel, with several dunks.
The Wolves also shot poorly, as the East Rutherford defense held them to 38 percent from the floor on 21 of 55 shooting. The Cavaliers made 31 of 57 field goal attempts for 54 percent.
Lincolnton coach Bob Cowie praised East Rutherford. “They are awfully quick and awfully athletic,” said Cowie. “Defensively, they are tough to guard. If you play zone, they can stick the three, and if you go man their quickness gives us problems,” the coach noted.
Giorgio Lowrance`s 16 points and Frank Easton`s 14 led the way for the Cavaliers, while Lincolnton did not have any one player score in double figures. One bright spot for the Wolves was the play of reserve Jeremy Smith. Smith came off the bench to score eight points in limited action.
With the win, the Cavaliers improve to 20-1 overall, and 12-1 in the Midwest 2A, and clinch at least a tie for the regular season crown. Lincolnton falls to 8-14 overall, and 6-7 in conference play. The Wolves travel to Bunker Hill on Friday for a must-win game to clinch the fourth and final playoff spot.
East Rutherford 13 19 20 18-70
Lincolnton 8 13 17 13-51
CAVS: Giorgio Lowrance 16, Frank Easton 14, Tion Watkins 12, Jawan Hamilton 11, Trae Ross 8, Travon McEntyre 5, Sedrick Bristol 4.
WOLVES: Zack Gibson 8, Demory Williams 8, Dusty Friday 8, Jeremy Smith 8, Kyle Snyder 6, P.J. Hamright 6, Dustin Metts 4, Lance Friday 3.
The East Rutherford Lady Cavaliers remained perfect in Midwest 2A conference play with a 62-30 win over the Lady Wolves at Lincolnton Tuesday night. East Rutherford (13-0, 18-3) ran out to a 14-2 lead after the first quarter and never looked back.
Kyra Battle scored 15 points and Courtney Smith added 14 to lead the Lady Cavaliers. Keisha Duncan was the only player in double figures for the Lady Wolves with 11.
With the loss, Lincolnton falls to 7-15 overall and 1-12 in conference play. The Lady Wolves will travel to Bunker Hill on Friday.
by David Keever