West Brunswick’s JV boys basketball team won the junior varsity 3A Mideastern Conference title with a win at home over South Brunswick 53-39 on Thursday, Feb. 9.
The Trojans defense kept the Cougars in single digits in the first period while a hot start shooting gave West to a 15-8 lead in the first.
Baskets by Jude Surigao and Tyler Rodriguez, who made a 3, and a pair of free throws by Royce Metters pushed the lead to 24-15 at the half.
South Brunswick started the second half with a 3-point shot that kicked off a 7-2 run to cut West’s lead to 26-22.
The Trojans reestablished their defensive hold on South, who only scored two more points in the quarter while the Trojans had a 13-2 run of their own to lead 39-24 at the end of the third.
South still tried to make a game of it by scoring the first nine points of the fourth quarter to trail 39-33.
K’Veon Griffin and Jaleel Morgan scored back-to-back for West. South responded with the next four points to make it a 43-37 game.
The Cougars then began intentionally fouling the Trojans, which backfired as West hit 10-12 free throws in the final minutes to secure the 53-39 win.
“It’s official, we won the 3A, that’s something that hasn’t been done here in some time and without Coach (Chad) Lojewski, I couldn’t have done it without him. His knowledge of the game, it expanded these kids growth,” Trojan JV coach D.R. Peek said.
“We just needed to move the ball against the zone tonight. And that was, by far, the best I’ve seen us move the ball against the zone all year. But I do think that this was follow-through from playing a great game against New Hanover. They were locked in the last two games. We gave New Hanover a good game for three and a half quarters. But this one, they finished them off,” Lojewski said.
Tonight, the biggest thing was team ball. And that was the thing we preached. We only had a day to prepare because we played New Hanover the night before and then we had one day to prep for this game. We had a good game plan. We stuck to it, and the kids believed it,” Peek said.
New Hanover 41, West Brunswick 25
On Feb. 7, it was fourth quarter free throws that put New Hanover over the Trojans 41-25 when West traveled to Wilmington to play the Wildcats at Brogden Hall.
For the first three quarters the teams played a tight back and forth battle with a Surigao 3-pointer giving the Trojans a 9-6 lead in the first quarter. The teams played to a 15-15 tie at the half.
A low scoring third quarter saw the two teams score just 13 points, with New Hanover taking the 7-6 advantage on a last minute three point shot to go up 22-21.
In the fourth, West’s offense stalled has the Trojans only scored two baskets, by Royce Metters and Griffin, while New Hanover went to the free-throw line 19 times, shooting 14-19, as part of the 19-4 run to the final score.
N. Brunswick 51, W. Brunswick 41
The Trojans lost to North Brunswick 51-41 in Leland Feb. 3.
After falling behind 29-17 at the half, West cut their deficit to just six points, 37-31, by the end of the third quarter on a pair of 3-point shots by Rodriguez and back to back steals for fast break scores by Griffin.
To start the fourth quarter, Griffin had another break to the basket to score and cut the Scorpions’ lead to 37-33. The teams went back and forth scoring to make it a 41-36 game when North turned a pair of West turnovers into five points.
Griffin then hit a free throw and Rodriguez hit another 3-pointer to make it a 46-40 game with less than two minutes to play.
North scored to go up 48-40 and West had to foul to save time. Despite the Scorpions shooting 3-7 at the foul line, West could only add one more point in the 51-41 final.
West Brunswick 43,
The Trojans avenged the Jan. 3 loss at Topsail that ended their early-season winning streak by beating the Pirates at home, 43-23, on Jan. 31.
Topsail took a 10-8 lead in the first quarter but the Trojans didn’t give the Pirates any room to score in the second quarter as West’s defense held them to only two points in the period.
Despite only scoring nine points in the second quarter to lead 17-12, the Trojans set the tone for the game in the second as they held Topsail to only one point in the third.
West picked up the scoring in the second half with a 15-point third quarter behind seven points from Griffin and six from Rodriguez including a 3-pointer, to go into the fourth quarter up 32-13.
In the first four minutes of the fourth period, the Trojans held Topsail to three points while running their lead 43-16.
When West took their foot off the gas for the final three minutes, the Pirates scored the final seven points of the game for the 43-23 finish.
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