Second Chances: SPF Boys Basketball Handles Rahway 59-42

Matthew Levine, Editor in Chief

Like missing free throws, turning the ball over 19 times is not the recipe for winning, but that didn’t stop the Scotch Plains-Fanwood boys varsity basketball team (5-4) from capitalizing on their second chance and beating conference foe Rahway (3-8) on Tuesday, Jan. 25 59-42. 

After Rahway spoiled the Raiders’ home opener on Dec. 21 defeating SPF 40-38, the Raiders got their revenge Tuesday outscoring Rahway 36-22 in the second half, led by strong contributions from senior guards Russ Sta Rosa and Jaden Carder, senior forward Damon Schumann and junior guard Matt Nervi who led the team with 13 points. 

 

“I think the first game we hurt ourselves a lot,” head coach Steve Siracusa told The Fanscotian.  “We had too many unforced turnovers and we didn’t take our best shots, and I think tonight, besides the first quarter, I think we played composed and we played together, trusted each other, the plays and we just took better care of the ball which led to more opportunities for us to score.” 

 

While the third quarter has haunted Raider teams of the past, SPF began the second half on a 6-0 run, which allowed them to seize control of the game and ultimately extend their lead to 15 to begin the fourth — one they would never relinquish. 

 

“I was most impressed with our team’s composure and our ability to come out hot as a team in the second half,” Siracusa said. “We crashed the board and had a lot of great looks.” 

 

“[Coming out of halftime] We had to all share the ball more, not do too much on offense and keep the same intensity on defense all game,” Nervi said. 

 

Tuesday marked the end of a successful three-game road trip for the Raiders who beat New Providence, Governor Livingston and Rahway, respectively. The win against Rahway brings their record to 5-4 with strong momentum heading into their Thursday night matchup against the Summit Hilltoppers (4-6) at home. 

I was most impressed with our team’s composure and our ability to come out hot as a team in the second half. We crashed the board and had a lot of great looks.”

— Head Coach Steve Siracusa

 

“It was obviously a big game for two reasons: one we lost it the first time and we had a second chance and I’m glad we took advantage of it,” Siracusa said. “The second one is it was a  big conference game and every game in the conference is important to us and we have to keep this momentum going into another big conference game at home against Summit.”