By Ella Brockway
SSN Correspondent

RUMSON—When you throw the Red Bank Regional Buccaneers and the Rumson-Fair Haven Bulldogs together, whether it’s on a field or a court, you can never be sure what you’re going to get. What is certain, says Rumson head coach Chris Champeau, is that it will be a battle.

“This is the Hatfields and the McCoys,” said Champeau of the rivalry between the two schools. “It’s a battle of the neighbors.”

The Bulldogs (13-3, 7-2) were the victors in the most recent chapter of the Ridge Road rivalry on Saturday afternoon as they pulled out a 58-49 win over the Bucs (7-8, 5-6). Rumson’s star senior guard Brendan Barry finished with a game-high 27 points, in addition to eight rebounds and a steal.

Brendan Barry scored 27 points to help Rumson beat rival Red Bank on Saturday. (Photo by Ella Brockway)

Barry, one of the top players in the Shore Conference this season, spent much of the game double, and even triple-teamed, but managed to score an impressive 18 points from the field, including a buzzer-beating three to end the first quarter.

“[Barry] scores 27, and you don’t even realize it,” said Champeau. “We go as he goes, and just having Brendan out there makes everyone feel more confident.”

The Bulldogs opened up the game with a fast tempo, and ended the first quarter with a 21-15 lead. Red Bank counteracted Rumson’s run by scoring 21 points in the second quarter, with eight from senior guard Matt Reardon and four rebounds from senior forward Sadiq Palmer.

The Bucs matched Barry’s first-quarter buzzer-beater with a three-pointer from junior guard Connor McLoone to close the first half with a 36-35 lead.

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“At halftime, I basically told my team, ‘We just gave up 36 points.’ We don’t like to give up more than 42 (points) in a game, and we just got toasted because they worked harder,” said Champeau on his team’s second-half turnaround. “We switched up our defense in the second half and went to a zone, and tried to pressure them a little and force some turnovers.”

That zone defense held the Bucs to just thirteen points in the second half. Reardon finished with a team-high of 17 points, and sophomore point guard Devin Cooper finished with nine.

As the Red Bank shooters struggled in the third and fourth quarters, their Rumson counterparts combined for 23 points. Sophomore shooting guard Teddy Sourlis finished with 12 points on the day, and his four three-pointers went a long way for the Bulldogs offense in the second and third quarters.

Red Bank's Sadiq Palmer defends Rumson's Brendan Barry. (Photo by Ella Brockway)

“We knew that everyone is going to double and triple team Brendan (Barry), so we had to get some shooters in there,” said Champeau. “We were having trouble hitting shots, and when I called Teddy’s number and he stepped up, that was huge.”

The Bulldogs stopped two Red Bank advances late in the fourth quarter after they turned the ball over on a steal and a backcourt violation with 1:28 left to go in the game, and Barry hit four free throws on six attempts in the final to minutes to clinch the win for Rumson.

“That was a tough game,” Champeau said after the win. “RBR is a good team, and they’ve got a great coach, so we knew they were going to come in and give it to us.”

 

BOX SCORE

Rumson-Fair Haven 58, Red Bank Regional 49

1                 2                 3                 4                 F

RFH (13-3, 7-2)    21               35               13               10               58

RBR (7-8, 5-6)      15               21               9                 4                 49

 

RFH (58): Brendan Barry 27, Mickey Schluter 3, Michael O’Connor 2, Elijah McAllister 4, Tyler Pierson 10, Teddy Sourlis 12

Three-pointers: Barry 2, Schluter 1, Pierson 2, Sourlis 4

RBR (49): Devin Cooper 9, Matt Reardon 17, Sadiq Palmer 5, Ben Sprauer 6, Chris Outterbridge 4, Jack Anderson 2, Connor McLoone 6

Three-pointers: Cooper 3, Reardon 2, McLoone 2