By Bobby Klatt
SSN Correspondent

MIDDLETOWN - The Rumson boys basketball team scored the final seven points Saturday at the Hoop Group Boardwalk Showcase at Brookdale to beat Marlboro, 49-44, and remain unbeaten.

“We just kept fighting. We got knocked down early and got back up,” said Rumson head coach Chris Champeau. “We have five different weapons on the floor so if one person is off, the next person steps up. We’ve had four different leading scorers in the last five games.”

After trailing by one at the end of the third, Marlboro’s Dylan Kaufman scored the first four points in the fourth for the Mustangs to grab the lead right back after leading through the first two-and-a half-quarters.

For most of the fourth quarter, possessions were at a premium with Marlboro trying to take the air out of the ball for the final four minutes.

Rumson was able to force five fourth-quarter turnovers, including three in the final two minutes. One of those led to a three from Player of the Game Teddy Sourlis, who led the Bulldogs with 15 points, to give Rumson the 45-44 lead.

“Our defense is pressure, whether it’s three-quarter court or full-court press,” said Champeau. “That pressure gets us into our transition game which opens it up for our three-point shooters. So we need to go eight or nine deep to play the style that we do.”

After a pair of free throws from Ian O’Connor, Marlboro had one last chance, but O’Connor got the steal off the pass from Daniel Weiss. O’Connor knocked down two more free throws to seal the five-point victory.

A big key to Rumson’s win was limiting Marlboro chances at the free throw line in the second half. Marlboro scored 10 of their 25 first half points from the line before only going 0-for-1 in the second half.

“We just have to keep playing with confidence,” said Sourlis. “Even when we are down like we were in the first, we kept playing hard. That’s the biggest thing we’ll take from this game.”

Marlboro came out firing to start the game, jumping out to a quick 11-2 behind four different scorers. Rumson answered to end the quarter on a quick 5-0 run capped off by a three by Teddy Sourlis to cut the Mustangs lead to 15-10 to end the period.

Rumson continued to chip at the Mustang lead throughout the quarter including three from Sourlis and one by Jackson McCarthy to pull within 25-23 going into the locker room. Sourlis led all scorers with nine points at halftime.

“Our defense really got our offense going,” said Sourlis. “Once we were able to box out, get rebounds and limit them to one shot, we were able to take the lead and get going.”

Rumson answered the call right out of the intermission, opening up the third on a 13-5 run behind threes from Tommy Oakes, Sourlis and Jack Solano before Marlboro went on a run of their own to cut the Bulldogs lead to 39-38.