Boys Basketball – Neptune, Lakewood Come Up Just Short at Team Swish Showcase
Team Swish Shoot Away Showcase
Montclair Immaculate 59, No. 9 Neptune 55
Syracuse recruit Jalen Carey scored a game-high 20 points and the Lions (9-5) - ranked No. 13 in the latest NJ.com Top 20 - held off a stiff challenge from the Scarlet Fliers (9-4) to escape with a win.
Senior Jared Kimbrough led Neptune with 21 points and six rebounds while freshman Sam Fagan won team MVP honors by posting 14 points, hitting 4-of-6 from behind the three-point arc and also dishing out three assists.
Neptune's last lead of the game was 11-9 in the first quarter and the last time the Scaret Fliers were even with Montclair Immaculate was at 16-16 early in the second quarter. The Lions then embarked on an 11-0 run to go up 27-16 before Neptune came back with a 12-2 burst to pull within 29-28 at the half.
A 12-5 Montclair Immaculate run made it 53-43 midway through the fourth, but Neptune responded with eight straight points - sparked by a three-point play by Kimbrough and Fagan's fourth three of the game.
Carey, however, came back with a crucial three-point play of his own to push the lead back to 56-51 with 2:10 left and later hit a pair of three throws with 6.5 seconds left to cap the scoring and seal the game.
Senior Scott Fields added 10 points and five rebounds off the bench and senior Kobe Blake contributed seven points and eight rebounds for Neptune.
Paterson Kennedy 67, Lakewood 55
Senior Jaylen Colon scored 22 points and helped the Knights (12-3) pull away late with a win over the Piners (7-6). Colon, a one-thousand-plus-point scorer for his career - scored 15 of his points in the first half, but came up with a pair of key baskets in the fourth quarter, including one as he was fouled to set up a three-point play.
Senior Kevin Dent led Lakewood with a game-high 24 points to go with five rebounds and, along with Colon, was awarded the game MVP for his team. Junior Ryan Savoy also pitched in 13 points, nine rebounds and three blocks for Lakewood.
A drive by senior Khari Jenkins put Lakewood ahead, 43-41 in the final 1:30 of the third quarter, but a basket by sophomore Jalen Hargrove and a buzzer-beating dunk by junior Avante Gilbert sent Paterson Kennedy into the fourth quarter with a 45-43 lead.
Those two baskets were the beginning of a 13-3 run that catapulted the Knights to a 54-46 lead early in the fourth. Lakewood made one last push to cut the deficit to 54-52 behind four Dent free throws and a Jenkins basket, but Kennedy came back with 10 unanswered points to put the game away.