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Tigers Sports

Linden boys' basketball in 4th consecutive N2, G4 final

Posted Monday, March 10, 2008 by By JR Parachini Union County Sports Editor

Tigers seeking third straight championship

By JR Parachini
Union County Sports Editor

ELIZABETH – Desmond Wade will be playing in his fourth consecutive North 2, Group 4 championship game Monday night when fifth-seeded Linden faces second-seeded Piscataway at 6 at the Dunn Sport Center.
Ironically, it was at Piscataway High three years ago where Wade was first part of this atmosphere. Linden faced Bridgewater-Raritan in the final there in Middlesex County, with the Somerset County Panthers coming out on top to win the section for the first time.
For the third straight year the title game is being held at Dunn, which is just fine for Linden, which has won many big games there over the years. Linden defeated Plainfield at Dunn two years ago and Elizabeth at Dunn last year in the past two sectional finals.
Linden has won 11 straight sectional playoff games since its loss to BR in the final three years ago.
Piscataway is attempting to win North 2, Group 4 for the first time and become the first Greater Middlesex Conference team to achieve the feat.
The Chiefs last won a sectional title in 1994 when they captured Central Jersey, Group 4.
With Wade in the lineup, Linden's record the past four seasons going into Monday night's game against Piscataway is 103-19 (.844).

Linden's record the past four seasons:
2007-2008: (23-6)
2006-2007: (30-3)
2005-2006: (27-7)
2004-2005: (24-3)

For Wade, who will continue at the University of Houston, the senior guard has helped lead Linden to incredible heights the past four seasons.
His demonstrative play at both guard positions, which includes a ferociousness to attack on defense as much as stick a 3 or drive to the hoop on offense, has put Linden in position to achieve a great deal during his tenure.
Up to this point during his time in a Tiger uniform, Linden has captured four Watchung Conference-National Division titles, defeated St. Anthony for the first time (in 2005), won a Union County Tournament championship, grabbed back-to-back section and Group 4 championships and appeared in two Tournament of Champions events, reaching the final in one of them.
Also, let’s not forget all of the big-time Linden victories over non-conference opponents over the past four years.
And let’s not forget a school record 30 wins last year in a magnificent 30-3 campaign.
Two years ago, Linden defeated No. 1 Bloomfield Tech in the TOC semifinals. Last year, Linden defeated No. 1 in the country St. Patrick’s of Elizabeth in the UCT final.
Wade was right in the middle of all of that success.
He plans on being a big part of Linden’s strategy to overtake Piscataway Monday night.
Linden enters with a 23-6 record and three-game winning streak after beating Elizabeth, J.P. Stevens and Plainfield in the first three rounds.
Piscataway is 22-4 and has won two straight, with sectional wins over Watchung Hills and Union.
Like Linden, Piscataway was a county champion last year, but not this year.
The Chiefs came back in the fourth quarter to overtake visiting Union 54-51 Friday night in their sectional final.
Piscataway was led by seniors James White, Omar Smith, J.D. Griggs and Brian Waluk. White, the point guard, paced Piscataway with 13 points, while Smith added 11, Waluk nine and big-man Griggs (6-6) eight. Junior Tristian Benjamon poured in 10.
Piscataway outscored Union 13-7 in the fourth quarter after trailing by three heading into the final eight minutes of regulation.

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