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Linden 61, Union 59 NJSIAA TEAM TOURNAMENT

Posted Tuesday, March 03, 2009 by by MIKE KINNEY, FOR THE STAR-LEDGER

Linden 61, Union 59 — NJSIAA TEAM TOURNAMENT (High school Boys Basketball scores & results)

by MIKE KINNEY, FOR THE STAR-LEDGER
Tuesday March 03, 2009, 6:18 PM

 

Linden's roller coaster season rumbles on for at least one more day, thanks to a finish yesterday that made all the earlier turbulence seem like a kiddie ride.

Tevin Calhoun took a long outlet pass from Quadeer Lewis off a defensive rebound and drained a buzzer-beating, running 3-pointer from 22 feet away to rally 12th-seeded Linden--entering just one game over .500--past fifth-seeded Union, 61-59, in the first round of the NJSIAA/ShopRite North Jersey, Section 2, Group 4 tournament in Union.

``He got the rebound and, without hesitation, found Tevin and Tevin made a helluva play,'' Linden coach Phil Colicchio said. ``Instead of panicking, he took two hard dribbles and got past a kid.''

The winning play came only three seconds after Lewis committed a backcourt violation to return possession to Union, which was then fouled before its inbound pass could be made.

The rebound and heady pass off the second of two missed free throws was fitting amends for Lewis, who was otherwise outstanding with 20 points, 11 rebounds and two steals. The only more appropriate ending might have been a winning play by one of Linden's reserves.

Because there probably would not have been a winning shot for Calhoun to take without the clutch play of Billy Bourgouin, Andrae Pearson, Trell Myers, Dan Thompson and Bryan Glinsky.

Bourgouin, Pearson and Glinsky played particularly critical roles in steering Linden back into the game after it trailed, 17-9, in the first quarter and with Calhoun and fellow senior forward Romell Bateman in early foul trouble.

``Billy Bourgouin and Andrae Pearson are seniors who come in and give us hustle plays,'' Colicchio said. ``Today they gave us hustle plays, they gave us smart plays, they scored for us. It's been somebody different every night.''

But Linden needed depth and also a little unpredictability after losing standout senior forward David Bruce for academic reasons in mid-January. Another starter, sophomore guard Elijah Hodge, missed four games that month due to the district's strict policy.

That left Linden with a lack of proven veterans, but ample opportunity for every youngster on the team to make a statement.

``When our two big men got into foul trouble, we basically just had to play defense.'' Bourgouin said. ``We went small, but we really played D.''

And then some. Bourgouin did not score in the second quarter, but made two of his six assists and had a steal to help Linden forge a 26-25 first-half lead. Pearson scored all of his five points that period and also came up with two steals. Glinsky pulled down three rebounds and had an assist in the second.

``Bryan Glinsky didn't score a point, but he made a couple of great passes and pressured their ballhandlers and just did not let them get any easy shots,'' Colicchio said.

Linden's strong overall defense and the solid inside play of Lewis helped Linden put together a 15-8 third quarter for a 41-33 lead. But the hot shooting that marked Union's first quarter suddenly returned in the fourth.

Junior guard Aishon White buried three 3-pointers in the period, including two straight for a 52-46 Union lead with 3:49 left in the game. He erupted with 13 of his 15 points in the fourth, though had just two free throws in the last 2:35, the second to open a 59-56 lead with 47.6 seconds left.

Bateman scored on a putback with 22 seconds to go to bring Linden to within one. Union missed two free throws with 14.6 seconds left and Lewis gathered the rebound, but Linden lost possession eight seconds later on an offensive foul.

Kevin Jackson came up with a steal off the ensuing inbound by Union and Linden called timeout with 5.5 seconds remaining, but then Lewis quickly committed his backcourt violation. Glinsky fouled Javon Moore before the next inbound to send the senior to the foul line preceding the Lewis-to-Calhoun finish.

Senior forward Steve Alce scored 15 points and senior guard Dion Nesmith had 11 for Union.

Linden plays tonight at 7 in the quarterfinals at Plainfield.

Linden 61
Name                          2-pt.     3-pt.     FT     Total
Romell Bateman                  5         0        2        12
Billy Bourgouin                 2         0        1         5
Tevin Calhoun                   1         1        0         5
Bryan Glinsky                   0         0        0         0
Elijah Hodge                    4         1        2        13
Kevin Jackson                   0         0        0         0
Quadeer Lewis                   8         0        4        20
Trell Myers                     0         0        1         1
Andrae Pearson                  2         0        1         5
Dan Thompson                    0         0        0         0
Totals:                        22         2       11     
Union 59
Name                          2-pt.     3-pt.     FT     Total
Steve Alce                      1         3        4        15
James Daniels                   1         0        3         5
Bryce Lewis                     1         0        2         4
Jonathan Merceus                2         0        0         4
Javon Moore                     2         0        1         5
Dion Nesmith                    3         0        5        11
Aishon White                    1         3        4        15
Totals:                        11         6       19     
Union (18-8)                        17    8    8   26   59
Linden (14-12)                        9   17   15   20   61

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