Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Was There Any Doubt?

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Was There Any Doubt?

Article excerpt

MAHWAH - It's the game everyone wanted and everyone expected.

The 57th Bergen County Jamboree will reach its inevitable conclusion Thursday night when top-seeded Teaneck faces second- seeded Hackensack at Ramapo College. It will be the third meeting of the season between the longtime rivals.

"I think it's the best rivalry in North Jersey," Teaneck senior swingman Joel Hernandez said.

"The Hackensack-Teaneck rivalry is crazy," Highwaymen point guard and part-time blur Shaakir Lindsey said. "I have a lot of friends and family who live in Hackensack. It's a lot of fun."

Sunday night, it was clearly proven that the Comets and Highwaymen are the class of Bergen County. Cinderella St. Mary gave Teaneck a push for two-plus quarters before succumbing to a wow- inducing 18-0 run and a 73-51 loss.

It was almost the same pattern for Hackensack, which shook off a serious threat by St. Joseph for more than three quarters before winning going away, 64-58.

The biggest drama for Teaneck was the return of Hernandez to the lineup after missing the last two games with a sprained ankle.

After a bit of a slow start, Hernandez, with his ankle taped, found his jets in the second half and finished with 20 points and seven rebounds.

"I did a lot of stretching, a lot of the heating pad, a lot of ice, and just stayed off my ankle," Hernandez said. "It felt fine the whole night."

Hernandez missed two games last week, including a regular-season showdown with Hackensack, which the Comets won, 88-84, on Tuesday.

It was the first loss for Teaneck to a North Jersey opponent since December 2010, according to coach Jerome Smart.

"It was Senior Night, they were home, and they had a lot to play for," Smart said. "Rashard [Figures] had a career game and Joel didn't play. Not to make excuses, but those are a lot of points and rebounds we didn't have in that game, so it was just too much for us to overcome. …

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