Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Wayne Hills, Lodi, Rutherford Post Victories

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Wayne Hills, Lodi, Rutherford Post Victories

Article excerpt

EAST RUTHERFORD – Wayne Hills came across the county line from Passaic County and immediately made itself at home at the inaugural South Bergen Classic.

The Patriots quickly built a double-digit lead against St. Mary and posted a 69-55 victory in the featured boys' basketball matchup at Saturday's five-game event at Becton.

"We've been preaching quick starts – we've been getting off to slow starts," Wayne Hills coach Kevin Grimes said.

Senior guard Joey Belli scored 20 for Wayne Hills, No. 9 in the Top 25. And 6-foot-1 senior forward Jason Modak, muscular and agile, made 6-8 senior forward Marc Dadika work extremely hard for every one of his 15 points.

Wayne Hills (6-3) earned its first double-digit lead, 12-2, on Belli's three-pointer from the left wing at 4:59 of the first quarter. The Patriots extended their lead to 18-2 on a transition layup by Modak. He held the FDU-bound Dadika to four first-half points to help build a 37-21 lead over St. Mary (6-1).

"I thought the start set the tone for the day," said coach Brian Gaccione, whose No. 12 Gaels got a game-high 24 points from junior guard Nick Boyd. "And I felt like it just put us in a hole that we couldn't recover from."

ELMWOOD PARK 65, WOOD-RIDGE 63: Elmwood Park (6-1) made a tactical decision in the final seconds that is rarely employed and it worked. The 24th-ranked Crusaders opted to foul and surrender two free throws with four seconds left rather than give the Blue Devils a chance at a potential game-tying trey.

So Wood-Ridge senior guard Jack Barteck was fouled approaching midcourt and made two free throws to cut the deficit to 64-63. Then Elmwood Park sophomore guard Raydell Nivar was fouled receiving an inbounds pass with two seconds left and made the first of two free throws. Wood-Ridge (2-4) had a three-quarter-court heave at the buzzer that was way off the mark. …

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