Sometimes Goliath falls....such is the case with East Rutherford's Men's Basketball team this year. I hate to make the comparison, but East Rutherford was the team to beat coming into the 2A postseason.
The Cavaliers were a perfect 29-0 until Forest Hills came to town, hit 12 3's and walked away 87-84 winners in a fantastic overtime game last week.
Eight ties, 11 lead changes and 36 minutes of basketball gave East the most shocking and heartbreaking loss of any county team this season.
"All the big plays seem to go their (Forest Hills) way down the stretch tonight," East Rutherford Men's Basketball Coach Brad Levine said. "This is a very tough loss to swallow, especially when we should have won in regulation. We enjoy being around each other and that's what makes this team so special. They might have needed each other, but turns out I needed them just as much. I can't tell you how much this group meant to me and I hate we didn't finish it with a state title."
East was up 73-70 in regulation, but Blanton missed a free throw with 23 second to go. Forest Hills then hit a wild off-balanced acrobatic one legged three-pointer from the top of the key by Jai Rorie to tie up with eight ticks remaining.
Nasione Tyson (40 points) made a huge three-point play late in overtime and East had three shots at a three, but missed them all to end the dream. It was a great run, but I hate for seniors: Juwan Blanton, Malik Hamrick, Stephen Archie, Tyrese Carson and Zavie Lowrance. Blanton and Hamrick were dependable and Archie did a number of good things inside the post. Carson really showed a lot of heart and leadership late in the season.
Baseball and softball have started and here is Rutherford County as a whole:
R-S Central is still undefeated in both sports. The softball team has been extremely impressive with 3 wins a 32-3 run total advantage.
East Rutherford has won its only softball game so far over Kings Mountain. They will host Burns on Friday (3/10). The baseball team is now 1-1, but the main concern maybe pitching for all three county teams. Teams can no longer rely on one horse because the state has mandated a pitch count this season.
Down in Harris, Chase baseball is now 0-2. Chase will host Crest on Friday (3/10). Chase softball is now 2-0 on the season with only three seniors on the club.
Thomas Jefferson has started 0-2 on the softball field and so is the baseball team. They don't play at home again until March 21st.
Girls Soccer: East Rutherford (0-2), R-S Central (1-0), Chase (0-1-1) and Thomas Jefferson (1-1) as of now.
Duke and Carolina: Well, I guess they are even now! Carolina still has the best starting five in the ACC, but Duke is just not one you sleep on. This time, Berry had 28 points, while UNC made 10 more baskets. Duke made 12 more free throws, but it wasn't enough to cover the distance.
NASCAR: The Cup Series heads to Vegas this coming week. After Brad Keslowski won this past week, one would think Kevin Harvick is angry enough to march right in and win. He should have won at Atlanta, but a speeding penalty doomed him at the end.
I think I will take Jimmie Johnson for the win, but Keselowski, Logano and Harvick should be tough to beat. Expect Austin Dillon and Dale Earnhardt Jr. to run well this weekend.