Central pulls away from Brick Memorial in second half and Mike Clemente secures 100th career win
BERKELEY TOWNSHIP (N.J.) - The objective was to increase the pace.
The Central Regional High School boys' basketball team was slowed down in the half court by its opponent and forced to play slower than it preferred. The result was a six-point halftime advantage.
The second half was a different story.
Jaycen Santucci scored 17 of his game-high 25 points over the final two quarters as the Golden Eagles pulled away for a 62-46 win over Brick Memorial on Wednesday night.
Central outscored the Mustangs 20-8 in the third quarter and utilized a 30-11 spurt to lead by as much as 23 points in the final stanza.
"Just all about getting stops then as soon we get a rebound push it in transition," Santucci said. "We were a little slow in the beginning, but then we got it in the second half."
Central coach Mike Clemente secured his 100th career victory.
"From Day One I knew this was a special group," Clemente said. "Not only how talented they are, just how they get along as a team. ... It's great to be around them. It's great to have the season that we're having and hopefully there's a couple more (wins) by the time this season ends."
"He's a one of a kind coach," Santucci said.
Miles Chevalier drained five 3-pointers, tallied 19 points and collected eight rebounds in the triumph. The junior also broke a school record with eight triples in a 74-36 win over Barnegat on Monday.
"Two days ago, I came off eight 3-pointers which was the school record," Chevalier said. "I had the ultimate green light. My coach told me to shoot the ball so I shot it. It was going in. I feel like a complete player now. I feel like I can do anything."
Jordan Borbat added 10 points, and point guard John Truhan contributed two points and six assists for the Golden Eagles.
Josh Michigan powered the Mustangs with a team-high 12 points. Dorian Alston also tallied 12 points, included a pair of 3-pointers, and Eric Sliazis charted 10. Brick Memorial dropped its record to 13-7.
Central has won seven out of its last eight games and improved its record to 15-5 on Wednesday.
The statement victory against Brick Memorial could be the ingredient to fuel a postseason run.
"South Jersey basketball is very good," Clemente said. "South Jersey Group 4 is a brutal state section. We know we have to challenge our guys towards the end of the year because we're going to see a good team no matter who we play.
"Beating a team as quality as Brick Memorial is will hopefully carry us to be prepared for the state tournament and Shore Conference Tournament that's right around the corner."