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Harvey twins take turns dominating halves as Cinnaminson rallies past Pemberton for division title

CINNAMINSON (N.J.) - Cinnaminson High School boys basketball coach Mike Fries wasn't too thrilled with twin brothers Drew and Noah Harvey after the duo drenched his clothes with water during a postgame celebration.

It's safe to say he was pleased with their efforts that led to the unexpected (and undesired) victory bath.

The twin brothers combined for 43 points as Cinnaminson, ranked 11th in the latest South Jersey Sports Zone Top 15 boys basketball rankings, rallied from a pair of nine-point deficits to earn a 69-59 triumph over Pemberton on Wednesday night.

Drew Harvey, left, and his twin brother Noah Harvey, right, scored 18 and 25 points, respectively, as Cinnaminson rallied for a 69-59 victory over Pemberton at Cinnaminson High School in Cinnaminson, New Jersey on Wednesday, February 8, 2023. Kevin Emmons/D2 Sports Network

"I'm so proud of both of them," Fries said. "They're playing great basketball right now."

The Pirates trailed 9-0 after Pemberton's George Hardin scored, drew a foul and drained a free throw with 5:23 left in the first quarter. Andrew Plaza responded with four points for Cinnaminson, but Hardin countered with a pair of baskets of his own to establish a 13-4 lead.

"We started down nine nothing," Fries said. "I didn't call timeout because I knew I could trust those guys out there. They fought back, they buckled down, they played hard man-to-man defense, and started scoring and making good decisions out there."

Noah Harvey scored 22 of his game-high 25 points in the second half as the Pirates captured the Burlington County Scholastic League Patriot Division crown and improved their record to 20-1.

The sophomore didn't play to his standard in the first half, but his brother helped alleviate the shortcomings. Drew matched Plaza with a team-high eight points at intermission.

Noah completed the job with a signature performance in the second half.

"I think I just had to relax," Noah said. "I think I was just rushing myself a little bit on the offensive side."

The sophomore went 10-for-11 from the free throw line in the second half and splashed a trio of 3-pointers.

"He's much more than a teammate. He's a brother to me," Drew said. "Growing up 17 years together so we've been playing the game for 13, 14 years together.

"I know how he plays, he knows how I play. Both of our games kind of complement each other. He runs the point, I run the shooting guard. Our chemistry is just insane the way we've played so long together."

Drew buried a triple from NCAA territory to ignite a 15-3 run for the Pirates early in the second stanza. The twins and their teammates held the Hornets scoreless from the field in the second quarter until there was 1:52 left.

The Pirates suddenly found themselves in control after trailing by as much as nine points in two separate occasions.

"I hit my first two threes and I was kind of feeling fired up from the beginning knowing it was a big game," Drew said. "We knew they were a good team so we knew we had to put the pressure on.

The concept of composure has been a staple of the program dating back to last season. Its helped Cinnaminson win 20 games in a single season for the first time since 2011.

"We've done it before," Drew said. "Last year fighting back against Sterling in the second round of playoffs. ... We've all played in situations like that. We've all been around the game for so long that we stay composed under circumstances like that."

The second half saw 12 lead changes.

Cinnaminson was the beneficiary of the final swing.

Senior Jalen Clarke splashed six 3-pointers and scored 23 points for Pemberton. Hardin finished with 14 and made his first eight free throws of the contest. Kazi Fontaine contributed 12.

The Hornets established a 55-53 advantage on a corner triple from Adrian Lemons, Jr. with 5:28 remaining in regulation, but relinquished the lead after Noah Harvey returned the favor with 4:25 left to play.

"We just didn't execute down the stretch," Pemberton coach Tim Collura said. "We've been talking all year about being consistent. When the key moments were there, we didn't run our sets well and we kind of just got sloppy with the ball."

The Pirates are likely to host a South Jersey Group 2 playoff matchup for the second consecutive season and will host Rancocas Valley in the inaugural Burlington County Tournament quarterfinals next Monday.

A division title is a good way to build momentum.

"I'm incredibly proud of these guys and I don't expect to stop anytime soon," Noah said. "I expect to get past Rancocas Valley and make a run in the tournament and obviously in playoffs, too."

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