Boys Hoops: Falcons Stun #1 Seed Delbarton and Head to MCT Finals

The Jefferson Falcons stuns all of Morris County as they knocked off the top-seeded Delbarton Saturday night. The Falcons would hold a comeback which would lead them to a 44-41 victory and a chance at the county championship.

Offensively the Falcons tallied only 44 points, but had three different players in double digits, which included Joe Batelli with 14 points, Matthew Johnson who tallied 12, and Richie Botti with 11.

J-Town came out of the gate struggling again the Green Wave as Delbarton started the game with a quick 8-0 run five minutes into the game. The Falcons offense didn’t have any answer for the Green Wave early on. The Falcons would make a bit of a run at the end of the quarter shortening the lead to 10-7 Delbarton closing the quarter. The two squads would remain close through the second as both teams still didn’t have too much to show offensively.

In the third quarter the game really took shape. The game would remain low scoring and the Falcons still stayed behind for a big portion of the quarter. However, with two minutes left senior Joe Batelli came through with a strong bucket and the foul. Shortly after junior Matthew Johnson would knock down a three pointer to give the Falcons their first lead of the game. That would quickly be diminished by the Green Wave as Delbarton would still lead by three heading into the final eight minutes.

The Falcons would continue to play from behind for most of the fourth quarter. However, with three minutes remaining a lay in by senior Paulie Monaco would give the Falcons the lead. The Green Wave would continue to fight however, Batelli just wouldn’t miss at the free throw line. Batelli continued to hit his free throws icing the game and securing the Falcons 44-41 victory.

“I felt very calm. That’s it, I’ve been there before and I knew I could hit those,” said “Joe B” on his free throws late game. “Joe B” also had some words to add on the feeling of going to the county finals. “It feels great, something we’ve been looking forward to all year. Now we just gotta play well next week and hopefully we can get it done.”

“Shooters gotta shoot. To get hot you just need one and then it keeps coming,” added Richie Botti who got off to a 0-3 start but then finished with 11 points. “It’s about time. I know coach has faith in me, I have faith in me, and I know my teammates around me all buy in,” said Botti on his night.

“It was awesome to see them win. Yesterday we had a tough loss (referring to the JV semi-final) but to get a comeback win against the top-seed Delbarton, it’s just awesome to be a part of the team,” said junior Matt Moran.

The Falcons now must get prepared to face off against a very tough West Morris team next Saturday for the Morris County Championship.

Box Score

Jefferson 7 13 12 12 44
Delbarton 10 14 11 6 41

Jefferson

PLAYER FG 3FG FT REB A S PTS BLK
Joe Batelli 3 1 5 7 1 7 14 1
Richie Botti 3 1 2 0 1 0 11 0
David Hanna 0 0 0 1 1 0 0 0
Matt Johnson 2 2 2 8 2 3 12 3
Paul Monaco 0 0 2 5 2 3 2 0
Stefan Tisma 2 0 1 4 1 0 5 0
Sean Whalen 0 0 0 3 0 0 0 0

Delbarton

PLAYER FG 3FG FT REB A S PTS BLK
Jack Baker 2 2 0 12 0 0 10 1
Ryan Cummings 1 1 0 3 1 0 5 0
Bob Henderson 0 0 0 2 2 0 0 0
Jaedon Khubani 1 2 3 5 3 2 11 0
Gary Lewis 1 2 1 2 1 0 9 0
Dean Smith 0 0 0 11 4 1 0 1
Lukas Ungar 3 0 0 3 1 1 6 1
Isaiah Washington 0 0 0 2 1 1 0 0

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