Linden boys’ basketball concludes another fine season at 26-5; Tigers presently only NJ team to defeat TOC finalist Patrick School

The Linden boys’ basketball team has a stranglehold on winning Group 4 state championships, with six captured since 2000, including repeating this year for the second time in program history.

However, the Tigers are still seeking their first Tournament of Champions crown after falling to Don Bosco Prep 65-58 in Sunday’s semifinals in Toms River.

In six TOC appearances now, Linden has a record of 5-6. The Tigers reached the final in 2006 and 2016.

Linden concluded another fine season at 26-5 and – with one game to go – is presently the only New Jersey school to defeat TOC finalist Patrick School.

Patrick School (28-4) faces Don Bosco Prep (31-1) in the March 20 TOC final in Trenton. Camden in 2000 will remain for at least another year as the last public school state champion to capture the TOC title.

For the eighth time and for the third time in the last five years the TOC final will not include a public school state champion.

The Tigers will miss standout contributions from graduating seniors Khalief Crawford – finished with more than 1,000 points – point guard Joey Krempa, forward Kyree Rogers and off the bench catalysts Marcellus Livingston and Abraham Kromah.

However, Linden might be returning the best backcourt in the state for the 2017-2018  season with junior starters Tavon Jones and Mikey Watkins still with their senior years to look forward to.

Linden and Patrick School shared the Union County Conference’s Watchung Division championship with identical 7-1 records that included home victories against each other. Patrick School then defeated Linden in the Union County Tournament championship game.

Linden then went on to repeat as Group 4 state champions for the first time since 2006 and 2007. The Tigers have captured the Group 4 state championship three of the last four years and have been in the title game four of the last five seasons.

Here’s a look at the results of Linden’s 26-5 2016-2017 campaign:

Dec. 16: (A) Linden 83, Westfield 37 – at Union

Dec. 18: (A) Blair 46, Linden 42

Dec. 27: (A) Linden 84, Olympic, N.C. 52

Dec. 28: (A) Linden 66, Bishop Sullivan, Va. 47

Dec. 30: (A) Linden 53, Potomac Catholic, Va. 49

Jan. 3: (A) Patrick School 75, Linden 62 – at Kean

Jan. 5: (A) Linden 67, Plainfield 36

Jan. 8: (A) Linden 77, Pope John 50 – at CCM

Jan. 10: (A) Linden 63, Union 45

Jan. 12: (A) Linden 74, Elizabeth 52

Jan. 17: (H) Linden 71, Patrick School 67

Jan. 21: (A) Linden 72, Union Catholic 61

Jan. 24: (A) Linden 54, Roselle Catholic 50

Jan. 26: (H) Linden 60, St. Mary’s, Elizabeth 40

Jan. 29: (A) Linden 75, Parkland, Pa. 68

Feb. 2: (A) Linden 61, Point Pleasant Beach 40 – at RC

Feb. 4: (A) Linden 64, Hun 61 – at AC

Feb. 7: (H) Linden 64, Roselle Catholic 58

Feb. 10: (A) Montverde, Fla. 61, Linden 38 – at Kean

Feb. 12: (A) Linden 72, Plainfield 43 – at RC

Feb. 16: (H) Linden 80, Elizabeth 49

Feb. 18: (A) 1-Linden 58, 8-Union 27 – UCT quarterfinal at Rahway

Feb. 21: (A) 1-Linden 49, 4-St. Mary’s, Elizabeth 38 – UCT semifinal at Kean

Feb. 25: (A) 2-Patrick School 58, Linden 44 – UCT final at Kean

Feb. 27: (H) 1-Linden 76, 16-Perth Amboy 32 – N2, G4 first round

March 1: (H) 1-Linden 67, 8-Columbia 50 – N2, G4 quarterfinals

March 3: (H) 1-Linden 66, 5-Woodbridge 39 – N2, G4 semifinals

March 7: (H) 1-Linden 59, 2-Newark East Side 51 – N2, G4 final

March 9: (N) Linden 56, Bloomfield 50 – G4 semifinal at Dunn

March 12: (N) Linden 57, Shawnee 41 – G4 final at Rutgers

March 19: (N) 3-Don Bosco Prep 65, 2-Linden 58 – TOC semifinals at Toms River North

Record: (26-5)

UCC-Watchung Division: (7-1, co-champions)

UCT: (3-1, second)

North 2, Group 4: (4-0, champions)

Group 4: (2-0, champions)

TOC: (0-1, semifinalist)

 

 

Leave a Reply