After falling in the Union County Tournament championship game on a shot right before the buzzer, the Linden boys’ basketball team did well to bounce back in a challenging North 2, Group 4 section.
For the second time in three years the Tigers captured the championship, defeating Ridge 49-46 at home in Monday’s final.
Linden will next face North 1, Group 4 champion Hackensack in a Group 4 semifinal scheduled for Wednesday at 7 p.m. at the Dunn Sport Center in Elizabeth, weather permitting. The winner moves on to Sunday’s Group 4 final at Rutgers.
Linden captured the section for the fifth time in the past 14 seasons, previously winning it under head coach Phil Colicchio in 2000, 2006, 2007 and 2011.
The Tigers will be seeking to get back to the Group 4 final for the first time since 2007.
Linden has won three state championships, capturing Group 4 in 2000, 2006 and 2007.
In the Non-Public, South B semifinals, the Patrick School of Elizabeth downed Gill St. Bernard’s for the second time in two tries this year, winnning 70-59 at Rahway. Roselle Catholic defeated Wildwood Catholic 75-50 at home.
It will now be top-seeded Patrick School vs. second-seeded RC in Wednesday’s scheduled 6 p.m. start at Jackson Liberty. The wiinner moves on to Saturday’s Non-Public, B championship game.
In girls’ Non-Public, South B semifinal action at RC, fourth-seeded Trenton Catholic downed top-seeded Roselle Catholic 59-36. The Lions, who captured a third consecutive Union County Conference-Watchung Division title and won 20 games for the fifth straight season, concluded another fine year at 22-5.
– JR PARACHINI