Linden boys’ basketball thwarted by shot before buzzer in Saturday night’s county championship game

Tigers sparked by 19-point performance from senior Terrell Bagley

PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI - Linden sophomore  Juwan Dolbrice (No. 1) defends against the Patrick School during the game's final possession.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI – Linden sophomore Juwan Dolbrice (No. 1) defends against the Patrick School during the game’s final possession.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI - Linden's defense awaits what the Patrick School will attempt to do during its final time with the ball. The Patrick School had the ball for the game's final minute-plus.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI – Linden’s defense awaits what the Patrick School will attempt to do during its final time with the ball. The Patrick School had the ball for the game’s final minute-plus.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI - The Patrick School senior Chris Regus (No. 5) hit the game-winning basket right before the buzzer to lift the Celtics to the UCT championship.
PHOTO BY JR PARACHINI – The Patrick School senior Chris Regus (No. 5) hit the game-winning basket right before the buzzer to lift the Celtics to the UCT championship.

UNION – The Patrick School waited and waited.

They had the ball for the final 1:13, passing it around, making sure not to lose possession, calling their final timeouts.

With just 4.4 seconds left and no timeouts remaining, senior Jason Boswell – from behind the line just inside half court – took the ball out, passing it to senior Chris Regus.

Regus saw the slightest opening in the middle, drove the lane, put the ball up with one hand and sent home the Patrick School with yet another county championship.

With his shot going in right before the final buzzer, with the last half second then expiring, the only points Regus scored in the fourth quarter lifted the third-seeded Patrick School to a thrilling 44-42 victory over fourth-seeded Linden in Saturday night’s 77th annual Frank J. Cicarell boys’ basketball championship game at Kean University’s Harwood Arena.

“It was a tough shot,” said Regus, who finished with eight points. “I saw a crack and it was a runner. I saw Quadri Moore (6-9 Linden junior center) coming toward me so I just floated it up.”

Regus said the final shot was supposed to be taken by senior DeAndre Bembry, who led all scorers with 24 points.

“The play was drawn up for DeAndre, but I told Jason that if I was open to get me the ball,” said Regus, who was closest to Boswell.  “I was having a tough game, but coach had faith in me.”

Regus capped the lowest-scoring final since St. Patrick defeated Elizabeth 45-41 in the 1993 championship game at the Dunn Sport Center in Elizabeth. That was the first of 14 county titles former St. Patrick head coach Kevin Boyle guided the Celtics to.

The Patrick School won its 10th straight to improve to 22-3, while Linden had a two-game winning streak snapped and fell to 17-7.

For the Patrick School it was county championship No. 17, which is second to Elizabeth’s 21. Linden was going for its 11th crown and third under head coach Phil Colicchio.

For second-year Patrick School head coach Chris Chevannes, this was his first county championship.

After reaching the final 19 seasons straight from 1993-2011 and winning it 14 of those times, the Patrick School lost in the semifinals last year to Roselle Catholic.

The Celtics have now won the championship 15 times since 1993 and have appeared in the final 20 of the last 21 seasons.

Roselle Catholic, the top seed this year, also lost on a shot that fell right before the final buzzer a week ago at Johnson when senior Erick Lofton-Harris hit a similar one-handed shot in the lane to send eighth-seeded Union to the semifinals for the first time in three years with a 64-63 triumph.

Linden, sparked by senior Terrell Bagley’s 19-point performance – Bagley was unequivocally Linden’s MVP in its three tournament games – came back from a five-point halftime deficit to take the lead twice in the third quarter and then once more in the fourth at 38-37 on an inside basket by Bagley, which were his final points.

Bembry gave the Patrick School the lead back at 39-38 with an inside basket before Linden sophomore Joshua Carter tied the game at 39-39 by making one of two free throws.

Bembry then connected on his game-high third 3-pointer – from the right side – to put the Celtics up 42-39 with 2:42 to go.

Carter answered right back for the Tigers, scoring in the lane, getting fouled and making the ensuing free throw for a conventional 3-point play that tied the game for the fourth and final time at 42-42.

After five Celtic passes, Regus threw up an air ball from the top of the key with 1:39 to go, with Linden re-gaining possession.

Linden’s final opportunity to take another lead was in the hands of junior lefty shooter Juwan Jones, who had room on the left side and let go of a quality 3-point attempt that didn’t fall.

In the final 1:13, Linden fouled three times and the Patrick School called its final three timeouts before Regus came back from his air ball to nail the game-winning basket.

When the shot went in and the buzzer sounded, Regus did not fall to the floor in order to have his teammates jump on top of him. Instead, he turned around and ran straight for the lockerroom door – someone conveniently opened it up for him – ahead of his teammates who were chasing him.

“I just wanted to get out of the gym as quickly as possible,” Regus said. “I didn’t want the refs to rule that the shot was too late.

“I saw my dad (Mario) out of the corner of my eye. It was great.”

After Linden took a 10-7 lead in the first quarter, the Patrick School went on an 18-6 run to take the game’s biggest lead of nine points at 25-16.

“Linden started in zone and they threw a lot of things at us,” Regus said.

Until there was just 1:35 left in the first half, Linden received scoring only from Bagley, who had 11 at the time, and Jones, who had five.

Moore did not score until late in the second quarter – on an inside basket – and finished with just seven points. Despite not having a single foul, he was substituted for in the first and second quarters.

NOTES: The Patrick School, seeded sixth, also won the junior varsity championship game at Kean, defeating top-seeded Roselle Catholic 66-58.

 

UCT FINAL AT KEAN UNIVERSITY

4-LINDEN (17-7)                                             12          8         11        11 – 42

3-PATRICK SCHOOL (22-3)                       14         11         8         11 – 44

 

4-LINDEN TIGERS (42):

30-Quadri Moore, senior, 3-0-1-7

1-Justin Dolbrice, sophomore, 1-0-0-2

2-Joshua Carter, sophomore, 1-1-2-7

5-Juwan Jones, junior, 1-1-2-7

10-Terrell Bagley, junior, 7-0-5-19

23-Alonzo Hamilton, junior, 0-0-0-0

4-James Julius, sophomore, 0-0-0-0

Starters:  Moore, Jones,

Bagley, Dolbrice, Carter

Totals: 13-2-10-42

 

3-PATRICK SCHOOL CELTICS (44):

2-Darrin Collins, senior, 0-0-0-0

32-DeAndre Bembry, senior, 7-3-1-24

1-Jason Boswell, senior, 2-0-0-4

5-Chris Regus, senior, 3-0-2-8

0-Daniel Knight, sophomore, 1-0-0-2

12-Kamar McKnight, sophomore, 2-0-0-4

11-Isaiah Still, sophomore, 0-0-2-2

24-Otis Livingston, sophomore, 0-0-0-0

Starters: Knight, Collins,

McNight, Bembry, Boswell

Totals: 15-3-5-44

 

FRANK J. CICARELL UCT BOYS’ BASKETBALL

CHAMPIONSHIP GAME SCORES, WINNING COACHES:

2013: Patrick School 44, Linden 42 – Chris Chevannes – at Kean

2012: Plainfield 72, Roselle Catholic 66 – Jeff Lubreski – at Kean

2011: St. Patrick 70, Linden 58 – Kevin Boyle – at Kean

2010: St. Patrick 82, Plainfield 45 – Kevin Boyle – at Kean

2009: St. Patrick 89, Elizabeth 72 – Kevin Boyle

2008: St. Patrick 67, Linden 56 – Kevin Boyle

2007: Linden 63, St. Patrick 51 – Phil Colicchio

2006: St. Patrick 65, Plainfield 52 – Kevin Boyle

2005: St. Patrick 77, Linden 68 – Kevin Boyle

2004: Elizabeth 58, St. Patrick 51 – Donald Stewart

2003: St. Patrick 68, Linden 62 – Kevin Boyle

2002: Elizabeth 75, St. Patrick 61 – Pat Brunner

2001: Linden 76, St. Patrick 59 – Phil Colicchio

2000: St. Patrick 69, Linden 55 – Kevin Boyle

1999: St. Patrick 52, Union 43 – Kevin Boyle

1998: St. Patrick 76, Union 45 – Kevin Boyle

1997: St. Patrick 61, Elizabeth 48 – Kevin Boyle

1996: St. Patrick’s 65, Elizabeth 47 – Kevin Boyle

1995: Elizabeth 50, St. Patrick 49 – Ben Candelino

1994: St. Patrick 63, Hillside 47 – Kevin Boyle

1993: St. Patrick 45, Elizabeth 41 – Kevin Boyle

1992: Elizabeth 69, Linden 57 – Ben Candelino

1991: Elizabeth 76, Linden 49 – Ben Candelino

1990: Elizabeth 96, Roselle 67 – Ben Candelino

1989: Elizabeth 65, Roselle 57 – Ben Candelino

1988: Linden 50, Elizabeth 45 – Wilbur Aikens

1987: Elizabeth 62, Linden 61 – Ben Candelino

1986: Elizabeth 50, Union Catholic 43 – Ben Candelino

1985: Elizabeth 70, Rahway 56 – Ben Candelino

1984: Elizabeth 57, Plainfield 42 – Ben Candelino

1983: Linden 66, Roselle 60 – Wilbur Aikens

1982: Linden 86, Union Catholic 67 – Wilbur Aikens

1981: Johnson Regional 73, Hillside 61 – Steve Petruzzelli

1980: Union 65, Plainfield 63 – Tom Fox

1979: Plainfield 70, Linden 68 – Rico Parenti

1978: Elizabeth 62, Plainfield 60 – Ron Kelly

1977: Roselle 75, Rahway 54 – Dick Young

1976: Roselle 61, Union 54 – Dick Young

1975: Plainfield 69, Rahway 64 – Rico Parenti

1974: Union 61, Cranford 48 – Tom Fox

1973: Linden 69, Roselle 53 – Wayman Everly

1972: Jefferson 50, Linden 43 – Ron Kelly

1971: Roselle 73, Linden 71 – Dick Young

1970: Jefferson 68, St. Mary’s 61 – Ron Kelly

1969: Jefferson 55, St. Mary’s 47 – Ron Kelly

1968: Linden 63, Jefferson 62 – Joe Gaines

1967: St. Patrick 58, Plainfield 50 – Ed “Buzzy” Fox

1966: Linden 61, St. Patrick 56 – Joe Gaines

1965: Westfield 61, Cranford 52 – Bob Sanislow

1964: Cranford 68, Linden 61 – Bill Martin

1963: Westfield 65, Roselle Catholic 45 – John Lay

1962: St. Mary’s 40, Linden 30 – Al LoBalbo

1961: Roselle 45, St. Mary’s 43 – Ralph Arminio

1960: St. Mary’s 53, Jefferson 43 – Al LoBalbo

1959: Westfield 54, Cranford 46 – John Lay

1958: Roselle 66, Cranford 64 – Ralph Arminio

1957: Rahway 64, Jefferson 51 – Bob Berger

1956: Plainfield 58, Sacred Heart 51 – Bill Brann

1955: Jefferson 52, St. Mary’s 44 – Bill Tranavitch

1954: Jefferson 57, Springfield 44 – Bill Tranavitch

1953: Linden 59, Union 38 – G. St. Andrassy

1952: St. Mary’s 48, Linden 30 – Al LoBalbo

1951: St. Mary’s 37, Jefferson 36 – Al LoBalbo

1950: Jefferson 69, Hillside 57 – Bill Tranavitch

1949: Jefferson 42, Hillside 41 – Bob Cox

1948: Jefferson 33, Springfield 32 – Bob Cox

1947: Springfield 31, Linden 29 – Walter Hohn

1946: Springfield 37, Linden 34 – Walter Hohn

1945: Jefferson 39, Roselle Park 23 – Abner West

1944: St. Patrick 40, Roselle Park 36 – Ken Milsop

1943: Rahway 34, Jefferson 33 – Earl Walter

1942: Rahway 46, Jefferson 30 – Earl Walter

1941: Rahway 32, Hillside 24 – Earl Walter

1940: Springfield 35, Cranford 33 – Bill Brown

1939: Linden 30, Plainfield 20 – Les Goodwin

1938: Springfield 25, Rahway 24 – Bill Brown

1937: Rahway 27, Hillside 17 – Earl Walter

CHAMPIONSHIPS: Jefferson-Elizabeth 21, St. Patrick 17,

Linden 10, Rahway 5, Roselle 5, Springfield 4, St. Mary’s 4,

Plainfield 4, Westfield 3, Union 2, Cranford 1, Johnson Regional 1.

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