Friday night was another good one for Union County basketball teams.
On the boys’ side, top-seeded Linden in North 2, Group 4 advanced to that final Monday night at home against second-seeded Ridge by ousting fourth-seeded Elizabeth 53-40 at Linden. In Union County Conference-Watchung Division play this season, Linden defeated Elizabeth in overtime 75-63 on Opening Night, Dec. 14 and then Elizabeth downed Linden 57-45 at the Dunn Sport Center in Elizabeth on Feb. 13.
Ridge eliminated sixth-seeded Bridgewater-Raritan 43-32 at home Friday night, winning the fourth quarter 17-8.
Linden, which is now 20-7 and winners of three straight, last won North 2, Group 4 in 2011, defeating Ridge 58-31 at home in the semifinals.
Also winning – as expected – were top-seeded Patrick School and second-seeded Roselle Catholic in the Non-Public, South B quarterfinals. The Patrick School ousted eighth-seeded Trenton Catholic 77-32 at Rahway, while Roselle Catholic eliminated 10th-seeded Rutgers Prep 66-48.
On Monday in the semifinals it will be the Patrick School vs. fifth-seeded Gill St. Bernard’s – most likely at Rahway – and Roselle Catholic hosting third-seeded Wildwood Catholic. The championship game is scheduled – weather permiting – for Wednesday night at 6 at Jackson Liberty.
On the girls’ side, top-seeded Rosellle Catholic downed eighth-seeded Ranney 63-20 in the Non-Public, South B quarterfinals. The Lions have now won three straight and seven of their last eight.
Roselle Catholic will next host fourth-seeded Trenton Catholic Monday in the semifinals. Trenton Catholic, now 20-6, defeated fifth-seeded St. Joseph’s, Hammonton 52-37 Friday night, winning the fourth quarter 23-12.
Trenton Catholic senior and Roselle Catholic transfer Marcia Senatus scored seven points.
Roselle Catholic’s 2011-2012 season was ended at Trenton Catholic in the Non-Public, South B semifinals, with the Lions falling 49-34 to finish 20-7. That was the last game Senatus played for Roselle Catholic.
Oak Knoll, the second seed in Non-Public, North B, lost its only state tournament game this season, falling Friday at home in the quarterfinals to seventh-seeded Eastern Christian 45-40 in Summit.
The Royals had a fine season that conclusded at 21-5. They were the winningest team in Union County entering state tournament play.
Oak Knoll did well to finish second in the UCC’s Mountain Division at 11-3, went 4-1 against Watchung Division foes and reached the Union County Tournament final for the first time in 15 years. The Royals knocked out top-seeded Roselle Catholic 49-43 in the quarterfinals, leading the game from start to finish.
– JR PARACHINI