UNION – Ryan Huber, who played his high school ball at Dayton and is now in his eighth season as the head boys’ basketball coach at Cranford, is looking forward to coaching his first game at Kean University.
Cranford will play Westfield Sunday at 2 p.m. in the second of five contests of the second annual Investors Games at Kean.
“It’s great for the kids and something they’ve been looking forward to,” said Huber, who has guided the Cougars to a 4-3 record prior to Friday night’s game at Scotch Plains.
This will be the first time Huber will be coaching Cranford in a game played at Kean, with the opponent being league rival Westfield. The teams first met in Union County Conference-Mountain Division play on Opening Night Dec. 20, with Westfield winning 50-49 at home.
“It was a good game, but it was also a sloppy game,” Huber said. “We only had about 13-14 practices. They threw zone at us and we didn’t have everything in. That’s the nature of the beast.”
Cranford rebounded to win its next four games, including its own holiday tournament with victories over Marlboro and West Orange. Division triumphs vs. Governor Livingston and Rahway came before and after, with the four wins coming by an average of 2.5 points, including the GL victory in overtime.
Division setbacks to Roselle and Union Catholic followed earlier this week.
“We’re playing hard,” Huber said. “We have players that are multi-sport athletes and their not afraid to dive on the floor to win games.”
Cranford has been led by the scoring of Tommy Trotter (74 points through six games), John Oblachinski (74), Mike Guarriello (64), Luke Christiano (54) and Jack McCaffery (43).
Sunday’s game is also the second and final Mountain Division contest this year between Cranford and Westfield.
A CELEBRATION OF UNION COUNTY BOYS’ BASKETBALL
A celebration of Union County boys’ basketball will take place this weekend on a college campus now well-known for hosting such local, creative sporting events.
Sunday’s second annual Investors Games at Kean University’s Harwood Arena includes five outstanding tipoffs that feature eight of Union County’s elite hoop squads.
Here’s the schedule:
Union vs. Bloomfield, 12:30 p.m.
Cranford vs. Westfield, 2 p.m.
Ridge vs. Plainfield, 3:45 p.m.
Union Catholic vs. Linden, 5:30 p.m.
Roselle Catholic vs. The Patrick School, 7:15 p.m.
Pat Brunner, in his ninth season as the head coach at Bloomfield, is no stranger to Union County basketball. He guided Elizabeth to the 2002 Union County Tournament championship when the Minutemen defeated St. Patrick in the final at the Elizabeth Dunn Sport Center.
The second annual Investors Games event is a fundraiser for scholarships to student-athletes, according to Rahway High School Athletic Director Tom Lewis, who is also the Executive Director of the Union County Interscholastic Athletic Conference (UCIAC).
Ridge and Bloomfield, the only two non-Union County schools playing Sunday, both won games in last year’s first event, which was a two-day weekend schedule at Kean that included five games each day.
Union was the only school to play on both days last year first beating Franklin 53-47 and then downing Roselle 55-49. Later in the season the Farmers upset top-seeded Roselle Catholic in the Union County Tournament quarterfinals.
One of the most exciting games in last year’s schedule was Linden’s come-from-behind 76-67 win over Union Catholic. The Vikings of Scotch Plains were led by a stellar, 32-point performance from senior shooting guard Damon Lynn of Hillside. Lynn, who is now playing in college at NJIT, connected on a season-high eight 3-pointers to give Union Catholic the lead at intermission.
Linden and Union Catholic then hooked up in another thriller, which was a UCT quarterfinal at Johnson in Clark. Linden again came back and then came out on top once more by a 70-62 margin.
Also in regular season play this year, Roselle Catholic opened on Dec. 20 with a 74-44 Watchung Division home victory over The Patrick School.
Records through games played Thursday:
Union Catholic (7-1, 7 straight wins)
Linden (7-1, 4 straight wins)
Roselle Catholic (4-0)
The Patrick School (2-3)
FIRST INVESTORS GAMES SCOREBOARD
SATURDAY, JAN. 12, 2013
Union 53, Franklin 47
Rahway 54, St. Mary’s, Elizabeth 52
Seton Hall Prep 62, Cardinal McCarrick 31
Ridge 42, Plainfield 35
Elizabeth 58, Roselle Catholic 56
SUNDAY, JAN. 13, 2013
Hillsborough 57, Westfield 47
Bloomfield 66, Piscataway 32
Union 55, Roselle 49
Linden 76, Union Catholic 67
St. Peter’s Prep 58, Marist 50