UNION – A big part of Emanuel Kema’s practice routine includes taking a couple of hundred shots.
“I have to get my 3s in,” the 6-0 Union senior shooting guard said. “I have to work on my footwork.”
While practice may not make perfect all the time, it sure helps increase the odds of making a shot when necessary.
That was the case for Kema Sunday afternoon when he not only put his best foot forward, but he also put on sort of a shooting clinic in helping lead the Union boys’ basketball team to a convincing 64-43 win over Bloomfield in the first of five games of the second annual Investors Games at Kean University’s Harwood Arena.
Union snapped a two-game losing streak and improved to 5-3, while Bloomfield fell to 5-3.
Kema didn’t miss many shots from long range and did make a game-high seven 3-pointers to lead all scorers with a solid 25-point performance.
“It was a total team effort,” said Kema, who pulled up from both sides of the floor to hit his 3-pointers, as he took advantage of not having a hand in his face.
Kema began the game’s scoring with the first of his 3s to lead Union to a 5-0 lead. The Farmers led from start to finish.
“Their No. 2 shot the ball real well,” Bloomfield head coach Pat Brunner said. “It seemed like we never really got untracked. Union took it to us today.”
Kema also nailed a 3-pointer right before the second quarter buzzer to extend Union’s lead at intermission to six at 32-26.
“K.K. hitting that shot at the end of the first half was really big,” Union head coach Kevin Feeley said. “He’s a good shooter and we set some good screens for him.”
A basket by Bloomfield senior Noah Dean cut the deficit to 20-18 early in the second quarter.
One of Tevin Service’s two dunks put Union ahead 29-23 before Bloomfield came back with a 3-point field goal.
Union began to produce separation in the third quarter, closing the period on an 8-2 run that began with consecutive 3-point baskets from Kema.
“He knows that’s our thing and that we need him to score,” Feeley said. “He let the game come to him today.”
After winning the third quarter 15-6, Union followed with a 13-2 run in the fourth.
“In the second half we had to play hard and play better defense,” Kema said. “We lost our last game to Plainfield, so we wanted to come out and play well and get this win.”
“Our kids gradually throughout the game handled pressure better, moved the ball, found the open man and made shots,” Feeley said.
Union was the only team to play in both days of last year’s first event, winning both games. The Farmers are now 3-0 in the Investors Games.
Bloomfield defeated Piscataway last year and is now 1-1.
“Tom Lewis (Rahway Athletic Director and Union County Interscholastic Athletic Conference Director) asked us last year if we wanted to participate and we gladly accepted,” Brunner said. “This gives us a feel for how good we can be.”
SECOND ANNUAL INVERSTORS GAMES
AT KEAN SCOREBOARD:
Union 64, Bloomfield 43
Cranford 61, Westfield 47
Ridge 48, Plainfield 42
Linden 74, Union Catholic 53
The Patrick School 69, Roselle Catholic 53
SECOND ANNUAL INVESTORS GAMES AT KEAN
UNION (5-3) 20 12 15 17 – 64
BLOOMFIELD (5-3) 14 12 6 11 – 43
UNION FARMERS (64):
32-Jaron McNair, senior, 2-0-0-4
2-Emanuel Kema, senior, 2-7-0-25
5-Tevin Service, junior, 4-0-2-10
1-Diego Rios, senior, 2-0-0-4
22-Jordan Roberson, junior, 6-0-3-15
13-Miles Desrouleaux, senior, 2-0-0-4
14-Joshua Croskey, sophomore, 1-0-0-2
Starters: McNair, Kema,
Service, Rios, Roberson.
BLOOMFIELD BENGALS (43):
11-Kevin Barrow, senior, 2-1-0-7
1-Noah Dean, senior, 2-0-1-5
2-Marcus Britton, senior, 1-0-2-4
13-Essian Epps, junior, 0-0-3-3
5-Collin Crawford, junior, 2-0-2-6
30-Isaiah Reyes, sophomore, 4-1-6-17
Totals: 11-2-14-42 (missing one point).
Starters: Reyes, Barrow,
Britton, Epps, Dean.