S. Jersey Boys: Burlington Township defeats Colts Neck, 70-64, for Central Jersey Group 3 title

Posted: March 09, 2011

Burlington Township, behind by 13 at one point in the fourth quarter, closed out Tuesday night's Central Jersey Group 3 basketball championship game with a 25-4 run and went home with an improbable title.

The Falcons (21-9) shocked host Colts Neck, 70-64, and advanced to the state semifinals on Thursday against South Jersey champion Kingsway at 7 p.m. at Winslow Township.

The third-seeded Falcons trailed by 60-50 with under 5 minutes remaining, but stormed back, aided by effective full-court pressure, scoring nine straight points and closing the gap to 60-59 with 2:30 to go.

"I told them to keep playing hard and if you do that, we'll have a chance to win," Burlington Township coach Scott Kupersmit said during the Falcons' boisterous bus ride home.

After a Colts Neck foul shot, Danny Rodriguez gave Township its first lead of the game by hitting a three-pointer, and David Coulanges added a basket after a steal for a 64-61 lead.

Single foul shots by Coulanges and Avery Holliday stretched the lead to 66-61. Holliday hit two more foul shots with 30 seconds to go, and free throws by Jalon Wilson and Danny Rodriguez ended the scoring for Burlington Township.

"I think we wore them down a little bit at the end," Kupersmit said. "With about four minutes left I thought they were more concerned about protecting the lead and we became more aggressive."

Wilson led the Falcons with 18 points, Rodriguez scored 17 and Coulanges had 16.

South Jersey Group 1. Pitman (28-2) captured the sectional crown with a 75-55 triumph over visiting Penns Grove (24-4), capped by a 31-18 fourth quarter in which the Panthers made 17 of 22 foul shots.

Guard Luke Dickson scored a game-high 25 points and dealt six assists, forward Dylan Colgate added 24 points and snagged 15 rebounds, Alec Matchett and Joe Kelly grabbed nine boards apiece, and John Sayer dished out five assists.

"Our strength of schedule really helped us get ready for the tournament," Pitman coach Kevin Crawford said. "We felt like we've been in big games all season and took care of business tonight."

Pitman, top-seeded in Group 1, beat the second-seeded Red Devils during the regular season, 64-54, on Jan. 18. Ameer Sorrell paced Penns Grove with 15 points.

"We invoked the ghosts of Crispins past," Crawford added, referring to brothers Joe and Jon Crispin who led the Panthers to sectional titles in 1997 and 1998.

Central Jersey Group 1. New Egypt's season ended with a 49-47 championship loss to visiting Asbury Park (22-4).

The third-seeded Warriors (24-6) finished with a school record for wins in a season, the Burlington County League Freedom Division title and advanced to a sectional final for the second time.

Desmond Hubert scored a game-high 19 points and Adam Lipay had 10 for New Egypt, while fourth-seeded Asbury Park, which will face Pitman in the state semifinals on Thursday, got 17 points from Maurice Dickerson.

Contact Doug Hadden at rallysports@phillynews.com.

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