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BC raises first Bergen County Jamboree title since 2003



Two streaks came to an end at Ramapo College’s Bradley Center as the Bergen Catholic Crusaders ended the four-year title reign of the Teaneck Highwaymen while hoisting their first Bergen County Jamboree Championship trophy since 2003.

Justin Salem followed up solid semifinal performance against St. Joseph scoring 12 of his game-high 29 points in the 3rd quarter that help the Crusaders extend their lead to double digits at 46-33. Salem scored nine consecutive points including three fast-break layups that sparked an 11-0 run.

“I was able to find open shots and my teammates fed me great opportunities,” said Salem. “We were getting run outs and pushing the ball in the 3rd quarter” added Salem. “Getting easy points helped us in this game.”

Bergen Catholic did not allow the lead to shrink their lead below nine points the rest of the way. The Crusaders stretched out the margin to twenty-one points 64-43 with a 12-0 run. Taj Benning chipped in with 6 of his 12 points during that span.

“Justin made huge shots for us and then in the second half we continued to play getting stops and layups,” said Bergen Catholic Head Coach Billy Armstrong. “Pierfrancesco was great getting rebounds and throwing the long outlet pass” added Armstrong” “I am so happy for the school, administrators, my coaches, alumni and kids.”

The Highwaymen ripped off a 9-0 run in the 1st quarter but Bergen Catholic countered with a 7-0 run. Salem accounted for 10 of the Crusaders 17 first quarter points. Teaneck’ star point guard Leondre Washington scored six points. Washington finished with a team-high 12 points.

In the 2nd quarter, Pierfrancesco Oliva displayed his versatility on the offensive and defensive side of the ball. Working his way to basket time after time getting fouled and knocking down free throws. Meanwhile on defense swatting away several shots. Oliva poured in 13 points, 17 rebounds, five assists and four blocks.

“When Justin was hot, we knew he was going to make his shots because he is a great shooter with confidence,” said Pierfrancesco Oliva. “We were god tonight at finding the open man to take good shots. We played great defense by packing the paint with all five guys on the ball.”

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Sunil Sunder Raj

Since July of 2014 Sunil Sunder Raj has been with In The Zone. Sunil has experience covering minor league baseball, high school and college sports. A beat writer for the Rockland Boulders for six years, Ramapo College men’s basketball for four years, NJIT men’s basketball and Seton Hall women’s basketball. Now focusing on feature articles about athletes, coaches and sports media professionals. A graduate of Ramapo College of New Jersey with a bachelor of arts degree in journalism.
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