St. Joe’s Metuchen Edges Teaneck in Overtime at Tip-Off Hoop Group Showcase

WEST ORANGE, NJ – It may have taken longer than St. Joe’s wanted it to, but after four minutes of overtime the Falcons were able to hold their heads high as they walked off the court with a thrilling 67-66 victory over Teaneck in the fifth game of the Tip-Off Hoop Group Showcase at West Orange High School.

The Falcons, who missed nine free throws in the final minutes, rebounded to sink 5-of-6 from the line in the extra session and escape with their first win of the season.

“I’m just happy with the effort,” St. Joe’s coach Dave Turco said. “The bottom line is we just kept playing hard”

Leading the way was Wade Baldwin IV who scored five of his game-high 27 points in overtime, including shooting 3-of-4 from the free throw line, after missing his final three free throws in regulation.

“Coach challenged us before overtime,” Baldwin said, “he said our performance was embarrassing.”

“But even though I struggled at the end I just kept my composure and I’m happy I knocked down two to ice it.”

Despite St. Joes’ struggles from the line Teaneck still needed some last second heroics to force overtime. As the horn sounded to end the fourth quarter junior Myles McLeod layed in the tying shot to knot the score at 58.

Before that, the game was filled with exciting shots and clutch performances from both sides.

Teaneck’s Lavrone Green-Reels hit two 3-pointers in frantic final minutes and even Baldwin was staring, except from the line.

With the game tied at 56 Baldwin stole the inbound pass and rushed the length of the floor to put St. Joe’s up 58-56.

Then, with 14.4 seconds to play Teaneck’s Joel Hernandez, who finished with a team-high 19 points, put up an airball which was grabbed St. Joe’s senior James Ziemba who quickly called a timeout.

However, after that the Falcons struggled at the line, missing six straight free throws in those final 14 seconds to allow McLeod to play the temporary hero.
In addition to recovering from the free throw line, another key to the Falcons win was Baldwin’s tenacious defense on Teaneck’s senior guard Shaakir Lindsey. Lindsey, who netted 16 points and gave Teaneck a brief 61-60 lead in overtime, fouled out soon after hitting that go ahead shot and Baldwin’s coach made sure to mention that.

“We put him (Baldwin) on Lindsey and he did a tremendous job on him tonight,” Turco said. “He (Baldwin) was a true leader today.”

While Baldwin ended up hitting most of the key shots down the stretch, the Falcons would not have been in the position to win if not for the play of sophomore big man Karl-Anthony Towns. Towns, who was named the team MVP on the strength of his 18 point, 14 rebound effort, also recovered in overtime as he knocked down two free throws after missing two from the line in the fourth quarter.

“It was good to play well,” said Towns, who will graduate next year before moving on to Kentucky in 2014-15, “Especially in front of my father and Coach Cal (Kentucky head coach John Calipari was in attendance).”

Lindsey was named the MVP for Teaneck which fell to 1-1 with loss.


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