By David Cordova
When your a small school that plays a big opponent in your league, your mission is to do nothing but make an attempt to knock off that team. For the Peddie Falcons, it was something that wasn’t easy to do, but something that was possible as long as they played hard.
The school from the Mid-Atlantic Prep League, located in suburban Highstown, NJ, was 9-2 going into the game would go up against a perennial national powerhouse from Newark, St. Benedict’s Prep, a team that was 11-1 coming into the game and was ranked No. 28 in the country by USA Today.
All in all, from start to finish, this game resembled a David vs. Goliath matchup, a game in which one team executed their game plan and carried it out all the way until the final buzzer sounded.
Peddie 66, St. Benedict’s 57
Early on in the game, both teams played very scrappy & physical style of basketball. The pace of the game was fast & both teams were scrapping for every possession.
Throughout the first quarter, St. Benedict’s had momentum on their side, due to their size and toughness on the boards. They finished the first quarter up by four, 18-14.
In the second, the Gray Bees continued to pressure the Falcons into turning over the ball, while the Falcons played tough defense of their own. Peddie made some smart plays at the end of the second quarter, buoyed by a layup by senior guard Tyler Jones and a free throw by senior guard Steve Torre to take them into the half, leading by two, 29-27.
Peddie started out the third quarter in a mission as they got out to a three-point lead, 36-33, with 5:21 left. But then St. Benedict’s stormed back behind senior forward & Syracuse commit Bourama Sidibe & freshman guard Noah Farrakhan to bring the Gray Bees ahead 47-43, with more than one minute left in the quarter.
In the fourth, the Gray Bees continued to hold their lead until Bruce Edwards hit a three-pointer for the Falcons to tie the game at 53-53 with over four minutes remaining & another three with 3:50 to go to take the lead, 56-53.
Moments later, Edwards made another three-pointer to give the Falcons a 59-55 lead with 1:30 to go in the game. From then on, they would continue to make foul shots to seal the deal, as they defeats their nationally-ranked counterparts.
Jones led the Falcons with 22 points, six assists and four steals and Edwards added 16 points. For the Gray Bees, Sidibe led with 16 points and 13 rebounds and junior guard Mattheu Cotton added 11 points in the loss.