Elizabeth Forward boys edge Thomas Jefferson to improve to 9-1
Elizabeth Forward has enjoyed a whirlwind of success so far in the boys basketball season.
The Warriors have been ranked among the best teams in Class AAA all season, and Monday afternoon, EF added another chapter to what is shaping up to be a season to remember.
EF edged Thomas Jefferson, 57-56, before a packed house at its home gym.
TJ's Charlie Scharbo made one of two free throws with 4.1 seconds to play as the Jaguars (7-2, 1-1) came up a point short.
EF (9-1, 3-0) took a 55-52 lead with 55.3 seconds left when Austin Matta made two free throws. However, TJ tied the score at 55-55 when Zach Talley drilled a 3-pointer with 43 seconds left.
With the home fans in a frenzy, George Prota put EF back on top for good at 57-55 when he hit a layup with 16 seconds left.
That set the stage for the Jags to have one last chance to tie the score or win it with a 3-pointer.
Scharbo was fouled and made the first free throw. However, the second was off the mark, and EF prevailed.
The contest was nip-and-tuck throughout as TJ took a 29-26 lead at halftime.
EF led 43-41 after three quarters, and the Warriors' Matt Bernadowski started the fourth quarter with a steal and slam dunk to ignite the crowd and give the hosts a 45-41 lead.
TJ battled back, and when Eric Fairman stole the ball and scored with 2:48 left, it capped a 5-0 run that gave the Jaguars a 50-49 lead.
Trailing 52-49, EF closed within a point when Prota scored with 1:27 left.
TJ then turned over the ball, and EF's JaQuan Davidson scooped up the ball, scored and was fouled with 55 seconds left.
Matta's free throws seconds later upped the lead to 55-52.
EF was led by Prota with 14 points and 20 rebounds, Davidson had 14 points and 10 assists, and Matta added 12 points. Jasano Brooks had 11 points and 13 rebounds.
TJ got a game-high 20 points from Talley, including four 3-pointers, and Scharbo added 17 points.
Jeff Oliver is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.