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South Hunterdon tops Belvidere


It’s been a season of ups and downs for the South Hunterdon Regional boys basketball team.

“Our record doesn’t really show what we are,” South Hunterdon senior Alex Romano said. “A lot of the recent games we lost were by only by about five points and we just lost to (North Warren) on a buzzer beater. We’re on the verge of breaking through. We have to put our heads down and grind in the last couple of games and get a good seed in the tournament.”

On Monday night the Eagles posted an impressive 63-33 win over visiting Belvidere in a Skyland Conference Mountain Division game.

South Hunterdon broke out to a 7-0 lead and never looked back, coasting to a 38-16 lead by halftime.

Ten different players scored points for South Hunterdon. Senior Dillon Gallagher led all scorers with 13 points and eight rebounds for the Eagles while sophomore Connor Keyes was also in double digits with 11 points, seven rebounds and four assists.

“Connor got a lot of good minutes last year as a freshman and he’s getting good minutes this year,” South Hunterdon senior forward Elio Ambrosino said. “He’s really accomplished a lot. It’s great to see these younger guys step up and do what needs to be done. I definitely feel like next year I’ll be leaving the team in good hands. I trust these guys. They’re good players and some of them are becoming good leaders.”

Ambrosino had four points, three rebounds and four assists against Belvidere. He also played soccer last season for the Eagles.

Tyler Clark poured in seven including a 3-point goal, six rebounds and two assists. Dominic Carlucci (seven rebounds) and Aaron Parisi (two rebounds, five assists) each had six points, Parisi’s on a pair of 3-pointers. Dayton Ratkowski scored five points including a 3-pointer, had one rebound and one assist, Landon Katz chipped in four points, four rebounds and one assist, and Dominik Zawadzki added two points, five rebounds and one assist to round out the evening for South Hunterdon.

It was the second game for the Eagles without the services of senior Aaron Zalescik, out with a sprained MCL.

“He’s our best player and it’s going to be tough for the rest of us but I think we’ll do just fine,” Romano said. “He had almost 300 points on the season but I think we’re clicking. Our last game was the first one without him and we were adjusting but I thought we played tough.”

Romano, a guard who was also the striker on the South Hunteron soccer team, stressed the importance of making it to the playoffs.

“It’s very important to get a home game,” he said. “That’s what we want. Once you get to the playoffs, it’s like a new season. Anything can happen. I think we’ll be peaking at the right time to really do something.

“If we continue to click and work together and have the intensity that we’ve had, I think we’ll make some noise.”

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