ELMWOOD PARK — Travis Bennett kept Garfield in it until his teammates settled down and began making shots.
The Boilermakers feel an added burden as reigning NJIC Colonial Division champion, and that was apparent during the first half of Thursday night’s 63-58 victory over rival Elmwood Park.
With the Boilermakers misfiring from the perimeter, Bennett, a 6-foot-4 senior forward, needed to score 18 of his game-high 23 points in the first two quarters just to keep Garfield within 31-29 at halftime.
“Sometimes we have to just remember that it’s a game and to have fun,” Garfield coach Chris Storms said, “and sometimes we take ourselves a little too seriously.”
Garfield (6-0, 4-0 Colonial) is taking this season seriously because it’s a veteran team that’s favored to repeat as division champ, and it also expects to win a game or two in the Bergen Jamboree.