RUTHERFORD – Despite coming in as an underdog on Saturday, the Rutherford boys basketball team had a great chance to pull off the upset in the Bergen County Jamboree battle.
The Bulldogs were the 21st seed in the Jamboree but were nip and tuck with the 12th-seeded Ramsey Rams for most of the game at Old Tappan High School.
But for Rutherford there was a stretch midway through the third quarter where the Bulldogs’ offense was out of sync and Ramsey took advantage of it.
Rutherford would never recover fully and was ousted from the tournament, 70-60. It was the first trip to the Jamboree for the Bulldogs in four years.
Rutherford head coach Nick DeBari lauded the play of his team for almost the entire contest. “I thought that we played well for 29 minutes,” said DeBari whose team dropped to 10-6 on the season. “We had that one bad stretch. We needed to play a complete game and we played well for almost the entire game.”
For the Bulldogs the inside game of junior center Regan Scanlon to go along with the three-point shooting of sophomore Dominick Mignone and senior Diego Miguens kept Rutherford in the game and were almost the ingredients for the upset.
Scanlon had a team-high 19 points while Mignone and Miguens chipped in 15 and 12 points, respectively, for the Bulldogs. Both Mignone and Miguens collected all of their points via the three-point shot.
While the Rutherford defense did a good job against most of the Rams, it could not stop their top scorer, guard Joey Carroll, who had a game-high 28 points with four three pointers.
DeBari knew that his team needed to put a whole package together to defeat Ramsey. “We knew that they had five kids who could pass, dribble and score,” said DeBari. “We told them that we had to stop their dribble, drive penetration.”
And the Rutherford head coach knew that it was going to be tough against Ramsey since they sported a 13-1 record coming into Saturday’s contest.