SHP Basketball Moves Forward Past Payne Tech

The nineteenth-ranked Pirates basketball team faced the Lions of Payne Tech on Tuesday, February 4 inside Tracey Gymnasium. This game would complete the Pirates’ first full week of being inside the top twenty this season. Coming off a huge twenty-point victory against sixth-ranked Wildwood Catholic, The Prep was looking to end the week on a high and further increase their state ranking. Payne Tech, however, was not lacking confidence due to their 44-42 victory against the Pirates back on January 7.

The Pirates started off slow in the first, not playing to the intensity they have shown on this run. Although the offense played to its strengths, scoring just under their first quarter total from the game against Wildwood Catholic, the suffocating defense that The Prep has been known for did not come to play. Thanks to a multitude of open threes, the Lions were able to score 18 in the first, just under the twenty points scored by Wildwood Catholic in the first two quarters last game. The scoreboard would show a tie score at the end of the quarter, a surprising sight for Pirate Nation due to the team’s prior performances.

The perseverance and heart of this basketball team would once again be revealed in the second quarter, though. Despite their lack-luster defensive performance in the first, the Pirates played with a new-found intensity that changed the game on that end. Lions turnovers led to breakaway layups and easy threes for The Prep. Seton Hall would end the night with 6 steals, far below their usual totals, but they certainly came at an opportune time in this quarter. Allowing Payne Tech to score just four points, The Prep was able to expand their lead to double digits, a lead they would keep for the rest of the game. The half would end with a score of 34-22.

This intensity, however, would not last into the third quarter. The defensive struggles from the first period would continue, mainly led by offensive struggles not seen in the first half. The Prep would be the team being turned over, which in turn led to easy baskets for the Lions. Payne Tech was able to get the lead down to single digits and even almost tie the game, but timely threes by The Prep kept the distance between the teams sizable. This late run appeared to give the Lions momentum going into the fourth, but the enormous buckets by the Pirates were certainly a back-breaker for the Payne Tech squad. The third quarter would end with a score of 43-35.

The fourth quarter would be much the same for both sides. Both teams continued to have difficulties on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball. It was an overall very sloppy game, one that both teams will not be happy with. One positive aspect of the game for the Pirates, though, was the fact that they were still able to win the game by double digits, 61-50, despite all these struggles. 

The team leader in scoring and rebounds for the game was Giye Jenkins ‘21 with 16 points and 10 rebounds. He also tied Mason Morial ‘20 in assists with 6. This massive game by Jenkins is a good sign for the future of the program as he will be back on the team next year for his senior season. The Pirates took their winning streak and their new #14 ranking into the Essex County Tournament. The third-seeded Pirates defeated the sixth-seeded Columbia Cougars 67-37 on Saturday, February 15 inside Tracey Gym for the second round of the tournament after beating Montclair in the first round on February 8, 80-50.