LuHi Falls Short in Top 25 Matchup
The Metro Classic featured several high-profile matchups including our #1 ranked L.I team Long Island Lutheran against New Jersey’s Roselle Catholic who’s top 15 in the country. Each team has excellent coaching staffs and highly sought-after college prospects. This game was held at the Cure Insurance Area in Trenton New Jersey and came down to the wire with LuHi up 7 after the 3rd Quarter. The Crusaders ended up falling just short to the Lions in a game that didn’t disappoint. Here’s our recap.
The first quarter was action packed with both teams trading buckets. 6” PG Jayden Reid ‘23 looked like a blur running up and down floor creating havoc for the Crusaders. 6’4” SG Jamarques Lawrence ‘22 a Nebraska commit was fantastic for the Lions in the 1st quarter and half hitting multiple shots. This quarter had great pace, quality shots and finished with Lions holding a 16-15 lead.
Roselle went on a big 14-6 run in the first four minutes stretching their lead to 9. 6’4” PG Simeon Wilcher ‘23 who recently committed to North Carolina got on the board but was struggling to find any offense. Lawrence and company were able to slow down the Crusaders until 6’2” PG Jayden Pierre ‘22 and 6’5” SG James Johns Jr ‘23 got going. They both were able to get some big buckets for LuHi and helped spark a 10-4 run to cut the lead to 3.
The Lions were up 34-31 at the half and had a bit of a delay to start the 3rd quarter. Whatever the Crusaders said at halftime it really worked because they absolutely dominated the quarter 20-10. Reid and Pierre were relentless applying pressure plus knocking down a couple of threes. LuHi was able to limit the Lions to quick one-shot possessions and were converting every trip down the floor.
LuHi was really focusing on slowing down Lawrence and the Lions needed Wilcher to step up. They trailed 51-44 heading into the fourth after huge steal and buzzer beater for the Crusaders. Roselle was not going away quietly as their 5-star leader got going, scoring multiple times, and slowly chipping away at the lead. The Lions continue to get stops with 6’8” F Richard Briscoe ‘24 blocking several shots down the stretch leading to buckets for Roselle. Briscoe’s ability to protect the paint and keep LuHi out was a huge factor in the fourth.
Despite their excellent 3rd quarter LuHi found themselves only up 54-52 with 3:39 left in the game. Reid who was electric all game had 21 points through three quarters but was held scoreless in the fourth. Wilcher scored, LuHi answered with a 3 then the Lions responded with a three of their own. Briscoe got a huge block at the 2-minute mark which led to Lions going 1/2 from the line to take a 58-57 lead with 2:06 remaining.
The Crusaders didn’t quit but the Lions never gave back the lead and were able to finish out the game knocking down their free throws. They won 62-59 over LuHi in an instant classic with Wilcher and Lawrence both finishing with 16 points apiece. Reid was spectacular leading all scorers with 21, Pierre and Johns Jr each chipped in 13. These two programs are national powerhouses, and both could easily win state championships. We look forward to seeing how high they can each finish the season.