POINT BORO — In the first game back with in-person spectators the Point Boro boys basketball team put on a show, holding off Barnegat 55-43 on Tuesday, Feb. 16.
The Panthers created first-half excitement with a 28-12 halftime lead, but a 23-9 third quarter featuring eight 3-point daggers from the Bengals almost jeopardized the crowd homecoming.
“I had flashbacks from last year when we were up 20-6 down at Barnegat,” Matt Lee said of last year’s 56-42 road victory when Boro lost a 31-17 halftime lead, but still held on for the win.
“[Today] we were up 16 at the half and then I looked at the scoreboard in the third quarter and they’re only down by two. But this team is all about mental toughness and we stayed in it and bought in and pulled out the win.”
Dropping 13 of his game-high 22 points in the first half, Lee went to work from 3-point land and hit three from beyond-the-arc to help the Panthers to the double-digit advantage.
But the tides would change in the third quarter with Barnegat shooting lights out from Lee’s territory and dropping eight to crush the 16-point Panther hold to trail by two heading into the fourth.
The Bengals came within one after Barnegat’s Jaxon Baker sank 1-of-2 free throws, but that would be as close as the Panthers would allow thanks to the clutch free throw shooting from Noah Knauf, Kai Messeroll and Colton MacGlashan down the stretch.
In addition to Lee, MacGlashan finished with eight points and 13 rebounds, Stephen Mellett added eight points and six rebounds, Knauf put up 10 points, finished with four steals and two assists and Messeroll added seven points, six defensive rebounds and four assists on top of two steals.
Boro’s next game is at Barnegat on Thursday, Feb. 18, at 6:30 p.m.
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