By Jerome Michaels
SJSports Special Correspondent
For three quarters, it looked as if Paulsboro would have to come up big again in the final quarter to advance to the Group 1 State Championship game. The Red Raiders, even though leading for most of this game, did not seem to have that shooter’s touch against Piscataway Tech during their semi-final competition. In the end, Paulsboro would explode down the stretch behind the efforts of George Davis and Russell Carter’s free throw from the line helped the Red Raiders move on to the title game. Paulsboro would win the game 70-54 and will play against Bloomfield Tech for the championship.
Paulsboro has lived up to all of the expectations put on them so far this season. Not wanting their season to end, especially for the seniors, the Red Raiders were on a mission to add another title to the school’s trophy case. So far during their post season, Paulsboro has been outscoring their opponents by an average of 10.7 points and scoring 83 points per game. Add their defensive presence on the court and Paulsboro has demonstrated why they were the number seeded team during the S.J. Group 1 bracket and winning it all against Schalick.
Against Piscataway Tech, the Red Raiders struggled from the field against a team they knew they could dominate at both ends of the court. But this was a state semi-final game and Tech would not just lie down and give up their chance at a trip to the state finals. Paulsboro would lead by five heading into the second quarter as both teams began to find more scoring opportunities before the half. The Red Raiders would lead 32-28 going into the locker room.
The second half was a different story, as both teams were tied at 37 all with 4:22 remaining in the quarter. After both teams played evenly for the rest of the third quarter, Paulsboro began to settle for the interior shot selection with success. Yahmeen Johnson, George Davis and Carter began to connect inside the paint and dominated the offensive boards during their fourth quarter explosion. The Red Raiders would outscore Piscataway Tech 26-14 in the final quarter to break open a very close game. Russell Carter would finish with a game high 28 points, George Davis added 15 and Yahmeen Johnson chipped in 14 points for Paulsboro.