Saturday, March 4, 2006
By Zachary Hibbs
It was a challenge third seeded Burlington City was ready to take on. The Blue Devils had the honor to travel to the second seeded Rams from Riverside participating in the semifinals of the S.J. Group 1 bracket. Both teams had players who they have depended on all season long and those players would step up their game in order to advance to the finals. Riverside's David Laury was dominating on the boards and gave the Blue Devils problems all game long. His game high 39 points would not be enough as Mike Morris and Kareem Diggs came up big down during the final quarter. Burlington City would finally pull away from Riverside and post a 73-68 victory over the Rams.
The Blue Devils were out to show that their group rankings had nothing to do with their success. Last year, Burlington City was the top seed in the group one bracket and they played Riverside in a similar situation. Both teams competed for a chance to move onto the finals, but it would be the Blue Devils with a deceive win that sent them to the finals. Looking for another chance, Burlington City would get another chance at holding the group title up high with their victory over the Rams. The Blue Devils will look to defeat the Lancers from LEAP Academy in a battle between the number one and three seeded teams.
Riverside would start off this game with a brief lead during the opening minutes of this game. Burlington City would respond to not only take the lead but also hold onto it for the remainder of this game. Riverside wouldn’t let the Blue Devils just walk away with the game even with an aggressive full court press starring at them for most of this game. Burlington City would hold a 36-27 advantage heading into the second half. After that always informative halftime speech is made by the coach, it would be Laury that began to insert himself into the offense.
Riverside would cut their deficit to just four points but that would be the closest they would get. Once again during the final moments of the game, the Rams would pull within four points, but a few clutch free throws would seal the victory for the Blue Devils. Mike Morris and Kareem Diggs led Burlington City in scoring with 24 and 21 points apiece. David Laury led the Rams and scoring and Brandon Canty also dropped in 14 points.