Cougars' point guard Kevin Brown (#13) drives past Lancers' guard Nick McGann (#4) Credits: Ari Gilberg
Brown sinks a free throw en route to his team-high 13 points Credits: Ari Gilberg
Andrew Katzeff hits a free throw en route to his team-high 10 points Credits: Ari Gilberg
Khalil Garnes fires a jump-shot for the Lancers Credits: Ari Gilberg
The Livingston Lancers' varsity basketball team huddles upduring a time-out Credits: Ari Gilberg
Senior Justin Tepper sinks a three-pointer to give the Lancers' a late lead Credits: Ari Gilberg
Omari Beaubien hits a free-throw to give the Lancers a four-point lead and secure their upset victory Credits: Ari Gilberg
Livingston’s Bench Lifts Lancers over Montclair Kimberley
Tuesday, February 19, 2013 • 9:41pm
LIVINGSTON, NJ- Trailing by three with under thirty seconds left, the Montclair Kimberley Cougars (12-12) were within in striking distance of the Lancers. However, just like they have been coming up in the clutch all game, Livingston’s bench once again shut down a Cougars’ rally. This time it was Omari Beaubien, who sank one of his two free throws to make it a two-possession game, securing the Lancers’ 40-36 victory.
“The bench is playing better and better,” Livingston head coach Dave Cohen said. “Unfortunately it is the end of the year, but they are coming in right now and it’s helping us.”
The Lancers (9-11) jumped out to an early 11-6 lead during the opening quarter.
Following an early turnover from starting point guard Robby Lefkowitz, Cohen decided to pull the senior for sophomore guard Andrew Katzeff.
Katzeff responded by scoring eight of his team-high 10 points in the first half to help lead the Lancers to a 17-17 tie heading into halftime.
“I try to bring energy in off the bench, and whenever I’m in I just try to do whatever I can do to help the team win,” Katzeff said.
Katzeff was not the lone rotation player who contributed substantially to the Lancers’ victory. Senior Justin Tepper helped spark a late Livingston third quarter run after opening the second half in a slump.
Led by sophomore Kevin Brown, who finished with 13 points for the Cougars, Montclair Kimberley jumped out to a 26-22 lead before the senior sharpshooter took over.
In a span of only two minutes, Tepper scored all seven of his points off of two three-pointers and a free throw to give the Lancers a 29-28 lead.
“I was just in a zone. I felt great and I wanted to keep shooting,” Tepper said. “I simply stepped up when needed to.”
The Cougars, however, clawed back to regain momentum with just minutes left after a layup from Max Nelson and a free throw from Josh Chery to take a 33-32 lead.
Lefkowitz, making up for his earlier miscue, hit a game-changing three pointer to give the Lancers a 35-33 lead, one they would never relinquish.
Forward Alex Haberman extended the lead to five following a layup and a free throw before Beabien eliminated any hope of a Cougars’ comeback.
Although its late in the season, Cohen believes the Lancers’ now riding a two-game win streak can build some last second momentum heading into the state tournament.
“You want to go into the state tournament playing as well as you can, and I think some of our guys are doing that right now, on both ends of the court," he said.
Livingston will seek their 10th win Friday against the Nutley Maroon Raiders (9-12). Tip off is scheduled for 1 p.m.