Columbia lines up for the National Anthem before their game against Seton Hall Prep. Credits: Stephen Valenti
Columbia huddles before the second half begins against Seton Hall Prep. Credits: Stephen Valenti
Head coach Eddie Turner talks to his Columbia team during a timeout in his team's 65-42 loss to Seton Hall Prep. Credits: Stephen Valenti
Second Half Dooms Columbia Against Seton Hall Prep
Friday, February 15, 2013 • 7:13am
MAPLEWOOD, NJ - It was a tale of two halves as the Columbia High School boys’ basketball team fell to Seton Hall Prep by a score of 65-42 Thursday night. The now 10-13 Cougars were with the 20-2 Pirates at the half before a 26-1 run gave Seton Hall Prep the easy victory.
“I think we played well. If you can play with (Seton Hall Prep) you can play with anybody,” Columbia head coach Eddie Turner said. “We played very well for most of the game. When you play Seton Hall if you play a minute of bad basketball you will find yourselves down 10.”
Columbia played with Seton Hall Prep for the entire first half, despite finding themselves down 10-2 three minutes in. After a timeout, they came back quickly though after a right back into the game before finding themselves down against, this time 18-11 to the Pirates.
Led by Michael Runcie at the point, the Cougars made their run. Seven straight points tied the game at 18 before Seton Hall Prep freshman Temple Gibbs got a basket but Columbia came right back with the next six points to hold a 24-20 lead thanks to their 13-2 run.
“He did a real good job defending (Gibbs),” Turner said of Runcie’s play. “He did a real good job controlling the offense. He is trying to find a balance between playing point guard and being aggressive, there have been times he has struggled with that and times us coaches have struggled helping him with that balance.”
The run was not enough for the Cougars to hold the lead at the half as Seton Hall Prep scored the final nine points of the half to go into the locker room with a five point lead.
“We came out a little bit flat, not much energy,” Seton Hall Prep coach Kevin Williams said. “We were up five at halftime but weren’t playing that well so we just talked about we need to play with more energy and defend better.”
It was Columbia though that came out of the locker room scoring the first four points to pull within one but then the Pirates blew the game open. Behind Gibbs the Prep went on a 26-1 run over that covered the next 7:20 of game time to hold a 55-29 lead.
Turner was more displeased with the refereeing during this stretch than his own team’s play.
“I don’t know if the refs had a vendetta against us. This is the worst I’ve seen in my life,” Tuner said. “There is no way (the referees) are that bad, no way. They wouldn’t be refs if they are that bad and if they are they shouldn’t ref another game ever.”
With the calls going against Columbia during the run Tuner does not believe his team got a fair chance.
“I give (my team) faults for all 11 losses we have year,” Turner said. “We might have lost today, who knows but we didn’t get a chance to play. (The Referees) didn’t give us a chance to lose, or win.”
Leading Columbia was Runcie’s 14 points with his brother David Runcie next on the team with eight. Gibbs scored a game high 18 points for Seton Hall Prep with Spencer Weisz and Tom Lacey also reaching double figures for the Pirates.
Columbia next plays on Tuesday Feb. 19 as they host Bloomfield.