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Varsity Basketball Update

Casey McKee, Staff Writer

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Varsity

Oratory Prep basketball had a tough start to the week, losing to the notorious New Providence Pioneers by 7.  Although the final score was close, the Rams were trailing all game, starting with a 13 point deficit after the first quarter, which they could not come back from, even after outscoring New Prov by 11 points in the fourth quarter.  After the tough loss on Tuesday, Oratory hosted one of the only undefeated teams left in the state, Johnson.  Even though they were shorthanded, losing SF Anthony Guerrero and PF AJ Kopacz, the boys put up a great fight, only losing by 10 points.  However, they were only down by one after three-quarters and lead the game for a short time in the fourth quarter.     

Over the weekend, Oratory pulled out a win versus Roselle Park, snapping a 5 game losing streak.  There was no energy provided from the stands in the gym, which lead to a slow, and low scoring first quarter, by both teams.  However, the boys found their own energy in the second quarter, outscoring Roselle by 10 points.  After that, they never lost the lead.  The team was lead by the scoring of Casey McKee, Billy Skinner, and AJ Kopacz, combining for 44 of the team’s 60 points.  Following the win, a new week full of new opportunities confronted the young Rams as they took on conference rival Jonathan Dayton and then the infamous Summit Hilltoppers on Thursday

Oratory got a big win in overtime last Tuesday over Jonathan Dayton.  The Rams jumped out to a quick nine-point lead at halftime, but Dayton bounced back in the second half, forcing overtime.  In overtime, AJ Kopacz scored 5 of his 20 points, sealing the deal for the Rams.  The team was lead by AJ Kopacz, Billy Skinner, Liam Otterbein, and Casey McKee, who combined for 51 out of the team’s 57 points.  

On Thursday the Rams were on the other side of a close game, losing to Summit by six.  At the break, Oratory was up by three, thanks to Matt Bopp’s three-quarter court buzzer beater shot.  However, Summit came back with a strong third quarter, outscoring the rams by eight points, and making a five point Hilltopper lead.  The fourth quarter was close, but Summit held on, forcing the rams below .500 once again.    

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