It was a developing David and Goliath story, one that delivered intensity, back and forth blows and most importantly, overtime.
A narrative that had “upset alert” and vengeance written all over it.
And a game that nailed Ray Allen’s Game 6: “The Shot” moment with senior Eli Camacho’s three that willed his team into overtime with 14 seconds remaining.
But as a basketball powerhouse, at home, Hudson Catholic relied on their two national prospects, sophomore Tahaad Pettiford and junior Elijah Gertrude, to take over and execute in the game’s final four minutes.
Responding to North Bergen’s heavily dependant ‘motion offense’ that consisted of various open threes, the Bruins capitalized off it by outscoring the Hawks by 18 in the threes category.
Sharpshooters senior David Gabriel and Camacho combined for 41 points and nine of the ten threes the Bruins shot, including Gabriel’s final two threes before the half that lifted the Bruins by one heading into the third quarter.
Hudson Catholic’s Pettiford and Gertrude joined forces to combine for 41 points as well, including eight points in OT.
In overtime, the best of the back and forth exchanges happened with five lead changes, as Bruins held a two point lead with 30 seconds remaining.
And then, Elijah Gertrude happened.
Gertrude’s explosive speed and drive to the base earned him two points and a trip to the foul line, in which he executed under pressure and gave the Hawks the lead before senior Nazir Nwadike’s three point attempt grazed the rim with overtime ending.
Although the Bruins were near completing the ‘revenge’, avenging their 30-point loss to the Hawks last month, they proved that their talent is capable of beating a state-ranked team heading into the HCIAL playoffs.