GLEN RIDGE, NJ – The Glen Ridge High School boys’ varsity basketball team got payback.
The second-seeded Ridgers, under head coach Liam Carr, knocked off sixth-seeded Newark University, 71-54, in the semifinals of the NJSIAA North Jersey Section 2, Group 1 state tournament on Saturday, March 3.
Liam Gunnarsson, a junior guard, scored 30 points and senior David Weissenberger had 13 points to lead the Ridgers, who improved to a 21-7 record. The Ridgers avenged last season’s 53-51 loss to University on a buzzer-beating layup in the North Jersey Section 2, Group 1 championship game. Glen Ridge was the No. 1 seed and University was the seventh seed last season.
The Ridgers are now one win from achieving redemption. They will visit second-seeded Bloomfield Tech in the championship game on March 6 in West Caldwell. Bloomfield Tech defeated fifth-seeded Weequahic, 73-57, in the semifinals to improve to 20-6.
Tied 13-13 at the end of the first quarter, the Ridgers outscored University, 21-11, in the second quarter to open a 34-24 halftime lead. Glen Ridge maintained control in the second half, outscoring University, 15-13, in the third quarter and 22-17 in the fourth quarter.
Seniors Tyler Liddy and Christian Samuels each had eight points; junior Simon Low had seven points and senior George Kinzler added five points. Sophomore Joe DeLuca, Aidan Connaghan, senior Kyle Kleinberg, junior Kevin Mathew, and freshman Sam Trunley also played in the game.
After beating 15th-seeded Belvidere, 68-50, in the first round Feb. 26 at GRHS, the Ridgers defeated seventh-seeded Secaucus, 49-38, in the quarterfinals at home Feb. 28, led by Gunnarsson’s 19 points and George Kinzler’s 15 points. Tyler Liddy and Simon Low each had six points and Weissenberger had three points for the Ridgers.
The Ridgers won the Super Essex Conference-Independence Division title with a 13-1 division record. Liddy also scored his 1,000th career point in the 55-46 win over Weequahic on Feb. 13.