Sunday, April 14, 2024

Patriots Overcome 30-Second Curse to Beat Parsippany in Overtime

Luke Stefankiewicz posted 10 points. Photo by Joe Phalon.

With six overtime points, Christian Otufale led the North Warren Patriots to a 62-60 win over Parsippany December 22. 

Down 31-23 at the half, the Patriots fought back to a tie at the buzzer. 

“It was unbelievably exciting,” said head coach Rob Steingall. “These guys fought back here.”

Overall, Otufale scored 23 points with 30 rebounds. 

Short of time displacement, the final 30 seconds of a basketball game are the longest 30 seconds in the known universe. That half-minute of hoops has dogged the Patriots through the first half of the season. They beat back that demon against Parsippany. 

“We kind of gave them some chances to put us away but we kept fighting,” Steingall said. “And you know there was that three at the end of the end of the first half and you know we’ve been snake bit by that last 30 seconds of the whole season. We kind of gave them some chances to put us away but we kept fighting.” 

After the game, Otufale said that his teammates moving the ball around in this game was the key to sustaining their momentum into the fourth quarter. 

Maximus Hambos added two points in the Pats’ strong second half. Photo by Joe Phalon.

“Everyone was passing motion on the ball,” Otufale said. “I feel like we pulled it off, and I think if we all contribute, if we all work together, just put in that that 100%, we’re going to be all right.” 

That team effort included Lucas Csezmadia’s 14 points and six rebounds and 11 points from Wilman Diogene. Luke Stefankiewicz added 10 points.

Joe Phalon
Joe Phalon, Contributing Writer
Contributing Writer

Joe was lured out of retirement by the opportunity to be a part of the Ridge View Echo. During a decades-long career in publishing and journalism, he has covered government on many levels from local school boards to the United States Supreme Court.

Along the way, Joe has worked at American Lawyer Magazine, The National Law Journal and The Record among other publications, and as the Press Officer of Columbia Law School. His work has been recognized with several first place awards from the Society of Professional Journalists and the New Jersey Press Association.

Being part of the Ridge View Echo brings Joe back to his roots and the kind of news coverage he loves: Telling the stories of people and local communities as well as keeping an eye on how their money is spent by their government officials.

Joe lives in Blairstown with his wife Rose, the founder of Quilting for a Cause, and their two wiener dogs. He is an artist in his spare time.