Saturday, April 13, 2024

After Stumble, Patriot Boys Go on Hot Streak

Christian Otufale shoots from the cheap seats. Photo by Joe Phalon.

Working the game plan has been the key for the Patriot boys’ basketball team as they take a four-game winning streak into their next game at Morris Tech January 18. 

Taking four out of five since their last home game against High Point January 3—a 63-46 loss—the Pats form increasingly disciplined play by team leaders such as Christian Otufale, who has consistently scored double digits in recent games. 

But in the loss to High Point, Otulafe was held to just seven points in a game head coach Rob Steingall would prefer to keep in the past. 

“We didn’t stick to our game plan,” Steingall said. “We like to fight from behind and we usually do but we didn’t today.”

Steingall pointed to several costly fouls, including a mid-court foul in the fourth quarter as examples of what the Patriots would need to overcome. 

“It’s tough when you’re in a 10- or 12-point game when a guy gets fouled in mid-court, and you know it swings the game so,” Steingall said.

Lucas Csezmadia led the Pats against High Point with 12 points with Luke Stefankiewicz following with 10 including seven free throws and a three-pointer.

North Warren lost to Boonton 46-39 on January 6, but followed that game with three wins in a row, 59-46 over Kittatinny January 10, 50-40 against Hopatcong January 11, and a 48-40 win over Passaic Charter January 13. 

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.