From Press staff reports
The Millville High School boys basketball team rallied for its most dramatic and impressive victory of the season Friday night.
The Thunderbolts stunned St. Augustine Prep 66-57. On the road, Millville trailed 22-4 after the first quarter. The victory came on the Hermits' senior night.
"We were as flat as we've been all year," Millville coach Mike Jones said. "The Prep's seniors came out with a ton of intensity. They got every loose ball and made every shot."
Millville slowly grinded its way back into the game over the final three quarters.
"We just picked up our defensive intensity, and we were able to turn that into points on offense," Jones said.
The game matched two of the Cape-Atlantic League's top teams. Millville (16-4) is No. 11 in The Press Elite 11 and the No. 5 seed in the CAL tournament, which starts Monday. St. Augustine (20-3) is No. 7 in The Press Elite 11 and the No. 2 seed in the CAL tournament.
Millville took control with a 12-0 fourth-quarter run that turned a three-point deficit with 5 minutes, 7 seconds left in the game into a 61-52 lead with 54.9 seconds left.
Roberto Rivera (nine points) scored four points during the spurt for Millville. He grabbed an offensive rebound and scored with 3:11 left to put the Thunderbolts up 53-52. Millville never trailed again.
Khaliq Ford's acrobatic drive down the lane gave Millville a 57-52 edge with 1:40 left. Kelvin Tull (17 points) went 4-for-4 from the foul line in the final minute to clinch the victory.
Millville - as it has all season - got balanced scoring with four players in double figures. In addition to Tull, Terron Mitchell (16 points), Ford (14 points) and Paris Patterson (10 points) also reached double figures.
Nate Segal and Mike Vasturia each scored 11 for St. Augustine.
Millville owns an impressive non-league win over Cherry Hill East. But the Thunderbolts had been searching for a signature win against a CAL opponent all season. Their four losses are to Holy Spirit and Atlantic City.
"This is a huge win for us," Jones said. "It's proof we can play with anybody in South Jersey. We're just trying to extend our season as long as possible and this is a huge confidence booster."
The Thunderbolts can't celebrate too much, however. They play at Middle Township at 1:30 p.m. today.
Millville 1 2 3 4-F
St. Augustine 1 2 3 4-F
M-Tull 5 6-6 17, Mitchell 6 4-4 16, Ford 5 3-4 14, Patterson 4 4-5 12, Rivera 3 1-4 7. Totals-23 18-23 66.
SA- Segal 5 0-0 11, Vasturia 5 0-0 11, Brian Seward 2 5-5 9, Corbo 3 0-0 6, Kennedy 1 3-6 6, Birmingham 2 1-1 5, Karbasian 1 0-0 3, Nelson 1 0-0 2, Kennedy 1 0-0 2, Mutts 1 0-0 2. Totals-22 9-12 57
3-pointers-Tull, Ford M;Kennedy, Segal, Karbasian, Vasturia SA.
Records-Millville 16-4; St. Augustine 20-3.