For The Dialog
MILLTOWN – St. Mark’s boys basketball team honored five seniors on Feb. 22, and all five started and scored in the 63-41 win over Polytech.
It didn’t look too rosy at the beginning, however, as the visiting Panthers jumped out to a 10-0 lead less than four minutes into the first quarter. Seniors Zach Palmer and Chris Ludman hit back-to-back three-pointers to cut the lead to 12-6 and begin the comeback. A spin move by Ludman led to a field goal and cut the deficit to 12-8 at the end of one.
The second quarter was all Spartans, as they outscored the Panthers, 22-4. Senior Billy Sullivan got the party started, scoring six straight to tie the contest at 14. Palmer then hit a three, followed by a putback, and Ludman made a pair of shots.
The Spartans took a 30-16 lead into intermission but didn’t let up, as Ludman scored six third-quarter points. Polytech’s Joseph Haass caught fire in the third, draining a trio of three-pointers and converted one into a four-point play. The Spartans took a 44-29 lead into the fourth quarter, but a Haass triple cut it to 47-37. The Spartans closed strong, outscoring the Panthers, 16-4, including a three-pointer at the buzzer by senior Matt Smith. His teammates came running out to make this senior’s night.
The Spartans finished the regular season 15-5 and now await their seeding for the state tournament. They were led by Ludman, who finished with 21 points. Palmer added 13 and Sullivan 11. The Panthers were lead by Haass, who finished his season with 16 points.