Ask any coach, and they’ll tell you their team needs to play its best basketball when it matters most.
Well, that’s exactly what South Brunswick is doing.
The 7th-seeded Vikings (17-6) pulled off their second straight upset win Tuesday night, downing 3rd-seed Colonia 57-49 in the semifinals of the Greater Middlesex Conference Girls’ Basketball Tournament. South Brunswick will carry a seven-game winning streak into its first GMC Finals appearance since 2017, and try to win its first title since 2012.
You can hear that game Friday against top-seed St. Thomas Aquinas – a winner in the nightcap over East Brunswick – on Central Jersey Sports Radio as we broadcast the girls’ and boys’ championship doubleheader starting with the girls’ title tilt at 6 pm. Click here to listen to Mike Pavlichko call all the action.
READ MORE: Perez, Crosby guide top-seed St. Thomas Aquinas into yet another GMC Tournament Final
Vikings’ freshman Alexis Lease-Springer led the way with 18 points, including nine of her team’s 19 first-half points as Colonia led for the entirety of the opening half.
MORE COVERAGE: South Brunswick girls pull off big upset in GMCT quarterfinals, knocking off Monroe
The Patriots — who entered the night on a 14-game winning streak, but fall to 22-3 — capitalized on South Brunswick’s poor shooting start, growing a first-half lead as large as nine points. Colonia’s Taylor Derkack scored 13 of her game-high 21 points in the opening half.
But South Brunswick mounted a 12-2 run that bridged halftime, claiming its first lead with five minutes left in the third quarter.
It was the first of nine lead changes as the teams traded basket for basket for much of the second half. But South Brunswick closed the game on a 15-6 run over the final 3:30, most of which came at the free-throw line.
The Vikings were perfect on all 12 of their free throws over the game’s final 100 seconds, staving off a late Colonia run. South Brunswick junior Katie Rausch scored all 14 of her points in second half, six of which came as part of the Vikings’ free-throw spree.
Click below to hear Central Jersey Sports Radio’s Dom Savino with postgame reaction from South Brunswick’s win