Colonia needs double-OT to stave off South Plainfield as Pats take North 2, Group 3 title

Colonia senior Saivon Pressley (Photo: Mike Pavlichko)

They played extra basketball in Colonia Tuesday night. Forty minutes of low-scoring basketball.

But in the end, the top-seeded Patriots had four more on the scoreboard, and took home the North 2, Group 3 title with a thrilling 56-42 double overtime win against second-seed South Plainfield.

It was the third straight trip to a sectional final for Colonia under Jose Rodriguez, who has never missed a title game, now in his fourth season in “C-Town.” (Last year, there was no state tournament in a COVID-shortened season.) The Patriots beat West Morris for the championship in 2019, but lost to Irvington in 2020.

Leading and controlling for most of the way, the Tigers cut it to two at the end of three, when the defenses clamped down. South Plainfield won the period 9-7 to send it to OT at 44-44. Over the next four minutes, each team scored just four points, and they were headed to a second overtime.

There, as all season long, Saivon Pressley hit some clutch buckets. He didn’t have a monster night, but he hit shots when it counted. And that was all Colonia needed.

The senior scored 11 points, while Noah Taylor recorded a double-double, with a team-high 15 points to go along with 13 rebounds.

Next up for the Pats is the Group 3 semifinal on Thursday night, where they will face North 1 winner Ramapo, the same team that knocked them out in the same round three seasons ago, Rodriguez’s first year at the helm.

Central Jersey Sports Radio will have live play-by-play of the game, which will be played out at Phillipsburg High School at 7 pm Thursday. Pre-game begins at 6:45 with Mike Pavlichko calling all the action.

Click below for postgame reaction from Colonia head coach Jose Rodriguez:

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