Ever since Spotswood took its high schoolers out of South River and opened its own high school in 1976, Chargers-Rams has been an intense rivaly. And 47 years later, little has changed.
The crowd got here for the JV game and never left, and the doors were shut well before tip-off.
Spotswood kept it close for a while, down just eight points at the half.
But the fifth-ranked Rams (13-1, 9-0 GMC Blue) pulled away, getting well into double digits in the third, and beat Spotswood (11-4, 7-3) 73-51 before a packed house in South River.
Senior Roman Santos led all scorers with 18 points, 16 in the first three quarters. By then it was well in hand for the Rams. Santos’ final bucket, his only score in the final eight minutes, was a thunderous one-handed jam in transition.
Senior Laz Rodriguez added 17 in another very balanced game.
Spotswood kept punching, but every time they cut a double-digit lead to six or seven, the Rams always had an answer, and eventually, South River was just too much for them.
South River won its first meeting with the Chargers just two games into the season in Spotswood. That was a five-point game, and one of the toughest opponents they’ve played all year. It may have been their toughest remaining divisional challenge, as South River is widely considered to have a strong argument for the third-seed in the GMC Tournament next month – providing they don’t trip up the rest of the way – by virtue of beating St. Joseph-Metuchen after Christmas, and despite suffering its first loss of the season last weekend against Piscataway.
Click below for postgame reaction presented by Sportsplex at Metuchen: