|VIDEO: Wayne Valley staves off Wayne Hills to reach county final|
In a tale of two halves in the Passaic County boys' basketball tournament, Wayne Valley's fast start proved just enough to overcome Wayne Hills's furious finish. As a result of the 47-44 win, the Indians gained revenge on their crosstown rivals and a spot in the county final.
Wayne Valley raced out to a 26-9 halftime lead in this semifinal, but top-seeded Hills came charging back after the break. The Patriots got within two points in the final minutes, but the Indians hit a few key foul shots and survived a couple of attempts at game-tying shots in the closing seconds.
Nick Goodwin led Wayne Valley with 17 points. Nick Giuliano had nine points and five rebounds and John Zarka scored seven for the Indians.
Justin and Dorian Hodge led the comeback in the second half for Wayne Hills. Justin Hodge had 16 points for the Patriots, while Dorian Hodge scored 12.
Wayne Valley, the fourth seed, avenged two regular-season defeats at the hands of their rivals. The Indians, now 19-3, will play in the Passaic County final for just the second time in school history when they meet Paterson Eastside next weekend.
Wayne Hills falls to 18-4.
For sports video highlights of this New Jersey and Passaic County high school boys' basketball county tournament semifinal, click play in the box at left.