|VIDEO: Verona holds off Paterson Charter to win sectional title|
Winning is becoming a habit at Verona High School.
The Hillbillies, a junior-dominated team, won an unexpected boys' basketball sectional title by defeating Paterson Charter, 58-48. Verona maintained its composure in front of a loud, sellout crowd to hold off a fourth-quarter comeback by the home team.
This North 1, Group I basketball sectional title goes along with the championships won the past two seasons by the Verona football team.
In this game, Travis Jocelyn led Verona with 16 points and 10 rebounds. Jack Farrell added 14 points and nine boards for the fourth-seeded Hillbillies.
Joe Zecchino notched eight points, while Rob Sorhaindo came off the bench and made a critical contribution, scoring seven points and recording a key blocked shot.
Verona took the lead early and steadily built its advantage, going up by 13 points early in the fourth quarter. But Paterson Charter, playing in its first sectional final in just its third season as a varsity program, came to life.
The second-seeded Lions put together a 13-5 run, highlighted by a pair of three-pointers, to pull within five points. Paterson Charter would get as close as four points with just over two minutes to play, but Verona answered with a quick 6-0 run to salt the game away, including a pair of baskets by Sorhaindo.
Dazmir Staton led Paterson Charter with 12 points. Ramir Davis scored nine, Jason Thobourne had eight and Keshon Robison notched seven for the Lions.
Paterson Charter, which won its quarterfinal by one point and its semifinal game in overtime, finishes the season at 17-7.
Verona also survived an overtime game in the quarterfinals to make it to this point and wins its first sectional title since 2009. The Hillbillies are 22-7 and will meet University High School of Newark in the Group I state semifinals on Thursday.
For sports video highlights of this New Jersey high school boys' basketball state tournament sectional final game, click play in the box at left.