It was a bitter end to an undefeated 8-0 season for Passaic on Sunday as its seventh- and eighth-grade team bowed to a superior Paramus JCC quintet, 6′-44, for the division championship of the North Jersey JCC basketball league at the YM-YWHA gym in Wayne.
Coach Marc Sapin, back row, left, and assistant coach David Bosworth, back row right, celebrate with the winning team. KEN HILFMAN PHOTO
With a large lead throughout the game, it was a decisive win for the Paramus players, who had the advantage of height and chalked up more turnovers and rebounds. The team, not wanting to repeat past history it suffered two losses to the Passaic team during regular season play also had a game plan, said coach Marc Sapin at the final buzzer.
"They executed it very well. We had a successful 7-‘ season, and I’m very proud of them," he said.
Passaic coach Bob Roth was disappointed at the outcome, but agreed that Paramus had earned its victory. "We wanted to win the trophy," he said, "but it was not to be. Their team had the height over us, and they took advantage of it."
He added, "Also, one of our major players was sick, and another lost the way to the Y. He showed up in the second half and we started making more baskets."
While disheartened by his team’s loss of the league title, Roth philosophized about the team’s 8-1 record and his work with the youngsters. "You work with kids and teach them how to win and how to take a loss. This league is great for them. It’s organized, and they have an opportunity to play other teams, with official rules and regulations. It’s been a wonderful three and a half months working with them, and parents have thanked us for what we are doing. We wanted to win, and the kids did their best. We have no complaints."
The Paramus-Passaic contest was one of many games played at the Y on Sunday in a local version of "March Madness" and "The Final Four." The following results were reported to this newspaper by John Kerr, the Y’s director of physical education and official scorekeeper: fifth- and sixth-grade championship, Paramus 48/Wayne White 39; ninth and 10th grade championship, Metro 58/Scotch Plains 56, 11th- and 1’th-grade championship, Paramus Blue 5’/Wayne White 50.