MKA boys hoops wins first Prep B title in 15 years, Coach Jones collects 300th victory
Montclair Kimberley boys basketball held on in the fourth quarter to defeat Doane Academy and win the Prep B tournament championship, the first for the program since 2008.
In addition, Cougars head coach Tony Jones registered his 300th career victory on the court on Monday afternoon with the 65-61 win at home in Montclair.
It raised the MKA record to 19-5 and increased the Cougars winning streak to eight games as they head to the Non Public B North state playoffs that starts Feb. 22 at St. Joseph (Montvale).
Montclair Kimberley senior Marley Stewart, who could be playing his last game on the home floor, led the Cougars with 26 points, 15 came in the second half when his team needed it to clinch the Prep B championship.
Montclair Kimberley survived a comeback scare by Doane Academy in the second half that saw a Cougars 18-point lead evaporate down to two points with eight seconds remaining in the final.
But senior Isaac Wise drained two crucial free throws that gave Montclair Kimberley the final four-point victory, 65-61.
Led by four threes from junior Viraj Bansal in the first half, the Cougars were on fire and led 43-25 at halftime after MKA junior Ryan Graf put it in a tip in with two seconds left in the second quarter to send off the Cougars at halftime.
But in the second half, the Montclair Kimberley shooting went cold and the Doane Academy advantage inside took over.
Doane Academy freshman Elijah Satchell put up 13 of his 16 points in the second half and put in a bucket that sliced the Cougars lead to 59-56 with 1:30 remaining in the game.
But despite Montclair Kimberley turning over the ball on the next possession on their end, the Cougars defense stopped the Doane Academy offense as MKA junior Manny Udofia brought down a defensive rebound.
And Stewart would take the ball head downcourt go for the basket and get fouled.
The senior Cougars leading scorer would drain two free throws for a 61-56 with a little more than a minute left in the game.
And then Montclair Kimberley junior Ben Otner drove to the basket for a layup to hand the Cougars a 63-56 with 30 seconds left in the game.
But each time that it appeared Montclair Kimberley had won the game, Doane Academy came back as junior Aharon Satchell drained a three-point bucket with 20 seconds left and sliced into the Cougars lead to four, 63-59.
And it wasn't in the win column until Wise hit the two free-throw shots that Montclair Kimberley finally clinched the Prep B title.