Town Topics — Princeton's Weekly Community Newspaper Since 1946.
Vol. LXIV, No. 32
 
Wednesday, August 11, 2010
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HALCYON DAYS: Brian Halligan of George’s Roasters and Ribs/The Ivy Inn heads to the hoop last Wednesday at the Community Park courts in Game Two of the best-of-three championship series of the Princeton Recreation Department Summer Men’s Basketball League. Halligan scored a game-high 14 points to help George’s to a 49-42 win over Princeton Sports Bar and Grill as it swept the series 2-0. Halligan, a former College of New Jersey star, was named the Foreal Wooten Playoff MVP.

Halligan Helps George’s to Championship Sweep As Club Achieves Summer Men’s Hoops Three-peat

Bill Alden

Things were coming easy for George’s Roasters and Ribs/The Ivy Inn last Wednesday as it played the Princeton Sports Bar and Grill in the championship series of the Princeton Recreation Department Summer Men’s Basketball League.

Looking for a sweep of the best-of-three series after winning Game One, George’s jumped out to a 22-10 lead at the Community Park courts.

But George’s guard Brian Halligan knew that the team wasn’t in for a cakewalk.

“Any time you have got Al Jerido at the point running down the court at 100 m.p.h. and those guys crashing the boards, they are going to make a run,” said Halligan.

Sure enough, Princeton Sports Bar and Grill turned the contest into a nailbiter, ending the half with a 7-2 run to narrow the gap to 24-17 at intermission.

With Jerido and Chris Edwards leading the way, Princeton Sports Bar and Grill kept rolling in the second half, reeling off eight straight points to take a 25-24 lead.

But showing the skill and savvy that has made George’s the dominant team in the summer league over the last few years, the squad responded with a 10-2 run of its own.

George’s margin never went below six points as it went on to a 49-42 victory, giving it three straight league titles and four in the last six years.

In reflecting on the victory, Halligan said that George’s was unruffled by Princeton Sports Bar and Grill’s spirited run.

“We were very relaxed in these last couple of games, playing like it was a regular season game,” said Halligan, who ended the night with a game-high 14 points and was named the Foreal Wooten Playoff MVP.

“We have experienced players and we just seem to know how to pull it out at the end. We hit our free throws and do the little things.”

A key to the victory was the way George’s took care of business on defense. “We couldn’t stay with that man-to-man so we played a great 2-3 zone,” said Halligan. “It was difficult for them to get anything going in the half court.”

With the core of the team having played together at The College of New Jersey, it is not surprising that George’s got on the same page as the defensive end.

“We communicate well; we are always talking,” added Halligan, whose TCNJ teammates on George’s include Mark Aziz, Kyle Burke, Scott Findlay, and Bobby Davison, a former Princeton High star. “It is the benefit of playing together for so many years. It is very helpful.”

George’s, though, didn’t have the benefit of inside force Findlay for most of the summer as he was sidelined in July due to a serious knee injury.

The absence of the affable and productive Findlay served to galvanize George’s to its latest title run.

“Scott is the anchor; you can count on him for 20 points a game and he is a maniac on defense,” said Halligan.

“We all had to step up when he went down. When you look at the stat line this past season, it was everybody with 10 points a game. It was very, very close.”

The TCNJ contingent came up big in the title game as Burke contributed 12 points with Aziz scoring 10 and Davison chipping in nine.

As for the runners-up, Edwards scored nine points with Ike Davis adding eight, Kurt Simmons chipping in seven, and Evan Johnson contributing six.

Despite winning his second straight playoff MVP award, Halligan deflected the credit to his close friends.

“This is my third year and we have won each year,” said Halligan.

“It is not me; these guys make me look good. I can go in and kick it out to Kyle or I can go in and dish it to Bobby and mark. It is a good team, it really is.”

A team whose character and skill make it easy to respect.

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