Sparked By Offensive Outburst From Anfield, Loyaltees Wins Title Rematch in Summer Hopes
LEADING THE FIELD: Vince Anfield of Loyaltees goes up for a shot against NJ Spiritwear in last year’s championship series in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League. Anfield helped Loyaltees take the title. Last Monday, Anfield came up big as Loyaltees defeated previously undefeated NJ Spiritwear 70-52 in a regular season title rematch. Star guard Anfield tallied 16 points to help Loyaltees pull away to the victory and improve to 5-1. In other action on Monday night, Hometown Moving and Storage defeated Team NRGY 65-47 and Apex Sport topped Majeski Foundation 56-42. (Photo by Frank Wojciechowski)
By Bill Alden
There was excitement in the air at the Community Park courts last Monday evening as Loyaltees faced NJ Spiritwear in the Princeton Recreation Department Men’s Summer Basketball League.
The clash was a rematch of last year’s best-of-three title series won by Loyaltees in a decisive game three and the renewal of the rivalry drew a throng of fans to the park.
Loyaltees star guard Vince Anfield and his teammates, for their part, were determined to come out strong in the showdown against an undefeated Spiritwear squad bent on revenge.
“We know what they are capable of; we had them in the championship last year and they took the first game on us,” said Anfield.
“The thing is with a lot of the good teams, you have got to play every game. If you come out here and lollygag, you can get hosed. That is how Majeski took us (a 69-66 loss on June 28).”
There was no lollygagging by Loyaltees on Monday as it reeled off a 10-2 run to start the game and built a 35-26 lead by halftime. Anfield helped spark the squad, hitting two key three-pointers as he tallied eight points at intermission.
“The way the team is, some games I am going to have single digits and some games I am going to be taking a lot of shots and dribbling the ball,” said the 5’10, 175-pound Anfield, a former Rancocas Valley High star who scored more than 1,000 points in a college career that saw him play at Rowan College, Montclair State, and Rutgers-Camden. “Today was my day.”
Anfield kept hitting shots in the second half, ending up with 16 points as Loyaltees pulled away to a 70-52 win, improving to 5-1.
While Anfield was happy to assume more of the scoring load on Monday, he sees the team’s balance as a key to its success. In the win over Spiritwear, Jordan Glover tallied 17 points while Nick Davidson added 14.
“I love this roster that we have got,” said Anfield. “Davidson is always a luxury, you get a big man who can dribble, kick it up the court, and shoot. There is not a thing he can’t do out there. Glover is knocking down threes and playing defense.”
Anfield also loves the intensity that Loyaltees displays at the defensive end of the court.
“Everyone on the roster really wants to play defense,” said Anfield. “You don’t have to get on anybody about effort. That is always a great thing.”
A key impetus to that effort is the inspiration the players draw from team manager and guard Davon Black, a former Princeton High standout.
“Davon is our leader, he comes and brings it every week,” said Anfield of Black, who contributed seven points against Spiritwear.
“If he has five points and a win, he is happy and he is over here smiling. He doesn’t have to score but some days it is his day. He had double digits in two of the games this year. We feed off of his energy. He is talking to us the whole game and he loves it out here. He is the reason me and Nick came back out here, he asked us to play again. He knows I love playing on this team. This league is awesome.”
In Anfield’s view, Loyaltees has what it takes to win a second straight league crown.
“If we don’t win the championship, then we are not reaching our expectations,” asserted Anfield.
“We did it last year, and we come in with a better roster this summer, so I feel like we should do it again. The guys are focused and I think we can do it.”