Boys 8th Grade Hoops Team Heads To Championship

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The Verona eighth grade boys basketball team advanced to the championship game of the Suburban League Thursday night with a 54-43 win over Bloomfield.

Verona is the No.1 seed in this year’s playoffs, with a record of 16-0; Bloomfield was the No. 5 seed with a record of 12-4. So the game was a highly anticipated showdown between two teams that had battled it out in the regular season, with Verona winning by the slimmest of margins. Bloomfield beat Orange in its first-round game to earn a spot in the semifinal.

The Verona Community Center was packed with fans hoping to see a highly competitive game, and they weren’t disappointed. Verona was led by Kieran Quinn and Drew Aromando with 24 and 23 points respectively and making some big plays on both ends. But Bloomfield never backed down and the game was tied at 33-33 going into the fourth. Bloomfield pushed ahead with three, compelling Verona to constantly find ways to get stops and make buckets. With 5:41 left in the fourth, a big 3 by Quinn pushed the Verona lead to nine.

Daniel Mahon contributed five big blocks and big rebounding to the game. The tenacity of Peter Hanlon and flare of Jude Nippes, along with a big boost of energy and key plays from Ben Herman made for a sweet and deserved victory for Verona. And there was plenty of support from Ryan Barrow, Luke Nawrocki and Jimmy Nachbaur. Jack Hromoko was out due to illness, but will be in fighting form for the championship game.

Next up for Verona is a championship game against the winner of Caldwell-Millburn semifinal. It will likely be played at the VCC on Thursday, March 9. Under the guidance of Head Coach Kieran Quinn and assistants Dave Aromando and Jeff Barrow, Verona is looking to bring a boys championship banner to the VCC, which hasn’t see one in almost two decades.

(Photos: Mike Perry)

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