Reese hits 10 threes in tourney win

LINDEN — Team depth along with the hot shooting of Shauka Reese made the difference for Linden High (21-2) Friday night en route to an 83-58 win over John Essex in Class 1A, Area 4 tournament play.

The Patriots nursed a narrow 56-52 lead through three quarters before sprinting by the Hornets with a 27-6 fourth period that sealed the win.

While depth proved the difference late for Linden, it was Shauka Reese who lit the offensive spark early and kept it burning throughout the game. Reese scored 17 points in the first quarter including a quintet of three-point baskets in the game’s opening frame. With just under three minutes to go in the contest, Reese pushed his scoring total to a career high 39 on a night that was highlighted by a 10-for-12 shooting performance from beyond the arc.

Imoras Agee added 17 points for the Patriots, pouring in 12 of those in the fourth quarter to help close out the win for Linden. He also finished the night with six rebounds.

Nicholas Rogers added eight points, seven rebounds and four assists off the bench for the Patriots.

Second chance buckets kept John Essex alive for much of the night as Josh Moore helped create extra offensive opportunities for the Hornets with a game high 10 rebounds. He had 14 points and 10 boards before fouling out in the fourth quarter.

The Hornets trailed 24-23 after the first quarter and were down only 41-39 at half before scoring the first bucket of the third period to tie the game. But Essex never proved able to climb over the hump to grab a lead before succumbing to the Patriot pressure late.

Linden, which had only two steals in the first half, recorded 10 more takeaways in the game’s final 16 minutes to help distance itself completely from a game Hornet squad.

Anthony McIntosh paced Essex with 16 points. Cedric Cooks added 10 points, five rebounds and five assists. Michael Moore had nine points, seven rebounds and four assists.

Linden is scheduled to host Sunshine in the area championship Monday night after the Tigers downed Akron 53-49 Friday evening.

Keonta Edwards led Sunshine with 22 points while Cletrell Pope added 16. Demarcus Morse led Akron with 11 while Quin Jeffery had 10.

Linden and Sunshine are set to face off at 7 p.m. Monday. Both teams have already punched their ticket to the sub-regional round.