Breit makes right for Delbarton in Non Public A final

By Mark Kitchin


LIVINGSTON– Everyone on Delbarton knows that defenseman Jack Breit has the green light when it comes to taking a shot on goal. By the end of the first quarter, the players on the St. Augustine Prep team knew it as well.

In less than a minute, Breit connected on three consecutive goals and Delbarton was well on its way to ringing up another Non Public A title with a 10-4 victory over their South Jersey opponents on Thursday.

The Green Wave advances to the Tournament of Champions in which they will take on a quarterfinal opponent on Saturday at Basilone Field in Bridgewater.

Attackman Clay Haarmann also had a hat trick and Patrick Foley, Jack Malloy, John Shaffer and Peter McMullen added scores for Delbarton, which missed last year’s group final for the first time in school history.

Delbarton’s Jack Breit reacts to one of his three first-quarter goals in Thursday’s state tournament win.

Mike Sutton scored twice for the Hermits, who lost to St. Joseph’s Metuchen in last year’s Non Public A final.

Sutton and Steve Pontrello scored early goals for St. Augustine Prep and Delbarton looked as if it was starting off like last week’s dramatic victory over St. Joseph’s in which it had to rally for five fourth-quarter goals.

Breit didn’t let that happen. The senior defender became a wrecking crew knocking in three consecutive goals including letting one loose when he was barely inside the restraining line.

“My coaches tell me if I see a shot I should just take it,’’ Breit said. “I just had three opportunities in a row and thankfully they all went in.

“I’ve been doing it all year. I just know that their defense is very compact and if you shoot it outside you can get some shots, just put it down low.’’

Traditionally when a long stick defender scores it usually gives a team a boost because it usually doesn’t happen very often. However, Breit has always had the knack for it and is often very aggressive at going to the cage off clears. However, he can never remember a game in which he put in three in a row.

“His goals were really important,’’ Haarmann said. “They really sparked us in the right direction and really got our motivation back and our confidence back so we could really take them.

“He’s been doing that all season. He can shoot it in the hundreds. We expect that from him.’’

Delbarton faceoff man Jack Clarke wins another draw during Thursday’s state tournament victory.

Breit’s score off a McMullen pass went through the goalies legs and cut the Green Wave’s deficit to 2-1 with 2:43 left in the first quarter. It took him just 21 seconds later to connect on a long bounce shot to tie the game 2-2, an attempt that was most astounding since Breit admitted he turned around close his eyes and shot the ball. Seventeen seconds later, he got a pass from Patrick Foley and rolled in a low bouncer to give Delbarton the lead.

“Most of the time he has it (green light),’’ Delbarton coach Chuck Ruebling said. “We either think we are going to get a good shot or he’s going to miss and we’re still going to maintain possession.’’

Ruebling wasn’t concerned about his team trailing early because it had good offensive possessions that just had not found the net yet. Once Breit got the Green Wave on the board, Delbarton couldn’t be stopped. It scored eight consecutive goals to take an 8-2 advantage at the half.

Two of those goals came off the stick of Haarmann who has developed as one of the team’s most consistent scorers.

“Clay is very smart and very shifty,’’ Breit said. “He knows when to shoot, when not to shoot. He’s an extremely smart player. Once he gets going; he’s on fire and you can’t stop him.’’

Six different players in all connected for the Green Wave.

“I think it was more of a team effort and a lot of the things we’ve been trying to improve really came out today,’’ Ruebling said. “Possession is the name of the game and they certainly had a tremendous amount of weapons. ’’

When it comes to taking shots on goal, Delbarton defenseman Jack Breit has the green light.

Once in the lead, Delbarton finished off St. Augustine by good ball control and not making mistakes and penalties. The Green Wave saw the end of the Group I final in which county rival Mountain Lakes nearly came from behind against GlenRidge and took the lesson to heart.

“We were just executing,’’ Haarmann said. “Just slowing it down, having good patience and good confidence in our shots.’’


About mcvbb

Mark Kitchin is a boys varsity basketball writer for the Morris County New Jersey area

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