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Holy Spirit ends Linden season in sub-regional

LINDEN — Despite a late run, Linden was unable to erase the futility of a four-point third quarter en route to a 53-49 loss to Holy Spirit in sub-regional play Saturday night.

The Patriots charged out of the gate, getting five steals from freshman Anthony Robinson in the first quarter while taking a 14-8 lead into the second period. Blown opportunities began to catch up with Linden as Holy Spirit outplayed the Patriots 15-13 in the second quarter, cashing in on nine missed Linden lay-ups in the game’s first 16 minutes.

Linden emerged from the locker room flat, scoring two points early before hitting a scoring drought that lasted nearly five minutes. The Pats could get nothing working on the offensive end during the game’s third quarter as they watched Holy Spirit outpace them 16-4 in the frame. Holy Spirit took its first lead first lead of the contest with 3:06 to play in the third.

The Titans proceeded to run that advantage up to 10 points before Linden made its move. Senior guard Larente Taylor cut the game to 46-42 with 2:47 to play when he connected on a pair of free throws. Linden drew closer with 2:18 to go when Robinson went 2-for-3 from the stripe after being fouled while shooting a triple. The Pats erased their deficit completely when Taylor connected on a lay-up with just under to minutes to go, tying the game at 46.

The wheels came off of the Linden run after that basket as Holy Spirit was just short of automatic from the free throw line down the stretch and Linden watched its guards take one questionable shot after another down the stretch.

The Patriots misfired on a total of 13 lay-ups in the game while going 12-for-20 from the free throw line.

Taylor had 17 points and five steals for Linden while junior guard Gerald Bruno added 17 points, six rebounds and four assists. The loss ends Linden’s season at 13-10.