By Gavin Ems

ROBBINSVILLE – The Trenton Central Tornadoes traveled to Robbinsville High School on Tuesday night to play against the Ravens. Trenton (3-12), coming off a win against Steinert, their first victory in almost a month, looked to put another win on their record. Robbinsville (8-6), coming off a two-point loss against Donovan Catholic, looked to rebound with a TCHS defeat.

The first quarter saw both teams excelling on the defensive side of the ball but struggling to get things going on offense. The Ravens and Tornadoes had three turnovers each by the four-minute mark halfway into the quarter, with the game tied at two apiece. Trenton’s Juan Sanchez broke the offensive silence with a three-pointer, attempting to gain some offensive momentum for the Tornadoes. This was responded by Robbinsville, with a slam-dunk by Tyler Bunnell. Both teams exchanged baskets for a while after this, keeping the game close. The quarter ended 17-16 with Robbinsville in the lead. Evan Bunnell lead the Ravens in scoring for the quarter, grabbing ten of those seventeen points, while Juan Sanches got off to a great start, scoring nine of Trenton’s sixteen.

Robbinsville started off strong in the second quarter, forcing turnovers and capitalizing on them with scoring baskets. Midway through the quarter, they scored seven unanswered points, which extended their lead to eleven. The momentum garnered from this run proved to be troublesome for Trenton, as they struggled to keep up with Robbinsville during this quarter. When the Tornadoes finally got baskets to go in, the Ravens just kept extending their lead. The quarter ended 36-27, Robbinsville leading.

The third quarter started with a shootout. Qadir Dixon was able to grab his first basket of the night to inch closer to Robbinsville, while Evan Bunnell forced an and one opportunity, but missed the foul shot. Aivaye Ingram also grabbed his first points of the night on the next play to keep Trenton in the game, but this was responded with a layup from Tyler Bunnell. This shootout continued for quite a while into the quarter. A three-pointer by Ingram late in the quarter cut Robbinsville’s lead to just four, but this was short lived as the Ravens scored again. Keeping Trenton at bay with a six-point lead, the quarter ended with Robbinsville on top 48-42.

Trenton started off the fourth quarter cutting Robbinsville’s lead down to three after Sanchez stepped back for a three-pointer. Trenton’s ability to stay in this game and gradually cut down a large deficit is noteworthy. Further proof of this is when Qadir Dixon scored a bucket to cut the Ravens’ lead down to just one point. However, after Sanchez drew a foul behind the three-point line but missed all three foul shots, things started to fall apart for Trenton. Evan Bunnell scored a quick six points to increase Robbinsville’s lead, and Dylan Golizio chipped in with a three-pointer to give the Ravens a ten-point advantage over the Tornadoes, with half of the quarter already finished. Trenton just couldn’t get their shots to fall and struggled to stop Robbinsville on defense. Eventually, they started to get things going, but with how little time was left in the game combined with Robbinsville’s offensive momentum, it was too late. The buzzer sounded, ending the game with a Robbinsville victory with a score of 69-56.

After the game, WBCB interviewed Evan Bunnell, the Amaya’s Italian Eatery and Italian People’s Bakery player of the game. Bunnell, scoring 32 points, helped to lead his team to a decisive victory over Trenton Central. There’s an interesting dynamic in the Robbinsville squad between brothers Evan and Tyler Bunnell, who are both excelling this season. When asked about this, Bunnell replied, “It’s awesome, he’s a really strong guy. I have confidence in him, and he has confidence in me. If I give him the ball, he’s going to put up points or make the right pass. It’s a big help out there.” Well, he’s right about that, as Tyler Bunnell is second on the team only to his brother Evan in scoring, all the while only being in his sophomore year. Another question asked to Bunnell was about what adjustments head coach Conor Hayes made in the fourth quarter when Trenton cut down Robbinsville’s lead to one point. Bunnell responded, “He’s great at taking timeouts to compose us. One of our biggest issues is we get frustrated and let teams go on huge runs. We’ve done it almost every game this year, especially the games we’ve lost. So, he just likes to calm us down, let us take a deep breath and get composed.” The Ravens almost let the Tornadoes overcome them in the fourth quarter, but after a called timeout by coach Hayes, Robbinsville went on a big scoring run and increased their lead to ten points. Robbinsville will improve to 9-6 on the season and will look forward to face Trenton Catholic in their next match. As for Trenton Central, they will tack on another loss and move to 3-13. They will play against Piscataway for their next game.