Before Tuesday afternoon’s game, Lyndhurst head coach Perrin Mosca decided to move Anthony Pizzuti from the back to the front of the team’s press on defense in hopes of getting his star forward some more easy baskets off of turnovers.
The result was one no one could have envisioned.
Pizzuti got those easy buckets early and from there, never stopped as he ended up scoring a school record 53 points, powering Lyndhurst to an 88-49 victory over Kearny in Lyndhurst.
The record was previously held by John Rodriguez, who scored 51 points in a game in 2018.
Pizzuti also had 10 rebounds, four assists and three blocks in the win. His previous career-high for points was 31, which came in a Jan. 13 win against Hawthorne.
“I think it forced him to be more active in the press.,” Mosca said. “Usually he’s in the back and doesn’t get as many opportunities to get shots off when we get steals. We were getting a few steals and he was the beneficiary of some buckets and it got him going. He got a few easy ones early and then everything was dropping for him.”
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While the easy points in transition might have been a new development for Pizzuti, his work in the paint was not as evidenced by his 20.5 points and 11 rebounds per game averages before Tuesday night. With the 6-foot-3 junior punishing the opposition down low, Pizzuti’s teammates wisely continued to find him in the paint as he made 24 field goals for the game.
“When Anthony was going, the kids started feeling it too,” said Mosca. “With the way he was working down low, they were giving him the ball. They were finding him, so I gotta give credit to the other guys on my team. They did a heck of a job of finding him.”
Matt Slaby had 11 points, five rebounds, five assists and five blocks for Lyndhurst (14-7), which jumped out to a 26-12 first quarter lead. Jake Mayer added eight rebounds and four steals to go with four points. in the win.
Kearny falls to 12-10.
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