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December 25th, 2013

Jones Clutch Jumper Takes NFA to Victory

NFA Forward Ja’kwan Jones (25) scored 18 points, including this dunk, against the Middletown Middies. Hudson Valley Press/CHUCK STEWART, JR.
NEWBURGH — It was a big night for Newburgh Free Academy’s Ja’Kwan Jones aka “Slinky.”

Last Thursday night, inside a packed gym, he led the Goldbacks to a 62-59 victory over the Middletown Middies.

His clutch jumper, with less than 30 seconds on the clock, would secure the Goldback’s come-from-behind victory. However, Jones put up a solid performance throughout the game, finishing with 18 points.

Many fans will recall Jones breaking his leg in the game against Middletown last season. Based upon the way he played Thursday, it seems that has he has fully recovered and was looking for some redemption.

He wasn’t the only Goldback who hit the double digit scoring mark. Guard Donchevell Nugent put up 16 points and Guard Donovan Fields had 12 points.

Newburgh came out strong in the first quarter, taking a 16-9 early lead.

Middletown’s Aaron Ray would lead the charge in the second quarter, scoring 7 of the teams 20 points to take a halftime lead of 29-27.

Both teams came alive in the third quarter, each scored 20 points. But it was NFA’s Josiah Borden who hit a 3-pointer at the buzzer that sent the capacity crowd into a frenzy and pulled Newburgh to within 2 points of Middletown.

That momentum continued for the Goldback’s into the fourth quarter, but Middletown wouldn’t go down without a fight. The two would fight until the final moments of the game.

Nugent would hit a 3-pointer to put NFA up 52-49.  Following a series of fouls and free throws, Middletown had pulled to within 60-59 with less than a minute left on the clock. That’s when Jones hit the game winning jumper from the free-throw line. Middletown’s Aaron Ray, with less than 10 seconds left, put up a 3-pointer that missed as the clock expired.

Aaron Ray led Middletown with 20 points.

Newburgh will head to a couple of tournaments over the winter recess break before returning to host Pine Bush in league play on January 9th.

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