Boys basketball battles in a tough division

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Josh Meyers

Photo by Josh Meyers '21

The road to the championship will not be easy.

  Not in their division.

Head coach Mr. Kevin Crawford knows that.

“We are in Group 4 of the Olympic conference,” he said. “There’s no easy game so we’re just trying to be competitive in every single one.”

  As the season progresses, Coach Crawford makes adjustments and helps his players get better. Crawford is proud of how his team has played this year. 

  First captain and senior Noah Klinewski has been surprised by how well the team has been doing this year. “I  wasn’t expecting us to have as good of a record as we do,” he said. “Since most players graduated from last year’s team, we’re a little inexperienced in the sense that it’s the first time playing varsity for most of our guys.”

  Coming into this year, as a senior and leader, Klinewski was nervous and anxious. Last year was his first time playing varsity. It was a great year but they ended up coming short at the end of the season. This season, Klinewski has the desire to be the best teammate he can be. 

  He hopes his leadership and hustle helps push the team forward. “I try to set examples for them to always work hard, push themselves, and do the right thing on and off the court,” Kliwenski said.

  Klinewski is excited to get back to the big stage. “We have a lot of potential so it will be interesting to see how far we go in the playoffs,” he said.

  Junior Zubair Lee hopes to continue to be a  factor to the team’s success. Lee’s size and frame helps the team with rebounds, points, and blocks. However, he enjoys helping his teammates succeed as well. “Being one of the only juniors on the team, I’ve learned to humble myself after playing on varsity last year,” Lee said.

  Lee believes that the team can contend for a sectional championship. However, there is much improving to do. “We have to limit our turnovers,” Lee said. “Our perimeter defense has to get better as well because we give up too many threes.”

  Lee’s attitude remains positive. “We’ve lost some hard fought battles to other schools in the Group 4 Division, but have won a handful,” Lee said. “The main way we compete against them is by controlling the tempo, slowing the game down, taking smart shots, and shutting down our opponents’ best players with our on ball pressure.”

  Junior guard Noah Covone said the team is playing very good basketball right now. “I’m confident that we’re going go far.”

  The next big contest with Rancocas Valley. 

 Coach Crawford has high hopes, but he knows that he has to be realistic. “We are pretty good, but the teams we play and our schedule are hard. It’s going to come down to a lot of close games where you really have to do the little things to win,” Crawford said.

   As of February 24th, the boys basketball team is 15-8.