Hopeful and Hungry: Boys Basketball


Kevin Crawford

The boys basketball team is ready to take back the courts of South Jersey in their new season.

   With just seven wins last season, this season Eastern is focused on improvement and hopeful for a better basketball season this year. So far, they are 6-7 with 13 games left in the season. 

   According to Jason Brice (#3), the team isn’t “doing as bad as we thought.”He continued to say, “We didn’t have the best summer, we had lots of conflicts but we like each other so it’s moving onto the court now.” With another 13 games, there is hope for this season. Jason comes in second for the most 3pts with 16 so far this season. 

   The team has a lot of pride in being like a family. However, it took time for them to grow this bond. Cehki Hill (#4) said, “The team has improved on becoming one, and playing as a team. No matter if we win or lose, we play together. At the end of the day that’s really what it’s about, having fun playing the sport you love with people who’ve got your back till the end.” Like with any other team sport, there needs to be a foundation of trust and support in order for success.

   Noah Payne (#11) leads the team in points, steals, and rebounds. Damien Edwards (#5) leads the team in 3pts, with 19 so far this season. 

   While content  with the team’s successes, he also said the team isn’t “satisfied because we should’ve won some more close games.” He suggested that in order to improve the team has to “ do a better job closing games out and winning the close games.” 

   “Defensively we aren’t talking enough and teams are getting too many fast break points.” Cehki stated the opposite, saying that the team needs to limit “slow starts in the game, if we come out with a slow start then the other team can take advantage of that and for us it’s gonna be hard to come back from that.”  

   The boys were excited with their victory against Washington TWP game with another win. After being down 9-12 in the first quarter, Eastern came back and ended up winning 69-43. According to Evan Zanetich (#10), “It was a very vital Olympic conference win.” With every win comes the team gains a little more faith in their identity as a family and more hope for a strong season. 

   Head Coach Kevin Crawford mentioned that in basketball, the most important games are at the end. The Playoffs. He is content seeing such a young team with all of this talent. There are only three seniors on the team this year, but Coach Crawford says that “they’ve contributed a lot.” The team’s regular starters are Jason Brice (Jr.), Noah Payne (Jr.), Shane Huggard (Sr.), Damien Edwards (So.), and Max Portnoy (So.). With all of these younger players on the court now, the future shines from the opalescence of potential the team has in their upcoming years.  

   The team knows what needs to be improved, and with more practice, the rest of their season is looking bright. The Eastern community rallies behind the team and cannot wait to see them come back!