By: Brendan Dyer
As winter is creeping towards an end so does the basketball season. This year JCSH has gone 8-15 for the season. They played 7 seed Fort Lee in the first round of the state tournament on Monday, February 25. The seniors on this year’s boys varsity team include captain, Jimmy Sweeney, Marco Cutri, Billy Pierce, Sean Nastelon, Richie Todd, Zach Endersby, Aaron Rhaney, and Bowden Winter. Sweeney remarked, “everybody on the team contributes and have their own roles. Billy Pierce, Sean Nastelon, and Zach Endersby are a great inside presence and grab rebounds. Marco Cutri, Richie Todd, and Aaron Rhaney are more of perimeter players and do a great job taking care of the ball and playing solid defense. Then kids like Hunter Smith, Jack Kinney, and Bowden Winter can do a little bit of everything inside, outside, and defensively.” The Chiefs were also aided by juniors Sean Clarkin and Steve Brown giving help whenever needed. This year the Chiefs have had a pretty good season even though their record doesn’t show it. They have been in every game and have forced several games into overtime. The boys worked hard every night and should hold their heads up high with how they have performed this season.
Senior captain Sweeney, reflecting on his best memory of this season, reminisced, “the best memory is probably senior night against West Essex. We were down double digits at half and we fought back and forced overtime only allowing 9 points in total in the third, fourth, and overtime combined.” The team went on to win that game 48-40, getting lots of help from senior Sean Nastelon who scored all 8 points for the Chiefs in overtime. Sweeney also stated that the part he will miss most about Caldwell Basketball is, “being on the court with a bunch of great kids especially the seniors. It’s been an honor to be able to play with them.”
One of the most important highlights of this season for the team has been the number of games they forced into overtime. Also, this season, for the first time in 10 years, the boys varsity team was able to win two games in the county tournament. They got the experience to play Seton Hall Prep in their final game of the tournament, one of the best teams in the state. Sweeney stated, “what we have accomplished is great and it’s a credit to everyone in the program.” This season has been full of exciting wins and disappointing losses. The JCHS basketball program looks to improve and win in years to come.