BRHS 0-2, NBC 1-1 in first week of boys’ basketball action

By: Sean Moylan
   Turnovers and missed shots have led to the Bordentown Regional High School boys’ varsity basketball team’s downfall in its first two games.
   Luckily, both should be very correctable problems.
   In the first game (a 71-64 home loss to Westampton Tech on Friday) we missed 25 shots in the paint," noted Bordentown head coach Mark Drew, who is still searching for the perfect rotation.
   Kevin Cumming had a stellar 19-point performance versus Westampton Tech. Jovan Gaines, Bordentown’s athletic senior point, scored a dozen points in a losing cause.
   "Jovan—he’s quick as lightning but we’re (as a team) trying to force the ball too much," said Coach Drew. "We’re just not playing well."
   Even so, Tom Gutowski (11 points), Danny Sasso (nine points on three three-pointers), Thomas Knapp (seven points), James Brotherton (two points) and Mike Pracko (four points) all scored for the Scotties in the loss.
   On Saturday, Allentown topped Bordentown, 68-61, despite a spectacular 25-ponit effort by Sasso, which included five three-pointers.
   Bordentown took a slim 51-49 lead into the fourth quarter, but it couldn’t hold onto the edge on the road. Once again, turnovers hurt.
   Still, Gutowski (eight points), Knapp (six points), Summing (11 points), Brandon Fraser (four points), Pracko (four points) and Gaines (two points) all had their strong moments.
   Coach Drew has some good players. He’ll find a way to make this all work out. Bordentown was scheduled to have hosted NBC this past Tuesday. On Saturday, Bordentown will host its own tournament and open with a 2:30 game versus Point Pleasant Beach.

   Cedric "The Entertainer" Jackson stole the ball and he stole "the show" in the last 5 minutes of Northern Burlington County Regional High School boys’ varsity basketball team’s 64-58 triumph over Oak Crest in last Saturday’s Prime Events Tip-Off Weekend.
   In fact, with 23.8 seconds left in the contest, "Action" Jackson stole an inbounds pass, drew a foul and canned a pair of free throws to put NBC ahead for good, 60-58.
   "He went out yesterday (Saturday) against Oak Crest, which was ranked ninth in South Jersey and he was Cedric Jackson," said NBC head coach Herman Johnson, who felt Jackson had tried to do too much himself in the Greyhounds’ 82-56 loss at Willingboro last Friday.
   Seconds after Jackson’s big makes from the charity stripe, Anthony Barksdale (seven points) knocked down two foul shots of his own to ice the contest.
   Ironically, only a few scant minutes before all had seemed lost for NBC with Oakcrest holding a 55-49 lead. However, Cornel Jones (12 points with two three-pointers) and Jackson (33 points) netted back-to-back treys to cut Oakcrest’s lead to one (56-55). Oakcrest battled back with a bucket to take a three-point edge, but the "amazing one" cut into that advantage when he was fouled taking a long shot and made both of his subsequent free throws.
   Many in the building felt Jackson was behind the three-point line on the shot and therefore should have been awarded three shots. He, nevertheless, overcame the call anyway.
   Coach Johnson was happy to come away with a win and commented, "It was a tough game for us. We didn’t take the lead until the last 23.8 seconds of the game."
   At one point in the final quarter, one in which NBC won 27-15, Jackson rolled off 13 consecutive points. Moreover, he scored 10 points in the last two and a half minutes of the contest. A rock steady Barksdale set up several of Jackson’s scores with terrific entry passes. Danny Zimpelmann, Jerry Howell and Durrell Whitmore each scored four points.
   By direct contrast, NBC was never really "in" Friday’s contest at Willingboro, although it did manage to cut its deficit to 14 points 43-29 by the half.
   "We went down there (Willingboro) and I was a little apprehensive. We were 4-0 in the scrimmages, but we had not faced a team of their caliber. We went down there and they just jumped on us and scored four out of their first five possessions. Before we knew anything, it was four minutes into the game and it was 19-2," said Coach Jackson, who saw the Willingboro contest as a frustrating one.
   Even Jackson was just merely human in the Willingboro game, scoring only a dozen points. Zimpelmann, however did score 15 points in a losing cause.
   "Danny came of the bench and he gave us a lift," added Coach Johnson, whose team got a trio of treys out of Zimpelmann. Jones (14 points) and Barksdale (11 points) also gave strong efforts in defeat.
   NBC (1-1) was scheduled to have played at Bordentown this past Tuesday. Tomorrow (Friday) NBC is scheduled to compete in the Delran Christmas Tournament.

   The Florence High School boys’ varsity basketball team’s home opener versus Riverside, scheduled for last Friday, was postponed until a later date.
   The Flashes are now scheduled to open their season in tomorrow’s (Friday North Warren Tournament versus North Hunterton (a 5 p.m. contest). Art Bobik’s crew should do well as always.

   A tough Mount Zion team defeated the Life Center Academy boys’ varsity basketball team, 75-60, this past Saturday. Even so, Aleks Maric led the Warriors with a solid 17-point effort.
   Tomorrow (Friday) LCA is scheduled to take on Germantown Academy in the Slam Dunk to the Beach at Lewes Delaware.