January 13, 2014 at 6:00 AM
SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ - Here is a look at where the boys' and girls' basketball teams at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School stand so far this season:
Boys Basketball: The Raiders have started 5-3 this season. On opening night, Dec. 20, the team traveled to Gov. Livingston and won, 55-53, in overtime with a buzzer-beater by Emendo Thomas. Chris Gibbons had 11 points and Leo Ramos had 12 points, the only two players for SPF to score in double figures. The team played at Westfield on Dec. 21 and lost, 61-40. Josh Acosta had 10 points in the loss, the only Raider who scored in double digits. On Monday, the Raiders traveled to J.P. Stevens and won, 43-39, in overtime. Ramos scored a game-, season- and career-high in points with 24. Ramos scored more than half the team's points, with Jack Poillon having the second-most points for SPF with six.
The highlight of the season has been winning the Keith Benovengo Memorial Tournament on Dec. 30 against Woodbridge, 60-58. In the opening round of the tournament, the Raiders defeated Franklin on Dec. 27, 66-54. Poillon scored a career high 30 points. In the championship game against Woodbridge, Ramos led SPF in scoring with 20 points and Quaryee Bull scored 11 in the game. SPF beat Roselle, 59-58, on Thursday thanks to a steal and layup by Gibbons with 10 seconds left in overtime. The Raiders suffered a loss against Cranford, 59-46, on Friday. The boys basketball team travels to Delaware Valley on Tuesday for their next game.
Fast Forward: Four starters graduated last year, leaving SPF with only one returning starter. Replacing those players will be difficult because they lack height and size. Bull, who started at small forward last season is starting at center this season. SPF will have to resort to small-ball and look to turn over the opposing team to create as many fastbreak opportunities as possible. Although the team lacks size, all of their players are quick and athletic, making them dangerous in the open court. If SPF can turn games into track meets, they will have a successful season and have a positive win-loss record.
Girls Basketball: The girls basketball team has started the season 3-6 this season. On Dec. 20, the team lost their home opener to Summit, 54-40. Katie Harper led the team in scoring with 17 points and Thabitha Dwunfour had game high 11 rebounds. Dec. 21 the team visited Gov. Livingston and lost 59-42. Micaiah Battle led the team in scoring with 16 points and Amani Williams had 13 points, the only two Raiders to score in double figures. Dwunfour grabbed ten rebounds in the game. SPF lost to Randolph on Dec. 23, 62-51. Battle, Harper and Williams all scored in double figures.
Just like the boys, the girls basketball team won the Keith Benovengo Memorial Tournament on Dec. 30. The opening round, the Raiders defeated Pope John and then played Woodbridge and won 59-46. Williams led the team in scoring with 15 points and Battle scored ten. SPF has lost three straight games losing to Plainfield, Union and Cranford. The Raiders next game is at home against Oak Knoll on Tuesday.
Fast Forward: Taylor Sebolao, 1,000-point scorer in her career at SPF graduated last year, leaving a huge scoring void in the team. No one on the team is as good as Sebalao was at scoring the ball so several players will have to step up this year and look to score more often. Also, the team must play solid defense and hold teams to less than 50 points a game. All six of the Raider’s losses this season the opposing team has scored more than 50 points. Four different players have lead SPF in scoring for a game, or multiple games. Good defense and scoring by committee can make this team a solid competitor and help them finish with a positive record.
Trevor Skanes is a senior at Scotch Plains Fanwood High School and has a passion for the field of journalism. This is his third year on staff at Scotch Plains-Fanwood High School’s newspaper, The Fanscotian. Trevor was the sports editor last year and now is one of the editors-in-chiefs for the newspaper. Last year, Trevor won an award from GSSPA, for best news story in division B in the state of New Jersey. For the school year 2013-2014, Trevor will be the sports editor of the Scotch Plains Edition of the Alternative Press and will write the SPFHS Sports Wrap Up every week.
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