SCOTCH PLAINS/FANWOOD, NJ -- A 10-0 start in high school basketball is a remarkable feat. It's even more remarkable when the team went 3-21 the year before.
The Scotch Plains-Fanwood boys' basketball team has accomplished just that after Friday's 59-45 victory over New Brunswick, as the Raiders have matched the 1997-'98 team for the best start in school history.
"It is a great achievement to start the season 10-0 for our program, especially after struggling the last couple of seasons. However, we are nowhere near content and have a lot still to prove. We have to continue to push ourselves to get better each day and take one practice/game at a time," explained second year coach Steve Siracusa.
The Raiders pulled off the victory in front of a packed and energetic gym. Leading the way for the Raiders Friday was junior Tommy Drubulis, who dropped 15 points and four three-pointers. Joining him in double-digits in the scoring category was Lamont Cruse, also a junior, who put up 11 points for the Scotch Plains, which led, 28-22, at halftime. Cooper Heisey added nine points.
The Raiders' balanced offense -- arguably their most valuable asset through the incredible start -- was on full display again Friday, as 10 different Raiders scored. SP-F pulled ahead in the third quarter, when the Raiders outscored New Brunswick, 19-9.
The Raiders' 10-0 start has put them in elite company within the state. They are now one of 15 teams that remain unbeaten. Teams on the list include not only state, but national, powers such as St. Anthony, Newark East Side and St. Joe's of Metuchen. In addition, the Raiders are currently ranked No. 8 in Union County -- arguably the best basketball county in the state -- by nj.com.
"The difference this far has been our team first mentality, emphasis on our offensive and defensive execution, and our effort levels. These three components have greatly improved our team so far, as we hope to only improve on each as the season moves along," Siracusa said.
SP-F's next game is a huge one, as the Raiders face perennial power Woodbridge (8-1) in the Eric LeGrand Showcase at Kean University Sunday at 2 p.m.