SOUTH BRUNSWICK, NJ -- After winning just one game two seasons ago, the South Brunswick boys basketball team began last season with six consecutive losses.
But, before the season deteriorated into a repeat of the previous year, the Vikings ran off three victories in a row en route to a 12-7 finish and a 12-13 record overall. After the six-game losing streak that opened the season, South Brunswick never lost two straight games the rest of the way.
With six of the team's top seven scorers from 2018-2019 returning this year, head coach Joe Hoehman's team could be poised to improve further still on that strong finish.
South Brunswick opens its 2019-2020 season at Old Bridge Friday at 5 p.m.
"We are excited to get the season started," Hoehman said. "(The players) are hoping to pick up where they left off. "
Senior 6-0 swingman Devin Strickland averaged 14 points last season, and he's one of four returning Vikings players who scored more than nine points per game. Justin Carbone, a 6-3 swingman, scored 10.1 ppg., junior 5-11 guard Tyrell Murchison 9.4 ppg. and 5-10 senior point guard Akhil Edekar 9.3 ppg.
Also competing for minutes are senior Alex Strange, junior Andrew Tesser, and sophomores Yathin Vemula, Damien Downs and Shyheim Davis. They're all listed as guards. In fact, not only is this a guard-oriented team, but Carbone, at 6-3, is the tallest player on the varsity roster right now.
"We will look to our seniors, Devin Strickland, Justin Carbone and Akhil Edekar, along with fellow classmate Alex Strange, to lead (us) both on and off the court this year," Hoehman said.
It should be difficult for South Brunswick's opponents to devise a defensive game plan focused on shutting down one player, since the Vikings will have at least four scoring threats and perhaps more than that.
"We expect to compete every day that we step on the court," Hoehman said.