Boys’ Basketball Defeats Paulsboro

Max Cohen ('12)/ Online Sports Editor

In a very tight game with a misleading final score, the Cougars defeated Paulsboro 67-58 just two days after defeating rival Cherry Hill West.

While this game was close throughout, it seemed as though East had the upper hand throughout. Even though these two teams are in different conferences and are not rivals, play became intense in the second half after Ben Gerstein (’10) seemed to effectively annoy one of Paulsboro’s best players and the player proceeded to slam a dunk of the back rim and send the ball flying through the air. Many seemingly “touch” fouls were called on both teams in the backcourt to the annoyance of fans of both teams.

As usual, Chris Santo (’11) played tremendously. Although his day shooting-wise did not start off on a great note, he played beautifully as the game progressed and ended up with 40 points. The Cougars started off slowly as a team, down 18-11 at the end of the first quarter. They got the deficit down to one at the half with a score of 31-30 in favor of Paulsboro.

East gained a 49-43 lead by the end of the third quarter due to the offensive explosion by Santo who had 33 points by the end of the quarter. The fourth quarter was very close as the COugars could not put away Paulsboro until the very end of the game. With about three minutes left, the game was tied at 56. Then, a Santo two-point field goal and a foul shot brought the lead up to three. A Gurkin layup made the Cougar lead five right before Paulsboro scored on their next possession to cut the lead to three. Then as the Cougars tried to freeze the ball to let the clock run out in the final minute, Marc Schlessel was fouled and hit both of his free throws, effectively giving East the win with less than 30 seconds left.

An amazing statistic from the game was that the Cougars ended up with three players in double figures in rebounds in Santo, Jake Gurkin (’12) and Marc Schlessel (’12). Although it seemed at times as though Paulsboro’s tall freshman center was getting rebounds at ease, the Cougars truly held their own on the boards.

Stats

Santo 40 points and 13 rebounds

Friedman (’10) 12 assists

Schlessel-9 points and 11 rebounds

Gerstein 10 points

Gurkin 14 rebounds

Player of the Game: Santo. His explosive scoring allowed the Cougars to win.