Boys’ basketball defeats Toms River North to advance in playoffs

Max Cohen ('12)/ Eastside Editor-in-Chief

Yesterday, the boys’ basketball team defeated Toms River North in the South Jersey Group IV quarterfinals by a score of 47-30. The win marked the first time the Cougars have won in the quarterfinals since 2006.

The Cougars started off the game with a bang, as Hank Davis (’13) and Marc Schlessel (’12) hit threes to give the Cougars a 6-0 lead. Toms River came right back by scoring five in a row before Schlessel hit another three followed by a layup to give the Cougars a six-point lead. The quarter ended after Brett Roseman (’12) scored right before the buzzer to give the Cougars a 13-5 lead.

The second quarter started with a Jake Gurkin (’12) layup as he contributed his first points of the day. The quarter was extremely low-scoring, ripe with missed shots and turnovers for both teams. A difficult Gary Hettinger (’13) layup was the only other scoring for the Cougars in the quarter as they took a 17-11 lead into the half.

The second half did not start off well for the Cougars as Toms River worked to tie the game at 18. However, Gurkin soon gathered in an offensive rebound and laid it in, giving the Cougars another lead. Gurkin scored four more points in the quarter as the Cougars maintained a 24-21 lead heading into the final quarter.

The Cougars began to take control in the fourth quarter. Gurkin grabbed yet another offensive rebound and laid it in to begin the scoring in the quarter. Then Schlessel hit a floater with 6:45 left to give the Cougars a 28-21 lead. Schlessel followed that shot by hitting a three to increase the Cougar lead to ten. From there on out, the Cougars lead never shrunk to less than nine as they slowly pulled away from Toms River. The scoreboard read 47-30 when the final horn sounded.

Player of the Game: Gurkin. Gurkin played an essential role in this victory, Although his scoring total was a relatively modest 13, he gathered in an astounding 23 rebounds and swatted away six shots on the game.

Key Stats
Gurkin-13 points, 23 rebounds, 6 blocks
Schlessel-15 points
Gold-5 points, 7 assists
Davis-5 points
Roseman-4 points

Next up: the South Jersey Group IV semifinal on Saturday at East against Shawnee.