Cherry Hill East Basketball loses their first home game of the season to Bishop Eustace 61-40

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Jake Green ('22) jumps up to make another shot.

The Cherry Hill East Cougars’ first defeat at home came at the hands of Bishop Eustace Prep on Tuesday afternoon. After having their win streak snapped by Seneca last Thursday (55-38 loss), East couldn’t get momentum against a larger Eustace team who has had a rough schedule this season.

Jake Green (‘22) was the top scorer, with 13, for an East team that made only 14 out of 49 field goals over the course of the game. Eustace’s 6’9 junior Christian Tomasco (‘21) had 14 points for the Crusaders.

The game seemed over before it started. East doubled down on every Eustace player who got the ball near the paint to no avail. Eustace’s John Stone (‘20) and Tomasco were able to exploit a lack of size that has been East’s weakness all season. The only problem was that the Cougars could not finish at the other end either. East shot 30% from three and 29% from the field, unable to keep up with Eustace’s scoring. The quarter ended with East losing 15-5.

Eustace shot out to a larger lead in the second quarter, scoring ten unanswered. When Eustace began to have some problems down low, they would simply kick it to the wings to drain threes instead. East was able to give the fans a slimmer of hope with Ben Adler (‘21) and Jake Green hitting back to back threes, but the game was already falling apart by that point. Eustace took a 32-11 lead into the locker rooms.

The second half followed a similar narrative. East continued to miss shots on offense, and Eustace’s length gave every Cougar a fit on both ends as well. Eustace came out hot, taking a quick 28-point lead before East could get on the board in the third quarter. Tomasco threw down a tomahawk slam and hit a three on the next possession, all the while East saw minimal spurts to cheer for. East’s Drew Greene (‘22) scored eight points and had two blocks, while E.J. Matthews (‘22) scored nine.

Eustace’s 49-26 lead expanded as East remained desperate down the stretch. The three-ball kept falling for the Crusaders and it seemed like East had repellent at their rim as key shots just wouldn’t fall. The game finished 61-40 in Bishop Eustace’s favor.

East (16-6) hopes to bounce back with a win over Washington Township (4-19) on Thursday as they prepare for a first-round playoff bout against Shawnee. East’s home record may have a single blemish now, but was an impressive feat while it lasted for this young team.