Cherry Hill East Cougars Ballin’ for a Cause


Girls Basketball raises money to donate to breast cancer.

Sophie Levine, Eastside Staff

Despite their valiant effort, the Cherry Hill East Girls Basketball Team lost 53-28 on Tuesday, February 11, to the Lenape Indians, but they did look pretty in pink.

While all “pink’d-out” in the Cougars’ “Ballin’ for a Cause” t-shirts, the girls raised money to donate to breast cancer, a disease that affects about 12% of women around the world.

“It’s not just a fashion thing. It’s for a good cause and a good reason,” said Coach Kevin Owens.

Nancy, a breast cancer patient, came to talk to all of the East girls basketball players about her story Wednesday evening and the team also honored her before they took the floor.

“It’s wonderful to see local organizations helping fight breast cancer,” said Nancy.    

The team ran a bake sale during the game to help raise money to the Cancer Care Organization, where the money will go directly toward breast cancer patients and their care. The bake sale was a huge success and the girls were able to make a substantial contribution to the organization. They also sold pink t-shirts and gave 50% of the proceeds to the Cancer Care Organization. Most of the fans were dressed in pink and the band even made a special appearance.

Nicole Hammerquist (‘18) led the way with 13 points for East and Maddie Sims (‘16) led the way for Lenape with 20 points.

In the first quarter, the Cougars won the opening tip. Hammerquist hit a long two- pointer, and the crowd went wild. The Cougars shut out the Indians for the first three minutes and twenty-three seconds of the game. Hammerquist finished the quarter with two, Zoe Peterzell (‘16) also finished with two and senior standout, Yamie Villegas (‘16) finished with one point. At the end of the first quarter, the Cougars trailed 8-5.

The second quarter was all Lenape. The Cougars had a few turnovers which led the Indians to go on a 4-0 run for the first three minutes of the quarter. Hammerquist got fouled hard and made both of her shots from the line. She then hit a huge three-pointer and Emily Reisman (‘16) hit a two. Although the Cougars were down 29-12 at the half, they did not give up.

Coming out of the locker room, East started out with the ball. Whatever Coach Owens said to them at halftime must have hit them hard because they won the third quarter 11-9. Hammerquist hit a three and right after, Villegas got a smooth layup. This caused the crowd to erupt and it had the Indians shaking in their boots because they called a timeout. The Cougars played with heart and intensity and cut the lead to 38-23 at the end of the third quarter.

Unfortunately, the Cougars were not able to get much closer to the Indians than 38-23. Lenape went on a 5-0 run for the first three minutes of the quarter. The Cougars made some

mistakes and turnovers, but once they got the ball back, Hammerquist was able to make a layup to boost the Cougars spirits. Near the end of the quarter, Villegas hit a three-pointer, but that was not enough to lift East passed Lenape as the lost 53-28.

“We have to work harder in practice. Coach Owens pushes us to a different level at practice to prepare us to play against higher level teams,” said Villegas.

Although East did not pull out the victory, they did find some areas to improve upon.

“When things go wrong, we can’t just stop. When we give up a basket, we can’t just stop and say that is the game. We have to keep working hard,” said Coach Kevin Owens.

East is looking to bounce back on Saturday, February, 13 against Middle Township.