Cherry Hill East loses a thriller to Paul VI 61-55


Photo by Nick Gangwere

East fights hard but comes up short in a loss to Paul VI

In arguably East’s (17-8) best game of the year to date, they fell victim to a powerful scoring attack from Paul VI (19-6) at Dibart on Monday afternoon. The non-conference showdown saw flare from the Cougars that has been lacking over the past few weeks. Senior Ryan Greene (‘20) finished with 19 points, 5 assists and 2 steals while shooting 62% from the field. Sophomore E.J. Matthews (‘22) added 16 points of his own, shooting 71%.

The game began with multiple schematic showdowns. Each of the first four possessions were over 30 seconds long as East coach Dave Allen and Paul VI coach Tony Devlin attempted to feel each other’s tactics out. With the game tied at 5 apiece after four minutes of play, East gained momentum through great defense by Ben Adler (‘21) and Ryan Greene. Adler picked the pocket of Paul VI’s 6-9’ Nicolo Nobili (‘21) and led a fastbreak ending in a three from Jake Green (‘22) who scored 11.

But, Paul VI’s potent scoring flurry struck East at the end of the quarter and carried into the next one as well, taking a 14-10 quarter one lead and expanding it. Ryan Greene showed some passing prowess with a dime to Matthews for two, but the opposition cancelled it out with passing of their own. Junior Jalen Boyd-Savage (‘21), who would finish with 14, hit three threes this quarter, and junior Wisler Sanon (‘21) had several finishes down low for the Eagles. Yet, a Ryan Greene smooth play down the baseline and a Jake Green buzzer-beating three cut the lead to 34-30 Eagles at halftime.

In the second half, the Cougars remained hot on the tail of the Eagles as the intensity picked up. After Paul VI hit a few threes, senior Jarren Andrade (‘20) stepped in to harass them on the defensive end, giving up no easy buckets. No matter how many shots the Eagles sunk, East stayed in the game with impressive play of their own. Paul VI’s Jordan Pierre (‘21) and Jaden Arline (‘20) started to heat up from deep range, but the Cougars’ Matthews, Ryan Greene and Drew Greene (‘22) continued to exploit any lanes they could on the offensive end. Heading to the final period, Paul VI was up 50-43.

In a game that came down to the wire, East stepped up big in the final quarter. It started with two straight Eagles turnovers turning into East buckets, one being a long Matthews three. Good defense on both ends led to multiple turnovers and lots of transition basketball being played, contrasting the slow first half. Paul VI had a 5-point lead with three minutes remaining when Ryan Greene drilled a deep three, getting the fans and bench on their feet. The momentum was not enough, though, as Paul VI would come out victorious, 61-55.