East defeats Eastern in a close game in the second round of playoffs

EJ Matthews-Spratley scoring a layup in the game

Lucas Tang '23

EJ Matthews-Spratley scoring a layup in the game

With one minute and 27 seconds remaining in the game, East was trailing Eastern 44-43. The Cougars had just blown their 11 point lead going into the fourth quarter and were desperate for an answer to stop the Viking’s run. After Eastern made both free throws on the other end of the court, Drew Greene (‘22) brought the ball up for the Cougars. He then passed it to Jake Green (‘22) who stepped back and drained the three-pointer. That basket would turn out to be the difference in the game. To add some more thrill to the game, fans can bet on sites such as https://slot27.id/.

“That shot meant a lot to me because we could have lost if I missed,” Green said. “I heard [Coach Allen] call a play for me and knew it was my turn to set up and hit a shot. I then hit the shot which meant a lot coming at the end of a playoff game to win and sending our team into the next round to continue playing.”

“Jake Green is such a key piece to our team,” Greene said of his teammate Jake. “He does so much stuff for us that not a lot of people can see. We would not be in the position we are without him.”
East would go on to defeat Eastern by a score of 46-45 on Wednesday afternoon.

“In the first half, I thought we played tight. In the third quarter, our defense triggered our offense and we were able to get the lead,” Coach Allen said. “Down the stretch, we made some decisions that we haven’t made all year. We have to learn from those mistakes. We were very fortunate to win tonight.”

The first half was tight throughout with the score being tied at 22 at halftime. However, the Cougars turned up their play in the 3rd quarter. They started the quarter on a 13-0 run. During that stretch, they were able to grab five offensive rebounds which gave them many second-chance baskets. The Cougars also forced more steals and deflections on defense which helped them get the stops that they needed.
Eastern turned the game around in the 4th quarter. The Vikings started to heat up from three and the Cougars started to turn the ball over more on offense.

The ending of the game came with a lot of controversies. With the score being 46-44, Eastern missed a game-tying shot inside the paint as Jalen Holmes (‘22) grabbed the rebound and was fouled with a half second left. However, the Cherry Hill East students thought the game was over and stormed the court. Because of this, the referee gave East a technical foul.

Holmes got to shoot his free throws first but missed the front end of the 1-and-1 meaning that Eastern had an opportunity to tie the game with two made free throws. The Vikings made the first but missed the second. With there still being a half second on the clock, Eastern would get one final look but they couldn’t get the shot off as East would win.

Ej Matthews-Spratley (‘22) led the Cougars with a game-high 22 points. Holmes chipped in with nine points and 11 rebounds.
The Cougars will take on Cherokee on Friday at 4:00 in the South Jersey Group 4 semifinals. East swept the Chiefs in the regular season 2-0 with both of the games being convincing wins. The Cougars certainly did not play their best game, but they are confident that they can turn things around for Friday.