The School Newspaper of Cherry Hill High School East


The School Newspaper of Cherry Hill High School East


The School Newspaper of Cherry Hill High School East


East falls to Cherokee in Boys Varsity Basketball playoff game

Ethan Barroway (’25)
East Varsity Boys Basketball on the Cherokee court playing in the championship

On Wednesday, February 21, the Cherry Hill East Cougars Boys Varsity Basketball team faced the Cherokee Chiefs at Cherokee High School in a playoff matchup in the first round of the South Jersey Group 4 Sectional Tournament. The Cougars were knocked out of the playoffs by the Chiefs, losing 32-26 in a low-scoring meet to end the Cougars’ season, finishing with a record of 13-16.

Cherokee defeated East the two previous times that the schools met during the season. While Cherokee won these games, it was by less than five points each time, so the third matchup was poised to be an exciting one. East started the game off strong, up 7-6 after the first quarter and 14-12 at the half. However, the second half didn’t go as well for the Cougars, with East’s lead cut to just one point after three quarters, with Cherokee eventually taking and holding the lead in the fourth quarter. The Chiefs outscored the Cougars 12-5 in the final quarter to take the game by six points, with the Chiefs controlling the pace of the game as the clock ran out.

East was led by a balanced scoring attack with starting center Sebastian Perry (‘24) leading the way with seven points, five rebounds, and two blocks. Josh Davis (‘24) made two three pointers to finish with six points, while starting point guard Jacob Jones (‘25) scored five points, which included one three-pointer. To round out the scoring for the Cougars, Chris Delgado (‘26) finished with four points, while Chase Rovito (‘24) and Zach Mailman (‘24) chipped in two points each. Daniel Leonard (‘24) led the way for Cherokee with nine points, while Judd Holt (‘25) scored eight. While it was a close game the whole way, the Cougars were much stronger on the boards, out rebounding the Cougars 22-8. The Cougars made up for their lack of rebounding by having more assists, steals, and blocks than the Chiefs.

“Our effort was as good as it had been all season through the first three quarters. It was the best we had played against Cherokee all year,” said East Head Coach Dave Allen. “It just got a little away from us when they started hitting their shots and we didn’t.”

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Jones added, “We had really good pace in the first three quarters with great defense. If we finished strong we would have won the game.”

Cougar fans showed in large numbers at Cherokee High School, with just as many Cougar fans as Chiefs fans in the Cherokee gym for the game. While attendance has been lower this season for the East basketball team, this didn’t stop the many passionate Cougar fans to start up loud chants, giving the Cougar players an advantage over the quieter Cherokee faithful.

Student section at East v. Cherokee championship game (Ethan Barroway (’25))

While this was not how the Cougars wanted their season to end up, many players and coaches saw this loss and season as a whole, as a learning experience that they can build off of.

Starting guard Caleb Jackson (‘27) said, “We as a team learned a lot about ourselves throughout the season. I really think that we could have a really great program here at East over the next few years.”

Coach Allen especially praised the resilience the team showed over the course of the season, “There was a time in which we lost a stretch of seven straight games, but right after, won six out of the last eight to get to make the playoffs. We wouldn’t collapse the way most teams would after that bad stretch.”

Allen went on to say how the leadership of the team was very special, “While this was one of the most inexperienced teams that I have coached in terms of previous varsity playing time–as we started a freshman, sophomore, and a senior who was in his first year on varsity, our leadership was truly unbelievable. It goes back to our captains really, spreading a good culture on the team. Josh Davis has been one of the best captains I’ve ever had.”

While not as successful a year for the Boys Varsity basketball program as they had in the previous few years, the season was filled with memorable highlights, dramatic wins, and close losses. With such a young team, the potential for the Cougars in the coming years is very high, with lots more good to come for the supporters and players when the Cougars return to action next season.

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