Girls basketball wins a thriller against Northern Burlington to open up the season


Sophie Levine ('19)

The East Girls Basketball players huddle before the game.

The Cherry Hill East Cougars girls basketball team opened up their season with a 48-47 thriller against the Northern Burlington High School Greyhounds. Northern Burlington’s Brianna Sorrento (‘19) led all scorers with 24 points. Maggie Balderstone (‘20) led the Cougars with 18 points. Maya Drayton (‘19) had 14 points and Erica Brunson (‘19) contributed 10 points for the Cougars.

Northern Burlington seemed to have a distinct height advantage, which they were able to use to exploit the Cougars defense. However, their height would not be enough, as the Cougars controlled the opening tip. Balderstone opened up the scoring with a straightaway three-pointer. In fact, Balderstone was on fire in the first quarter, going three for three from beyond the arc. She would end up finishing the game six of seven from deep; it seemed like she was never going to miss.

East opened up the game on a 12-2 run. The run was highlighted by Brunson making two clutch shots, Drayton making a layup, Daniella Schreiber (‘19) letting one fly from beyond the arc and Emma Wolf (‘20) hitting a two-pointer. The Cougars were hot going into the second quarter, holding a comfortable 20-9 lead.

In the second quarter, the Cougars seemed to cool down a bit, as the Greyhounds opened up the quarter on a 7-0 run. However, Drayton was able to halt the run after a clutch steal and layup. Sorrento heated up this quarter, scoring 10 of her 24 points. She sparked a mini comeback by the Greyhounds, but the Cougars went into halftime with a 34-25 lead.

The third quarter was all Northern Burlington. They opened up the scoring and continued to make runs. East did not score a basket until 3:51 was left in the quarter. During that time, the Greyhounds caught up to the Cougars, with the score 34-31 Cougars. Balderstone hit her sixth three of the evening, which jumpstarted the Cougars to finishing the quarter off strong. At the end of three, the Cougars led 40-34.

The Greyhounds opened up the fourth quarter on a 6-0 run, tying the contest at 40. Sorrento again made a clutch three with about six minutes left in the quarter, making the score 43-40 Greyhounds. However, as time went on, the Cougars did not quit. Drayton hit a reverse layup to steal the lead back for the Cougars. The crowd went crazy because the Cougars were now leading 44-43. Spot-on free-throw shooting by Brunson and Drayton iced the game for the Cougars. As the clock hit zero, the Greyhounds made a layup, but it was not enough to win. The Greyhounds fans thought shooter Haylei Archer (‘20) got fouled, but the referees did not call it, and the Cougars won 48-47 in a thriller.

The girls will continue their season on 12/15 in the Haddonfield Invitational Tournament.