BY MATTHEW MANGAM
The boys basketball team will face rival East Brunswick on the road to start its season tomorrow. Last time the Knights faced the Bears, they lost by just two points at home.
The Knights finished with a 4-8 record last season and look to improve this year. “Coach has made it clear this year that he expects us to have the best record in the red division, and he expects us to leave everything we have out on the court,” said junior Ryan Witte, the team’s leading three-point shooter from last year.
The players have worked hard to make Coach Macomber’s vision a reality. Senior Arnesh Bhadauriya says, “Our team has been preparing for the upcoming season for months by lifting weights and playing a lot of basketball in practices and tournaments.”
Top returning scorer, senior Jayden St. Rose put in work on specific aspects of his game to help the team this year. “I focused more on ball handling against pressure. I also worked on improving my shooting technique,” said St. Rose, who contributed 92 points, second on the squad last season.
According to senior Miles Sala, who netted 10 three-pointers last year, the team wants to create a positive culture this season. “Having a unified team that expresses great energy, companionship, and leadership is what we strive for,” said Sala.
St. Rose agrees that bringing a higher energy level and better chemistry will help the team this year. “Last year’s team had more height, but we didn’t come out with energy, so we lost to teams we shouldn’t have. This year we have a strong foundation because the same people have been playing together since the summer,” said St. Rose.
Last year’s team fell to a tough Metuchen team in the GMC Haley Family Pod Tournament after beating Middlesex 62-60 to advance to the final round, but they hope to do better this year, the last for the four returning seniors, Miles Sala, Bhadauriya, Nate Johnson, and Jayden St. Rose. “I want to get far this year. It’s my last season,” explained St. Rose.
The future looks bright for this season and beyond as the team has added some promising freshmen, including Krish Patel, who is stepping right into the starting lineup in his first high school game tomorrow night. “I’m excited to play on the varsity team especially as a freshman. I hope we have a big opening night,” says Patel.
Everyone is excited to get back on the court. McCann says, “We are looking forward to playing in front of our awesome fans and winning games.” Come out and support the team tomorrow night just down the road in East Brunswick at 6pm.
Photos by Madison Benner