Chiefs are state champs

By AUBRIE GEORGE | The Marlton Telegram

Before this year, the Cherokee High School boys’ basketball team had never won a state title. That all changed this March.

The Chiefs made it all the way through the tournament, beating other Lenape Regional district teams, Lenape and Shawnee, along the way. When the team finally got to Rutgers for the championship game against Plainfield High School, it was an exciting experience for everyone involved as they defeated their opponent with a final score of 52–38.

“In the fourth quarter we took control of the game,” Coach Ron Powell said. “It was exciting for everybody — it was exciting for the kids on the team, it was exciting for the coaches.”

Powell said the team received a huge amount of support from the Cherokee community during the game.

“We had a huge following,” he said. “A lot of our students were there. It looked like a sea of orange up there.”

With the state championship under their belt, the Chiefs finished the season with a 24–7 record.

Powell said getting through the state tournament to the championship game at Rutgers University is a challenge for any team.

Teams that make it to the two-week tournament play games every other day until they lose. In between games, teams practice and prepare for their next match up, he said.

“For the kids and even for the coaches, the tournament is kind of a grind and you really don’t get a chance to enjoy it for a very long time because the next day you have to prepare for somebody else,” Powell said.

Powell attributes this season’s success to a lot of hard work and a little bit of luck.

See this week’s print edition of The Telegram for the full story.