HomeCinnaminson NewsPirates set new standard with turnaround basketball season

Pirates set new standard with turnaround basketball season

Cinnaminson boys basketball team have turn around season with 25-3 record. PHOTOS COURTESY OF CINNAMINSON BOYS BASKETBALL

Despite NJSIAA loss, boys’ team notched 25-3 record this year

The Cinnaminson High School boys basketball team finished with a 4-22 record in the 2019-’20 season, when it won just one game in Burlington County Scholastic League (BCSL) play.

It was a crushing blow to morale, and for incoming freshmen, a steep mountain to climb.

- Advertisement -

COVID didn’t make things much better in 2021-’22, so when the former freshmen entered their senior season at Cinnaminson in the fall, it was the last time they could make a statement at the high-school level.

What a statement it was: a record of 25-3, an 11-game improvement from the previous year – 22 more than the freshman season – and a berth at the NJSIAA South Jersey Group II tournament semifinals.

“We had a stretch at the end of last season where we won nine of our last 13 games, plus with some new people coming in and our existing roster, I felt confident,” said coach Mike Fries.

“Our division was tough, playing teams like Pemberton, Bordentown, Gloucester City, and going undefeated in the division and picking up some extra games, it really made us comfortable going into the tournament.”

Despite a loss there, it was quite a season for Cinnaminson High basketball across the board, with both the boys and girls teams going deep into the NJSIAA tournament and setting program records along the way.

On the male side, the Pirates showed a level of experience and depth that hadn’t been seen in recent years, even with four of its top five scorers being juniors or younger.

Forward/guard Joel Blamon was the lone senior in that conversation and the second-leading scorer for Cinnaminson, with 13.8 points per each of 28 games.

“Winning 16 games in a row at one point, going undefeated in the division, beating a bunch of teams by 30 plus points, it was an amazing season for Cinnaminson,” Fries recalled. “One of the best in school history.”

Sophomore Noah Harvey was the catalyst at the top of the key and the team’s leading scorer for a second straight season, finishing with a career-high 14.8 points per game. He and his twin, Drew, were two of the three top scorers for the Pirates this year, and brought both maturity and swagger to the floor, along with the veteran leadership of Blamon down low.

“There’s a lot of great things to look back on from this season,” Noah said. “I feel like, as a team, we really held high expectations for the season, and I think we definitely met and exceeded those as much as possible …

“Experience helped me out, and that obviously showed this year,” he added. “I took it upon myself to put in the work. I just wanted to help out and do the best that I can.”

Noah’s best amounted to five, 20-point games, with an average of nearly 2.5 three-pointers in each. Playing with added confidence and more experience was the difference for him and his teammates, who had a close bond this season.

Cinnaminson was playing for itself. But performing for the school and the BCSL as a whole demonstrated what the league was made of and what the Pirates had in store. Their success was no fluke.

“I think even before the season, we knew we had something special,” Noah recalled. “In the fall, we would set plans to meet up at a park and go over some of the plays with the new guys that were coming in …

“From day one, it was just hard work.”

Coming up short at the NJSIAA semifinals wasn’t expected; Cinnaminson lost to a tough Middle Township team by 27 points.

The loss was both heartbreaking and motivating for the Pirates, who want to repeat as division champions and take a South Jersey Group II championship home.

“The next few years, we should be very competitive,” Fries noted. “The guys who are returning, they know what they have to do to get where we were last year.”

Previous articlePalmyra Calendar
Next articleNo ‘one size fits all’

Stay Connected

- Advertisment -

Current Issue