South Hunterdon

Eagles triumph over Jaguars

By James Evans

In a game that was over in the first quarter, the South Hunterdon Eagles (5-1) prevailed over the Somerset Tech Jaguars (1-3), 62-10, on Saturday. A first-quarter margin of 20-0 was what exemplified the Eagles’ dominance in the contest, which also gave the younger talent a good look.

Resting senior Jake Whitaker, South played many of its juniors in the contest, with D’Andre Acosta and Tyler Frazee scoring nine points apiece and Clay Hope adding 10 points and eight rebounds. Hope, who was the closest Eagle this year to a double-double, was frustrated he did not play much in the second half to net the achievement. Hope jokingly said that he “blamed (coach Jason) Miller for not letting (him) go in and get the final two boards,” but that he plans to “go out there over the next couple of games and reach that mark.”

After taking a 41-3 halftime lead, Acosta was asked how difficult it was to stay focused in a game like this: “I try not to focus on the scoreboard and just go out and play ball, stay on defense and just go do my best.” And his best he did, as he played some of his finest varsity minutes this season, coming up with five steals and four assists.

However, there were still some struggles for the Eagles even in a blowout like this. Juniors Myles Johnson and Myles Mosby combined to shoot 0-for-10 from the floor in nearly three quarters of play. Limited in playing time, fellow junior Josh Phillips was scoreless for the second time in the past three games.

Other players of note were leading scorer and senior John Conlon, who had 11 points, and junior Elijah Davis, who was a mere two assists away from having five in four separate categories (five points, five rebounds, five steals).

The going will not be as easy for the Eagles on Tuesday night as they continue on the road, taking on the Del Val Terriers, where Whitaker is expected back. The Eagles are undefeated when Whitaker plays this season, and he hopes to contribute to his team’s winning ways against the Terriers who are winless this season (0-3).

Eagles bounce back against Voorhees

By James Evans

Junior Josh Phillips had 20 points and four assists, as the South Hunterdon Eagles (4-1) rebounded to claim a 67-52 win over the Voorhees Vikings on Monday night at home. Along with fellow junior Brennan Carey (11 points, seven rebounds, three assists), Phillips kept South out in front for much of the game.

Getting out to a fast start in the first half, the Eagles led at halftime by a 37-27 margin, spearheaded by Phillips’ 4-for-4 effort from three-point range and senior John Conlon’s six rebounds. Finishing the game with five points and seven boards, Conlon played some of his finest basketball of the season, as he excelled on both ends of the court. When asked about his performance, Conlon said, “We knew it was a comeback game going in. Having to take a tough loss like that at home (against New Hope-Solebury) was rough for us to take. Everybody knew that we had to come out and play, and we did just that.”

Also with seven rebounds was senior Devon Troutman, who had 10 points in the victory over the Vikings, who were coached by a South Hunterdon graduate, Sparkey Nanni. In regards to coming back to his alma mater, Nanni said, “It’s always great to come back and play in this exciting environment.” With the music, the cheers and the player chatter, it certainly was an “exciting environment” in a game that South Hunterdon truly needed.

The win for South Hunterdon moved them to 1-1 with the absence of senior guard Jake Whitaker. With a few days off until their next game, Whitaker is expected to start to work back into practice and might be ready to go Jan. 7 against Delaware Valley. In the meantime, South has a few days off until they take on the Somerset Tech Jaguars (1-2) on Saturday at 3 p.m. It will be the Eagles’ first game on the road this season.

Eagles prevail in bloodbath

By James Evans

In a tightly officiated and tough physical boys’ basketball game, South Hunterdon prevailed over Pingry, 51-35, Monday night in Mount Airy. In a game that was dominated by tough fouls and injuries, the Eagles were led by Jake Whitaker’s 16 points.

South Hunterdon struggled early in the contest, able to muster only six points in the first quarter. Yet what may have been an early disaster was mitigated by Pingry scoring only eight in the game’s opening quarter. “The under was a good option tonight,” South assistant coach Frank Schermerhorn joked after the buzzer sounded. This was due in part to the physical style of basketball and the closely called game. Senior center John Conlon said the “physical style of basketball was expected and practiced for.” It was just “something (he) had to do for the team.”

However, the tables would start to turn in the second quarter, as Pingry lost two key players in its already thin line-up. Bringing only one guard into the game, Pingry lost senior Max Helfman to a tweaked ankle. He, along with Tom Foreman, who went down with a bloody chin, would miss key minutes in the third quarter. That was when South’s coach, Jason Miller, said, “It was time for us to go. It was time for us to blitz fearlessly.”

And blitz they did as South played excellent basketball in the third quarter, absolutely dominating the Pingry reserves for all eight minutes. The Eagles limited the Big Blue to a single field goal, while outscoring them, 21-3. Whitaker took off in the quarter, looking to get into his first real rhythm of his senior season. When asked about his great performance, Whitaker remarked on his “rough first half,” but how he “got into a great rhythm in the second.”

In the fourth quarter, the Eagles were able to give their end-of-the-rotation players some quality minutes, with junior Myles Johnson looking strong off the dribble and fellow junior D’Andre Acosta looking good in the paint, as South was able to coast to an easy victory.

South’s boys have a few days off until the holiday tournament begins this Friday at home against Riverside; however, the gymnasium will not be quiet until then. South Hunterdon is having its first Alumni Game this Thursday night, with various returning students coming back to play against each other in a spirited holiday contest.

Eagles take possession of cup

South Hunterdon girls’ soccer won the first River Cup game at Solebury School, 2-0, on Saturday evening. Senior Lauren Wendeborn, the Eagles’ leading scorer, netted a goal in the 38th minute and assisted on freshman Cady Trelstad’s tally in the 57th minute. South Hunterdon attempted 17 shots. Of those, nine were stopped by Spartans senior goalkeeper Tavorsia Talley. Eagles senior ’keeper Megan Donnelly had four saves.

Spartans retain River Cup

Solebury School boys’ soccer held on to nip visiting South Hunterdon, 3-2, Saturday night in the second annual River Cup game. The Spartans went up, 3-0, behind two Cornelius de Weever tallies and a Matt Ludak score. Macio Sexton, Matt Keefe and Ludak had the assists. The Eagles scored both of their goals late. Sophomore captain Jacob Von Giebel found freshman Eric Huesca in the 73rd minute and five minutes later, Von Giebel poked in a feed from junior Brandon Panetta to cut the lead to one. Solebury outshot South Hunterdon, 17-12. Dakota Morrow and Sam Benson managed seven and two saves, respectively, for the Spartans. Robert Tomenchock had 10 stops for the Eagles.

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