Red Devils basketball closes season with final loss at home against Lenape

The Varsity Boys team faced a worthy opponent in the final home game of the season

Alexandra Hascek, Sports Writer

The Red Devils Varsity basketball game on February 11 between Rancocas Valley and Lenape proved to be an exciting and close game, ending 61-65 with a win by Lenape. 

Leading up to the game, both teams looked towards a competitive match. With RV coming in with a record of 13-8, and Lenape with a record of 16-6, the two teams were relatively evenly matched. However, Lenape had gained momentum as they were coming onto the courts with a three-game winning streak. 

The game started off slowly, with neither team able to score any points until 8 minutes and 42 seconds passed in the first quarter. The RV boys were able to secure the first few points, beginning with a three pointer made by #5, Montre Wilson. The stands were roaring with excitement and the first points provided momentum for the game to swing into action.

Shortly after, a loose ball on the ground was grabbed and passed to the center, leaving #20, Jake Simkins on the Lenape team to make a clean shot. With under two minutes left in the first quarter, the crowd was screaming in support as #34 evaded the RV defense with a spin move to make a quick two pointer. In retaliation RV’s player #11, Jack Orednac, was able to bring back the score with a three point shot. The final minute went by in a blur, as both teams made multiple shots in such a short amount of time. The first quarter ended with a buzzer beater by Lenape player #20, leaving the score at 12-15. 

The second quarter moved quickly. RV started with the ball and didn’t waste any time, almost immediately making a quick layup. Many shots were made by both teams throughout the quarter. However, Lenape managed to pull further ahead, leading with a score of 25-38 by half time. 

During the third quarter, both the spectators and teams seemed to settle down and into place, getting into their grooves. The RV’s subs on the sidelines continued to stay very positive, giving the players motivation to play even harder. Halfway through the third quarter, an injury on Lenape’s team seemed to stir up the once calm emotions. Lots of tension was built up during this, leaving refs blowing many loud whistles to settle down both the team and the crowd, with the game having to even be stopped after a spectator became too loud. 

Shortly after this was the true turning point of the game, where RV worked together as a team and played a very strong game. You could tell a clear change in the demeanor of the team, as the Red Devils looked hungry for a win. However, this quarter ended with Lenape still in the lead with a score of 38-54.

Towards the end of the fourth quarter, with three minutes left in the game, RV continued to even out the score. The ball was being thrown between both sides of the court, each team ready to score and pull ahead. At this point, RV was only down by a few points with a score of 56-61, and it seemed promising that the Red Devils could come out on top. 

With 30 seconds left, a time-out was called, and both teams visibly excited and hyped up. 

However, with 20 seconds left, this excitement turned to anxiety. Lenape was trying to keep RV down, and RV was working their hardest to come back. 

With 17 seconds left, another timeout was called, showing how close the game is even down to the last seconds. 

In the end however, the Red Devils did not have enough time to pull it off. Although a tough game was fought, Lenape ended with the win in a final score of 61-65, continuing a now four game winning streak.

When asked about any challenges the team looks forward to overcome, head coach Jay Flanagan says with their new conference comes the opportunity to grow as a team.

“Competing in the best conference in South Jersey is a challenge with all the bigger schools [like] Cherokee and Lenape and Cherry Hill East,” he said. “So that’s definitely a challenge. We play a much stronger schedule so those are challenges we are going to half to fight if we’re going to be a good team.” 

Looking at the end of the winter season, the boys will continue on to play against Central Regional for the first round of the South Jersey Group 4 NJSIAA Tournament.