Sports

Keep Calm and Ball On

NIKHIL CHITRE, senior

A new year brings a new season of high school basketball as our focus shifts from the football fields of fall to the basketball courts of winter. Playing in the highly competitive White Division, seniors John Maxham and Sahej Chowdhary are hoping to march the Hawks through another prosperous season and capture a few tournament championships. Equipped with matching Dartmouth-green Nike shoes, the team strives to show its unity, both on and off the court. The boys have already played twenty-one regular season games, wearing their hearts on their sleeves and donning the traditional JP colors.

Despite several tough losses, including a head-to-head match against Monroe that was decided in the final thirty seconds, the boys have shown exactly why they deserve recognition. In a recent game, the Hawks defeated the Wardlaw-Hartridge Rams by a staggering score of 68–34. Contributing with 20 points, John Maxham led the Hawks, but it was still largely a collective team effort that helped snatch the victory and close down Wardlaw’s notable powerhouse, senior Justen Davis, who, coming into the game, was averaging 16.0 points and 16.2 rebounds per game. Although Davis scored his 1000th career point during the game, the Hawks spoiled the night by taking the victory. Also, contributing to the scoring were senior Sahej Chowdhary and sophomores Nick Dooley and Francois Ballou, each chipping in with 10 points. A commendable defensive effort from each player closed down Davis
and prevented him from putting up large numbers, thus comfortably sealing the win for the Hawks.

Looking forward to the rest of the season, Coach Jones is preparing his team for tough games in the upcoming weeks by focusing on conditioning the players, building their confidence, and strengthening team
dynamics. With practices and games held six days a week, even during the holiday break, the boys are more focused than ever. When asked about the team’s work ethic, Maxham replied, “We’re a team that will leave every ounce of ourselves on the court during each game. What we lack in athleticism, we make up for with hustle and hard work.” The team approaches its season’s end with a 4-17
record.

January 8 was the first of two Hawks versus Eagles showdowns. As large turnouts from both schools observed, Northside came up short 32–31 in what was a heartbreaking loss at home. But JP was determined to respond on January 31 in the Eagles’ house. In front of a passionate Stevens crowd anticipating revenge, Sahej’s late-game heroics powered the Hawks to win what was another nailbiter, 39-38. John Maxham lit up the floor with five three-pointers to add to his season
total, which is top-five in New Jersey. The eventful night proved the squad’s ability to compete on the big stage.

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