The seniors seized the moment.
Marc Schlessel scored 30 and Jake Gurkin collected 18 points and 14 rebounds as Cherry Hill East overwhelmed Cherry Hill West, 74-48, today in the opening round of the SJ 4 tournament.
It was a dominanting performance for CHE (19-8), the No. 2 seed, before a large crowd that included two chanting student sections from each school.
But CHW's fans didn't have much to cheer.
CHE advances to face the winner of Tuesday night's game between TR North and TR South in Thursday's second round.
It was a team effort for the Cougars as sophomore guard Hank Davis scored 14, making four three-pointers, and junior forward Gary Hettinger collected eight rebounds with three assists.
CHE senior guard Jesse Gold led an aggressive defensive effort that seemed to frustrate CHW guards Marquis Goodman (7 points) and Rodney Williams (13 points).
Schlessel scored 10 and Davis made three, three-pointers as CHE broke to a 21-7 lead after one quarter.
Questionable shot selection doomed any chance CHW had of a comeback. CHE was up 30-20 at halftime and Schlessel scored eight in the third quarter as the Cougars stretched their advantage to 47-30.
"Our defense made the difference," Schlessel said.
-- Phil Anastasia