At the beginning of the season I did a preview on ECIC IV and how each team would stack up this season. Since we are nearing the half way point of the high school basketball season, we’ll take a look at how each team is doing:
Cleveland Hill (8-3 overall, 4-0 in ECIC IV)
No surprise the Golden Eagles are on top in ECIC IV. After starting the season off 1-2, Cleveland Hill has regained their confidence and are looking to sweep the division. The Eagles currently have three players with 100+ points. Seniors Anthony Sullivan, 121 (12.1 PPG in 10 games, and Jermaine Hairston, 116 (11.6 PPG in 10 games) lead Cleve Hill, while junior Daytwon Burney has 100 points (9.1 PPG in 11 games). The Eagles have yet to face Holland and Tonawanda. If I were to choose the team that may give Cleve Hill their first loss inside ECIC IV, I’d have to choose between Lackawanna, who lost 58-50 on December 16th. The other team that could give Cleveland Hill their first loss is JFK, who lost 56-49 on January 13th. Those two teams have seemed to compete with the athletic ability of Cleveland Hill better than any team yet and could make the games at their gyms very close.
Lackawanna (3-5 overall, 3-1 in ECIC IV)
The Steelers who started the season off 0-4, has gotten on a hot streak winning 3 out of their last 4 games. Lackawanna, like Cleveland Hill are filled with athletic talent and are a very fast and physical team. Senior Larry Fields leads the Steelers in points, 100, in 8 games (12.5 PPG), while guards Jeremiah Jones, 84 points in 6 games (14.0 PPG), and Darius Cleveland, 86 points in 8 games (10.8 PPG), are the cream of the crop for the Steelers. Except the first game for the Steelers against, St. Francis, in which they lost 61-49, the Steelers have lost by a total of 14 points. The past two games, vs. Tonawanda and Eden have shown how well they can play as a team, as they’ve outscored their opponents by a total score of 137-72. This team is getting better as the season progresses and that’s a very good thing.
JFK (5-4 overall, 3-2 in ECIC IV)
JFK has been a streaky team when it comes to their wins and losses. They’ve been over .500 four times this season already, but their upcoming schedule looks quite promising that they could be there for some time. The Bears have been relying heavily on senior forward Joe Braniecki to get points as he currently has 172 points in the team’s 9 games, (19.1 PPG), Cale Byczkowski is the second highest scorer on the team, who currently averages 8.2 points in 8 games (66 points). The team is quite athletic and can get up and down the floor quickly, which is one of many positives this team possesses. Ironically, the Bears’ losses have been by either 6 or 7 point margins. Those losses have come against West Seneca East, Lackawanna, Olmsted, and Cleveland Hill.
Holland (3-6 overall, 2-2 in ECIC IV)
Holland started the year off on a 5 game losing streak, but have now won their 3 out of their last 4 games. One key thing with the Dutchmen to consider is point guard J.R. Kline has quit the team. At first, this was not a good thing for the southern-most team in ECIC IV, but they have relied on the duties of 1,000 point scorer, Clay Lewis to get the job done. Lewis currently averages 20.5 points a game (164 points in 8 games), while the player with the second most points is forward EJ Staniszewski, 43 points in 8 games (5.4 PPG). If team’s can eliminate Lewis’s presence on the court, teams will be successful.
Tonawanda (6-5 overall, 2-2 in ECIC IV)
The Warriors are a lot better of a team than their record both overall and in their division dictates. Senior guard Tristan Boling leads ECIC IV with points per game with 22.6 (226 points in 10 games). Boling is a dynamic guard who is able to bring the ball up, while he can shoot the lights out. The one negative with Tonawanda is that their forwards aren’t really responsible for points inside the paint. Lorenz Jefferson leads the team in points for forwards with 75 (7.5 PPG in 10 games). It would not surprise me if this team upsets either Lackawanna or Cleveland Hill towards the end of the year.
Alden (2-8 overall, 1-3 in ECIC IV)
There have been three players on the Bulldogs that have helped their team come close to decent opponents. Freshman guard Christian Snell leads the team in points, 106 in all of the team’s games (10.6 points per game average), while senior Austin Zelasko is right behind him with 99 (9.9 PPG) and junior Jordan Stockweather has 98 (9.8 PPG). Their non-league losses have all been blowouts, except when they lost to Akron, 52-50, and Royalton-Hartland, 51-48. Their lone non-league win came against Riverside, 58-53.
Eden (2-7 overall, 0-5 in ECIC IV)
Eden has been relying on Louis Bartus most of the time to get their points, but they haven’t been able to muster that many of them. Through their nine games, the team is averaging only 39 points a game. They need to be getting more than that to be able to compete with the teams in ECIC IV. Stats are not available for Eden, but when seeing them play, they need to be able to reduce the turnovers and shoot the ball more effectively. There is definitely potential there for the Raiders, but they need to be able to dig deep for that potential and practice effectively to get there.
BEFORE SEASON PREDICTION
- Cleveland Hill
MID SEASON PREDICTION
- Cleveland Hill
Marshall Haim ~ mhaim1934