Nottingham boys remain undefeated; Hornet boys, Spartan girls also win

Javon Porter Hamilton West Basketball
Hamilton’s Javon Porter (3) and Richmond Sasha (2), shown during a game at Ewing earlier this year, combined for 21 points in the Hornets victory over Princeton Wednesday night (Photo by Michael A. Sabo)

By Rich Fisher

Jan. 3: It seems that, aside from some first-quarter scuffles, the Nottingham boys’ basketball team has played nearly the entire season with a double-digit lead.

That was the case again tonight, as the Northstars went up by 15 early in the second quarter and never let the advantage get below 12 en route to an 80-55 win over visiting Notre Dame. The streaking Northstars are now 6-0 as their winter Jo-Storm struck again.

Darell Johnson had another double-double with 31 points and 10 rebounds; Cliff Joseph collected 22 points and four rebounds and Richie Jones drained five 3-pointers for 15 points. Adding a fourth Jo to the list, Ku-Jane Johnson grabbed six rebounds while Kastro Montina, grabbed eight boards.

While some teams start to sleepwalk with a big lead (which Nottingham has only done once this year, against Hopewell), the Northstars know how to keep things comfortable.

“That comes from competing in practice,” Jones said. “We just transfer that into the game. Whether we have the lead or not, we have to keep the same intensity.”

Montina’s 100 miles-per-hour attitude helps; and so does Darell Johnson, whose consistency is rivaled only by the sun rising every day and setting every night.

“He’s just been playing phenomenal,” Jones said. “He’s been surprising us. He’s just gotten a lot more confidence than in previous years.”

Another reason for the Stars ability to keep a team down is its defense, a fact not lost on former Northstar Cartier Bowman.

“They have so many good scorers and they also pressure a lot,” Bowman said. “Today I was getting pressure. Even if Darell wasn’t on me, Cliff was on me. When they were out, Kastro was on me. They just put a lot of pressure on me. I still tried to do my best and try to get some scores.”

Bowman did a nice job, collecting 24 points and nine rebounds as he tries to lead a Notre Dame team that lost five transfers over the summer. After playing for Nottingham as a freshman, Cartier transferred to Immaculate Conception before going to Notre Dame last year.

Although this was his second time going against his old team, it was his first chance to go against them as Notre Dame’s main man.

“It was a tough one, it was just a hard game,” he said. “I really wanted this game bad because this is my old school from freshman year. They came out and fought hard. We tried to get some runs, but it really didn’t happen.”

It rarely does against Nottingham.

Hornets get balanced attack to top Princeton and get back to .500

Hamilton West handled visiting Princeton, 52-36, to even its record at 3-3.

Balance was the key for the Hornets, as Javon Porter led the way with 13 points, followed by Dane Riley (10), Tyler Beebe and Richmond Sasha (8 apiece) and Zahir Davis (7).

“We got a great team defensive effort,” coach Jay Malloy said. “And we finally got some free throw shooting.”

Spartan boys lose one-point heart-breaker to West Windsor-Plainsboro South

Steinert had a chance for its second win but could not put down a last-second shot as the Spartans fell to West Windsor-Plainsboro South, 46-45. Lamont Morrison led the way with 17 points while Mario Mazur added 15.

“We had a chance for us to have one and couldn’t connect,” said coach Kyle Flanagan, whose team fell to 1-5. “But we’re making strides, getting better each day.”

Wood paces Spartan girls past WW-P South; Northstars, Hornets fall

Steinert’s girls crept over .500 with its second straight win, a 63-31 triumph at West Windsor-Plainsboro South.

Crysten Wood led the Spartans (4-3) with 14 points, three steals and two assists, followed by Natalie Mehl (9), Leila Collazo and Tatiana Dorner (8 points, 5 steals apiece), Erika Golik and Alyssa Huth (7 apiece) and Alex Haley (6). Jayda Bing had five assists.

Nottingham (2-4) had its two-game win streak snapped in a 63-34 loss at Notre Dame. Patricia Penix had 13 points and Sara Haas added 10 points and hit three 3-pointers.

Hamilton only trailed by three at halftime but Princeton pulled away for a 42-15 victory to keep the Hornets winless.

About The Author

Rich Fisher has been around the Hamilton Township sports scene for so long that he actually got Rich Giallella’s autograph when Giallella was still a player! Proud product of Hamilton YMCA and Lou Gehrig baseball leagues and former teammate of Jim Maher on a very average Barton & Cooney rec basketball team, Fish graduated from Nottingham Junior High and Steinert High school and has covered township sports since 1980. His goal in life is to convince Maria Prato that Jersey tomatoes are at least 100 times better than California tomatoes.