Chris Raba attempts to head to the basket against Robbinsville. Photo by Michael A. Sabo.
By Rich Fisher
Dec. 20: It was a rough opening night for the Nottingham High boys’ basketball team on the offensive end of the floor, as the Northstars dropped a 52-41 decision to visiting Robbinsville tonight.
Nottingham shot just 15-for-44 from the field, missed a plethora of 3-pointers and committed 25 turnovers against an aggressive Ravens team. Defensively, Nottingham forced 20 turnovers but never had an answer for 6-foot-4 junior Ryan Smith, who had 23 points and 13 rebounds.
Junior guard Brandon Raba had just one basket after averaging 12.5 points last year, but could be excused for an off night as he was playing after just losing his grandfather to a lengthy illness. Javon Jenkins led the Stars with 13 points, including nine in the fourth quarter when they tried to make a comeback, only to be thwarted when Robbinsville responded to two separate threats.
“These guys work hard on defense,” Robbinsville coach Conor Hayes said. “We scrimmaged three teams that were in the state playoffs last year, 19, 14 and 17 win teams and this is the first time we gave up over 29 points. We’re obviously being really aggressive on the defensive end. (Raba’s) a great player, they have a lot of great players. We were fortunate tonight to execute on the defensive end.”
Marc “Tre” Kauffman did a strong job on the boards with 10 rebounds, while Raba grabbed seven.
Nottingham is right back in action Saturday when it travels to North Hunterdon for a 1 p.m. tip-off.