Tough offensive start for Nottingham boys basketball team

chris rabba nottingham basketball
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. 

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.