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New Offense, Balanced Approach Fuels Sixth-Grade Basketball Team

Team reels off seven wins in eight games after slow start to the season.

Contributed photo
Contributed photo
The following was contributed by the Chatham sixth grade B basketball team:

A new offense and a balanced attack has the Chatham sixth grade boys B travel basketball team red hot after a slow start against some of the league's elite.

Chatham started the season 1-4 after playing four of the top teams in the division from last year. The team, however, rebounded to win seven of its last eight games to improve to 8-5 last week in the Garden State Basketball League's National Division.

Assistant coach John Shehadi implemented a new offense that has helped fuel the run and has the team sitting in ninth place in the 22-team division.

"One of the advantages of playing all 11 boys every game is that we are able to stay fresh and maintain our intensity throughout the game," head coach Bo Fifer said. "While many of our opponents have shortened their bench to six or eight players in the second half, we have taken the approach that all of the boys learn and grow as ballers by sharing that fourth-quarter experience. On several occasions, being able to bring in fresh legs late in the game to keep the pressure high on our opponents—just as they begin to tire—has tipped the game in our favor."

The team has received balanced contributions from all of its players. Tyler Maloney, Nick Suter and Ethan Fifer have run the offense with patience and precision. Griffin Eckert, Nick Knezovic and Kyle McClintock patrol the perimeter while driving to the basket or sinking long-range jumpers. Chris Failla consistently penetrates opposing defenses before dishing to his teammates. And the quartet of Carson Lubrano, John Shehadi, Ben Krill and Kyle Kressler have platooned on the posts to grab rebounds, blocks and points in the paint.

In addition to GSBL play, the team has entered several tournaments. The next few weeks will bring a lot more basketball and even greater challenges.

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