by TIMMY JOSEPH Staff Writer
The MTHS boys varsity basketball team had a heartbreaking ending to the 2014 season against the Spotswood High School Chargers on Wednesday, February 26, losing 55-47, and against Nottingham on Thursday, February 27, losing 63-43.
The Falcons, led by head coach Mr. Nick Puleio, now head into the Group IV playoffs as the 14th seed. They had an average season this year, with an 12-12 record in regular season competition.
Coach Pulieo was disappointed in his team’s performance on Wednesday, saying, “We should’ve won. It was a great effort, but we need to close out at the end of games.”
The varsity team had a plethora of stars this year including seniors Chris Germano, Tyler Utheim, Jahir Davis, and Matt Ballman. However, this star-studded team could not pull out a win against the Chargers.
Ballman was frustrated at another loss, saying, “It’s frustrating. To put in so much work everyday, and then to lose again…it’s just frustrating.”
Ballman was player of the game at Senior Night on February 11, when the Falcons defeated the North Brunswick Zebras 75-51 at home.
Although they lost another regular season game, they still have a chance to redeem themselves by upsetting the third seeded Sayreville Bombers in the first round of the Central Jersey Group IV playoffs.
Germano, who was also down about the loss, said, “No one likes losing. It’s even worse when you lose against your rivals in their gym when you know your better.”
Germano’s attitude echoes throughout the entire locker room as the team as a whole believes that they should have pulled that game out of Spotswood.
For seniors, this was their last regular season game, and they wanted to come up with a win and finish strong. However, they can still look forward to the state playoffs on March 4 at 7pm at home. As for the juniors such as Tyler Salzer and Matt Cocorikis, who made a game-winning shot against Edison, they will have another season here at MTHS, but want to go as far as they can this year.
The varsity Falcons were well-matched against a 16-4 Spotswood Chargers team from the Group II division. The Chargers avenged their loss last year to the Falcons in what was another close game.
The game was played at Spotswood High School gym at 6:00 pm in front of a packed house full of Monroe and Spotswood fans. However, this time it was Chargers supporters that got the last laugh.
Will you come out and support the boys basketball team tonight?