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Colonia Boys’ Basketball starts the season off strong

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Colonia Boys’ Basketball starts the season off strong

Seen here are the 2018-2019 Colonia basketball senior players prior to their opening night game.

Seen here are the 2018-2019 Colonia basketball senior players prior to their opening night game.

Photo Credit: Photo via Colonia Boys Basketball Twitter under Creative Commons License

Seen here are the 2018-2019 Colonia basketball senior players prior to their opening night game.

Photo Credit: Photo via Colonia Boys Basketball Twitter under Creative Commons License

Photo Credit: Photo via Colonia Boys Basketball Twitter under Creative Commons License

Seen here are the 2018-2019 Colonia basketball senior players prior to their opening night game.

By: Zachary Kaye, Fall Reporter

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On Friday, December 14, the Colonia boys’ basketball team was able to travel to face Scotch Plains-Fanwood and pick up a win in pretty dominating fashion.

The Patriots came out hot, and took a 19-2 lead in the first quarter. Everything was going right for Colonia, but Scotch Plains never gave up. The Raiders were able to make the game competitive in the second half. Although they did not have the lead a single time, they were able to cut it down to ten at one point.

The Raiders are coming off a very successful 2017-2018 campaign. They were able to go 22-6, and get a two seed in the state tournament. They were upset by seven seed Phillipsburg, and just like that their season was over. On the other hand, last year, Colonia had an average regular season but an exceptional playoffs. Both teams picked up right where they left off. Colonia was able to keep their playoff momentum going and Scotch Plains-Fanwood continued to struggle.

Chad Baker was able to get off to a hot start for Colonia. He was dominant in the first half and the only thing that brought him to a stop was an ankle injury. This injury put Baker out for the game, which was a huge loss for the Patriots. Also, Baker brought the excitement for the Patriots with a second quarter put-back dunk all over a defender. Baker should be back from his injury and will return to embarrassing defenders soon. Prior to the injury, Baker scored 15 points for the Patriots.

When Baker went down with an injury, senior guard, Luke Valeriano, really took over. The three year starter did a little bit of everything. He was able to finish the game with 24 points, six rebounds, five assists, three steals, and two blocks.

This Colonia team lost a few key seniors from last year. However, during their first game of the year, you would never have noticed. Chris Sica, center for the Patriots said, “The game felt pretty good. Even though there are a lot of new starters, we have all been playing together for the past couple of years.” This team might lack a little bit in the category of varsity experience, but it definitely makes up for this with the bond these guys have from previous years. Sica continued by saying, “I think we are close to where we want to be, but there is always room for improvement. We have to find a way to get better each and every day.”

Along with having some new guys getting minutes, Colonia also has a brand new head coach. Valeriano said, “It’s a little different from Coach Hall’s style. Playing with coach Rodriguez in the fall league, and through practice, we have been able to develop a solid connection.” This game is just the start for Rodriguez’s Colonia coaching career. His plays were working very well and he was extremely confident on the sideline. Seeing a new coach be such a great leader is a great sign for the future. Colonia fans should definitely be looking forward to the rest of his span as the head coach.

On the Scotch Plains side, junior Jayson Williams led the Raiders with 16 points and junior Justin Guy scored 8 points against the Patriots.

Colonia faces off against Edison High School next. This game, on Tuesday, December 18, is the first division game for Colonia. On the other hand, Edison already has a division loss, losing its first game to Sayreville.

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About the Writer
Zachary Kaye, Fall Reporter

Zachary Kaye is a 17 year old Senior at Colonia High School, with his birthday on September 30. He plays football for the school and is a captain of the...

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Colonia Boys’ Basketball starts the season off strong