Crucial night for Cavaliers

Feb. 07, 2014 @ 07:05 AM

The end of the regular season in near for high school basketball across the state, and that just means that every game is even more important. The final week of the season can seal or crush state playoff hopes and complicate conference standings.

For the East Rutherford boys and girls, the state playoffs seem to be well within reach, but Friday night’s games at Crest have huge South Mountain Athletic Conference (SMAC) implications.

The Lady Cavaliers (17-2, 12-1 SMAC) have won 16-straight games and hold a slim one-game lead over the Lady Chargers (16-3, 10-2 SMAC) in the conference standings.

East Rutherford hosted Crest on Jan. 7 and came away with an easy 74-39 win behind a 33-point night from Rachel Camp, but Crest has won all six of its game since that night.

The Cavalier varsity boys (15-5, 10-3 SMAC) are alone in second place in the SMAC, but Kings Mountain, East Burke and Crest all have just four conference loses. If East can defeat Crest (12-7, 8-4 SMAC) on Friday, they would seem to have the inside edge on the No. 2 seed in the conference tournament as they close the season against R-S Central and at Chase.

East Rutherford downed the Chargers, 71-64, on Jan. 7, but much like the Lady Chargers, the boys have played some of their best basketball since that loss. Crest has won five of its last six games with its only loss coming at conference-leading Shelby in a tight 71-67 contest.

The girls will get things started at Crest’s Ed Peeler Gymnasium Friday night at 6 p.m. with the boys set to follow at 7:30 p.m.