NUTLEY, NJ — Now that the very unusual and truncated 2021 basketball season has come to an end, Nutley High head coach Bob Harbison came to a simple conclusion.
"I'm glad we played," said Harbison. "I would've liked it better to not have the two-week break that delayed the start of the season, but in the end it was good to be able to take to get out there and play."
The high school basketball season that usually begins in mid-December was postponed to late-January because of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic. Nutley's season was paused for another two weeks as the Maroon Raiders adhered to quarantine procedures.
Nutley (4-7) finished its season as it came up just short in a 52-51 loss at West Caldwell Tech on Friday, March 5.
West Caldwell Tech (12-2), held a 44-34 lead after three quarters but Nutley battled back in the fourth using a 17-8 showing to cut its final deficit to one point.
In his final game, senior guard Justin Edert had a season-high 30 points, including eight 3-pointers to lead all scorers.
"I'm happy for Justin," said Harbison. "I knew he had a chance to have a big game like that. We had lost to them (67-49 on March 1) at home, so we definitely improved."
Nutley's final victory of the season came in a 58-27 decision over Technology on March 4 in Newark.
Nick Schroeder led the way for the Maroon Raiders with a game-high 18 points with Edert adding 13 points and Jordan Greene and Jake O'Connor each adding nine points.
"We were not really 'basketball ready' when the season started and were inconsistent," Harbison said. "But we got better as we went on and finished up strong."
Schroeder, a junior guard, led Nutley in scoring with a a 12.1 scoring average. He was followed by Edert (10.7 ppg.), Matthew Harbison (8.5 ppg.), Greene (6.2 ppg.) and O'Connor (5.1 ppg.).
Greene is a senior while Harbison and O'Connor are juniors.
The remainder of the Nutley roster includes senior Ibrahim Elnaggar, juniors Jake Cirminello, Frank Contella, Matt Pergola, Sahat Rahman, Peter Riad and Karam Youseff and sophomores Donte Dubose-Carter and Anthony Pinal.
"This season wasn't easy for anybody and everybody was in a similar boat," said Harbison, who just concluded his 22nd season at the helm. "We have a lot of players coming back, and I'm excited about next season."
Nutley Girls Basketball
The Lady Maroon Raiders concluded their 2021 campaign with a 40-24 loss at Cedar Grove on Saturday afternoon.
Cedar Grove finished its season with a perfect 14-0 record. Nutley, which received a team-high 12 points from Liana Minichini, ended is year with a 2-10 mark.
Minichini, a sophomore, led Nutley with a 6.8 ppg. scoring average with junior Mackenzie Albert averaging 6.1 points.
Juniors Alex Twomey, Nicole Cicchetti and Stephanie Lumberto, sophomore Megan Riccardi and freshmen Mina Shaw, Riley Sebastiano, Morgan Dolaghan and Anna Green round out the Lady Maroon Raider roster for head coach Larry Mitschow.