Sports | Stars Rule the Galaxy: A Season of Firsts | Boys Basketball
By Bianca Bolt
Bianca Bolt produced this regular season video highlighting the state champion Northstar boys basketball team.
Photos by Wes Kirkpatrick
The boys basketball team defeated Moorestown High School to win the school's first-ever CJ III title.
Photos by Iliana Nyktas
Mercer County Tournament Champions 2018
Championship game slide show
The Nottingham High School boys varsity basketball team won the school's first-ever Central Jersey Group III Sectional Championship by defeating the #1 seeded Moorestown Quakers 59-56 in overtime.
In a thrilling finish to regulation time, senior Darell Johnson tipped in a pass from Cliff Joseph which tied the game to extend the season. The Northstars held off the Quakers in overtime, with Cliff Joseph sinking two free throws to put the game away.
The team recently celebrated Nottingham's first-ever victory in the Mercer County Tournament against Trenton Catholic Academy, and now they prepare for the state tournament. Northstar fans wait patiently to faithfully support their team and chant “One Team One Goal” in the stands.
Here's an in-depth look at the 2018 Mercer County Tournament champions:
The 2017 seniors, with a 23-6 record, led the Nottingham High School boys varsity basketball team to the championship against the Ewing Blue Devils. While there are star players missing from the team, it gave the opportunity to the Class of 2018 seniors the rise to the challenge of leading the Nottingham basketball team to the victory. The boys finished their regular season with a 21-2 record, and then they began to prepare for the MCT's.
Darell Johnson is an 18-year-old, 6’5 basketball player with over 1,000 points. He’s been playing basketball and practicing every day since he could throw a ball in a hoop. He plans on going to college and continuing basketball, and then playing professional basketball. This year he believes he scores more, rebounds better, and just changed his game overall. Martique Perry feels Darell “moved more into a scoring role.” He holds the record for the most rebounds in school history. Darell wants the team to end the year as State Champions. Lastly, he can’t waIt to see the younger players on varsity rise to the top and show off their skills next year.
Ku’Juane Johnson is 18 years old and 6’6. He plans on continuing basketball in college (maybe Rutgers). After college, he wants to go to the NBA or become a graphic artist. Johnson believes he contributes height, rebounds, and defense. By the end of the season he wants a ring. He, as well as Darell, can’t wait to come back and watch the younger players “cook on the court.”
Eli Willie is a hard working person and he never judges people before he gets to know them. Willie’s interest in basketball began in his second year of middle school when he went out to the park to play. He then joined Hamilton Police Athletic League (local organization for young children to take part in sports) and then later tried out for the high school basketball team. He wants to play basketball in college and major in occupational therapy. He tries to be more relaxed and control himself during games. Watching great players has helped him shape himself into the player he is today. Playing basketball has taught him teamwork and how to tolerate people he might not see eye to eye with.
Richard Jones, at 18, recently scored his 1,000th point and has worked hard to get to where he is. Working out all the time has helped him become a great player. He plans to continue his basketball career in college and make a living out of it one day. Jones has not only “improved on the court” but improved his grades and tries to be a good student as well. He feels he has matured quite a bit since freshman year. Richie has not only broken the Nottingham Record for most
3-pointers in a game, but he also tied the New Jersey State record for most 3-pointers in a game. He has recently broken Nottingham’s 10-year record of most 3 pointers in a season. Perry feels Richard Jones is very inspiring because he was initially criticized for being too small, but he proved that one does not have to be six feet tall to be a great basketball player. Antonio Brown says Jones raised to the top this year and motivates him to be a great player.
Cliff Joseph is 6’3 with over 1,500 points. He wants to play basketball in college and then proceed to the NBA. He feels that he is an overall better player since last year and he motivates his team. This year he attacks more, shoot better, and finishes better. He expects big things for the rest of the season. Brown stated he looks up to Joseph because he “motivates him and feeds him the ball on the court.”
Come support the Boy's Varsity Basketball team as they fight for the State Championship title!
UPDATE: On Friday, March 2 Nottingham beat North Burlington in the playoffs. In this game Richard Jones joined the 1,000 point club. On Thursday, March 8, the boys defeated the Delsea Crusaders by 7 points. On Sunday, March 11, they beat Chatham High School by 7 points.