February CHS Sports Review


Sophomore Jordan Chapman flips an ill-advised challenger as onlookers experience emotions previously unknown. 

Dylan Falk, Writer

The boys basketball team concluded their season recently, finishing a tribulated 5-19. They began their season with a win, but repetition’s chances were slim after that, falling to 1-10 at the start of January. Victory returned with a three-game win streak until being toppled again, finishing out the season 1-8. The team also suffered a loss in the Union County Tournament’s preliminary round to heavy handed Roselle. Leading the team in points and assists was junior Nick Amitie, averaging 18 and 6, respectively. Junior Chase Teel saw his first minutes at the varsity level this year and clearly made the most of it, averaging 6 points and 9 rebounds, leading the team in the latter. 

Girls basketball put a few more wins on the board than their counterparts, but struggled through a similar rocky start, posting a 1-8 record for the month of December. January, however, proved to be their month, winning 9 out of 11 games, bolstered by a five game win streak to cap off the month. Unfortunately, the Cougars found defeat at the hands of Elizabeth in the Union County Quarterfinals. Their subsequent appearance in the North 2 Group 3 NJSIAA Tournament proved to be more of the same, losing to 7-seed Warren Hills (Cranford was the 10-seed). The girls finished with a 12-13 record, 6-6 in their division. Sophomore Bella Curanovic was the team’s leader in points with 302 (12 per game) and rebounds with 151 (6 per game). Good for first on the team, junior Kristina Lowe averaged 3 assists. 

Both basketball teams will look to improve upon their 2022-23 seasons next year, especially with an extra year of development for the younger members of the programs. 

Coming off of their eighth straight UCT (Union County Tournament) championship in which six wrestlers took home victories, wrestling continued their conquest outside of Union County, defeating both Passaic Valley and West Morris before falling to top-seeded Warren Hills in the sectional final. Cranford’s loss as a team gave way to individual competitions (which began February 18th), spearheaded by eminent sophomore Jordan Chapman (157). Chapman’s Caesarian combat has made a name for itself across New Jersey, as he is ranked near the top of his 157-pound weight class by major news outlets, such as NJ.com and Jersey Wrestling

Wrestling in self-hosted District 13, five wrestlers took home district titles, including the aforementioned Chapman, freshmen Ryder Connors (113) and Luke Scholz (126), along with seniors Michael Tona (120) and Conor Hoefling (150). 138-pounder Alex Mueller embarked on a “Cinderella run” before falling to a tight 7-5 decision in the finals. Lucas Esposito (175), Shane Kanterman (190), and Dylan McDonald (215) all fell to the 1-seed at their respective weight classes, with Esposito losing a decision, and the remaining pair suffering pins to their weight’s one-seeds. McDonald’s pin came after a laudably fought match that lasted nearly five minutes. A dozen CHS wrestlers moved on to the Regional 4 tournament, which began February 24th. 

Daly, Jones, Esposito, and McDonald claimed victory in their first round matchups, but Mueller and Connelly were the less fortunate of the bunch, falling to a pin and a decision, respectively. Quarterfinal matchups included Connors, Esposito, Chapman, and Kanterman, all of whom moved further on in the tournament. Kanterman’s victory resulted in his 100th win as a Cranford wrestler, joining an exclusive club that houses only the best of the best in program history. Daly, Tona, Scholz, Jones, Hoefling, and McDonald, however, ended their tournament runs on an unfortunate note, all suffering losses. Semifinals began on Saturday, with Connors, Esposito, and Kanterman finally seeing their tournament journeys come to an end. Jordan Chapman, though, continued to win, and entered the final round against 6-seeded Voorhees. Chapman, ever the perpetuate, was victorious, claiming his Regional 4 title. The quatrain of wrestlers will look for further victory in Atlantic City. 

Ben Fossella, a junior by class and a freak by nature, has quickly become a record-setting shot-putter for Cranford. Performing with stoic aplomb, Fossella threw his way into the NJSIAA Group 2 Championship where he finished a valiant second only eight inches behind the leader. Another stellar shot-putting junior at CHS, Kristen Fries, has placed near the top of every event prior, and was able to finish second in the Group 2 Championship with a personal record of thirty-six feet and one inch. Both Ben and Kristen will look to perpetuate triumph in the upcoming NJSIAA Meet of Champions in March. Bowler Matt Greene, yet another accomplished junior at CHS (Matt took home Athlete of the Week honors recently), finished with a 620 and will be moving on, competing in the upcoming Sectional Finals.

After the conclusion of the aforementioned sports, Cranford will turn its focus to the spring season, as both baseball and softball will look to repeat as county champions and hopefully a little more. Hoping for stellar performances yet again, lacrosse and outdoor track events will also begin.