The Student News Site of Cranford High School


The Student News Site of Cranford High School


The Student News Site of Cranford High School



What kind of content do you want to see on Dialogue?

View Results

Loading ... Loading ...

December CHS Sports Recap

Hockey captain Patrick Gosselin readies a shot on net, surely besting his ignorant opponent.
Hockey captain Patrick Gosselin readies a shot on net, surely besting his ignorant opponent.

Cranford Boys Basketball has become one of the only programs to not reach a championship game in many years, and after a poor 5-19 season in 2022, the team will look to reach beyond the .500 mark they met in the years prior. These hopes come on the backs of seniors Nick Amitie, Chase Teel, and Chris Santarelli, who all boast a rather positionless game, being as shifty as a guard yet as tall and looming as a forward or center. The supporting cast includes junior Josh Ketschke and sophomore Enzo Madrini, both seeing their first substantial playing time at the varsity level. 

The team opened their season at home against Scotch Plains-Fanwood, whom they aptly defeated 60-44. Amitie amassed a double-double, with 22 points and 13 rebounds, setting a high mark to beat in the team’s second game. Performances also of note were Ketschke and Madrini’s 10 points each, and Teel’s near double-double with 8 points and 9 rebounds. Next the team faced off against Oratory on the road. Tallying another 20-point game, Amitie led the team, yet Cranford was unable to win, losing 70-58. In future games, Cranford will take on Summit (12/19) and South Plainfield (12/23), both near must-win games if the Cougars want to avoid falling behind in the standings. 

Girls basketball, on the other hand, was just below .500 last year, much better than their male counterparts. This year, the team has started 1-0 after their defeat of Westfield 45-30 in a tough rivalry game on the road, largely due to junior Bella Curanovic’s 12 points, and senior Kristina Lowe’s 10 points. Aside from that pair, the team will also look to senior Maddy DeLong, who managed 10 rebounds in their season opener, for additional support after her solid performance last season. The girls will look to continue their winning streak in games against Roselle Catholic (12/19) and Scotch Plains-Fanwood (12/21)..

On the back of an impressive 2022-23 season in which they went 10-1-1 in NJIIHL (New Jersey Interscholastic Ice Hockey League) play, Cranford hockey strove to best last year’s performance in 2023-24, even after losing multiple starting seniors from the prior team. Now led by newly appointed captain, senior Patrick Gosselin, and assistant captains, junior Christian Adamski and senior Kiran Davis, Cranford began their season against Montclair Kimberley before taking on 15th-ranked Summit. 

Their season opener against Montclair Kimberley saw the Cougars take a 1-0 lead after the first period, and never look back, winning 3-0. Responsible for the damage were the aforementioned Adamski, junior Dylan Borys, and captain Patrick Gosselin, while junior Ryan Callahan matched Adamski’s game-high 3 points. Senior goalie Jake D’Aquino, in his first season as the primary starter for the Cougars, benefited greatly from an oppressive Cougars defensive line, limiting the other team to just 14 shots, all of which D’Aquino saved, giving him his first shutout of the 2023-24 season. 

In their second game Cranford took on Summit, an annual contender in the NJIIHL. This was an especially important game for the Cougars as well, since Summit was the team responsible for their elimination in last year’s state tournament, defeating them 3-2 in the first round. Successfully getting the revenge they sought, the Cougars were decidedly victorious 4-0. Goal scorers were senior Evan Shuster (1), who opened the scoring, Adamski (1), and Callahan (2). Adamski led the team in points with 3 while Borys tallied 2 assists. D’Aquino was again stellar, this time saving 29 shots of 29, giving him his second shutout of the season. 

When asked why this matchup against Summit was different, captain Patrick Gosselin pointed out “[D’Aquino’s] excellent goal-tending” and “hard work from the entire team.” Gosselin’s unequivocal praise for the team as a whole is consistent with the team’s mentality as well, focusing on working together as a machine, taking advantage of their well-developed chemistry that has blossomed so far this year. Cranford is now 3-1 after a raucous loss to Governor Livingston, but a rounded defeat of Livingston 7-2. Goal scorers in that game were Adamski (2), Gosselin (2), Callahan (1), Borys (1), and senior Colin Coakley (1). Gosselin’s 4 points were not only tied for the game-high, but also put him ever closer to the elusive 100-point mark for his career, something that has only been done twice before. The Cougars will look to swiftly handle upcoming opponents Westfield (12/20) and Middletown North (12/21). 

The girls ice hockey team is in their second year as a program, and will look to improve upon their debut season. The team started off slow with three losses and a combined two goals, but soon ramped up the pressure, defeating Princeton 8-7. This goal total is a program record, and an incredible way to acquire the team’s first win. Despite their 1-3 overall record, they are 1-0 in the NJIIHL – Annis division, giving them prime position for the postseason so far. The girls face Summit (12/21) and Westfield (12/22) in their upcoming matchups, and will hope to not only perpetuate their victory, but win pivotal games against rival opponents as well. 

Cranford wrestling has always been one of the school’s most successful programs in general, let alone winter programs, and this year will hopefully be no different. The team began their season in various tournaments, with some wrestlers entering the Beast of the East Tournament, and others entering the Kearny Tournament. 

The Beast of the East Tournament saw Cranford send wrestlers Ryder Connors (sophomore), Jordan Chapman (junior), Dylan Jones (junior), Mike Daly (sophomore), and Eoghan O’Hara (junior). Chapman, wrestling at 165, managed to reach the semifinal round before he was eliminated, defeating four other competitors to get there. In the 157-pound weight class, Jones was defeated by fall against Northfield Mt. Hernon. Daly reached the round of 16 as a 106-pounder, victorious over two other opponents beforehand. O’Hara, wrestling in the 144 division, defeated an opponent from New Kent prior to his exit by fall in the second round. 

Members of the team in the Kearny Tournament included Joseph Acinapura (sophomore), Brandon Dipaolo (junior), Alex Mueller (senior), and Joey Tona (senior), who all found substantial success, with Acinapura winning his weight class and Tona finishing in second place in his. Dipaolo made it past the first round before an unfortunate defeat and Mueller reached his quarterfinals before a loss. 

After both tournaments being rather successful for the Cougars wrestling program, they will look to truly open their season against Johnson on 12/20. 

Cranford bowling was nearly .500 last year, and with the team having ample time to develop, they looked to improve upon their record in 2023-24. So far their wish has been fulfilled, managing a 4-1 record thanks to senior rollers Matt Greene, Drew Shusterman, and Michael Kisly, who leads the team in points. The bowling team will look towards matches against Union (12/18) and Westfield (12/21). 

Boys swimming took on Plainfield in their season-opening meet, defeating them 126-17. Leading times came from Charlie Otten’s 24.37 (sec) in the 50-yard freestyle and Dominick Lotito’s 1:01 (min) in the 100-yard backstroke. However, their second meet saw them fall to Westfield 123-49. 

Girls swimming was also victorious over Plainfield, by an impressive 140-9, due to winning times from Lylah Wilhem (28.63 sec) in the 50-yard freestyle and Ava Dreyer (1:02 min) in the 100-yard freestyle. Unfortunately, much like the boys, the girls fell to Westfield and also Kent Place. Both teams will look to tally another win in their meets against Summit on 12/19. 

Cranford track and field boasts the most recent of college commits, with thrower Kristen Fries announcing her commitment to Rider University to play in their D1 track program. 

Overall, Cougar fans should look forward to the rest of the winter season, which has only just begun, and give special focus to improving basketball programs, consistently dominant hockey and wrestling programs, and successful extraneous teams like bowling, swimming, and track. 

Leave a Comment
More to Discover

Comments (0)

All Dialogue Picks Reader Picks Sort: Newest