High School Boys Basketball:
Monday, February 14, 2000
By Art Redd
Sure, this was the day that cupid was shooting those arrows all across South Jersey with precision and accuracy. Marcus Bullock must have been hit with one of those arrows, because he was lovin' the three ball. Cherry Hill East had little problem dominating this Olympic Conference boy's basketball game by defeating Highland 68-39. This game was all Cougars from the opening tip off.
With the playoff brackets already set for the 1999-2000 basketball season, teams were still playing for divisional titles. Highland started this night in first place in the Patriot Division while the Cougars were third behind Cherokee and Shawnee in the American Division. The tables were set for a classic powerhouse match up, but it didn't happen.
This game started off with Bullock not wasting any time by firing up the three pointer and nailing it. As a matter of fact, his first 3 three pointers went in and accounted for nine of the fifteen points scored in the first quarter. Matt Minoff sank two of his 3 three point attempts to account for the final points scored in the quarter. Bullock, the senior 1,000 point scorer, continued to cause Highland to re-think how to stop the Cougars' point guard. When the halftime buzzer sounded, Bullock had 16 points and Minoff wasn't far behind with 14 points.
Now down by 19 points, Highland knew they could get back into this game with good defense and consistent scoring. Their man-to-man defense picked up and doubled up on Bullock to slow him down. But that's when his all-round game picked up. The third quarter witnessed Kwame Biney accounting for the first four points for Cherry Hill East. Bullock looked for the open player knowing the double team would leave someone open.
The Cougar's tough 1-3-1 defense didn't allow the Tartans to execute their potent offensive scorers Mark Groark and Gene Mergenthal and to get on track. This game was over early, which gave the reserves some playing time. Bullock finished with a game high 23 points and Minoff added 19 points for Cherry Hill East. Highland's Mergenthal finished with a team high 11 points in the loss.
Photos by Art Redd
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