Submitted by Chuck Nesemeier, Cinnaminson sixth grade boys travel basketball team coach
The Cinnaminson boys sixth grade travel basketball team made an impressive run through the Marlton Chiefs Holiday Classic Tournament this week, winning the 6A Championship by defeating Marlton 55-52.
Led by Eric Gallagher's 23 points, Cinnaminson built leads of 26-22 at halftime and 41-32 by the end of the third quarter. However, Marlton came storming back, making several three-point shots down the stretch to take a one-point lead with 2 minutes left in the game. A couple of key baskets by Jake Wilmer and Aiden Nesemeier, and a critical free throw by Gallagher in the last 2 minutes, gave the Pirates a three-point lead with 2.9 seconds remaining that they would not relinquish. Guard Eric Sabato also helped lead the Pirates to the title by scoring 11 points and distributing five assists.
To get to the New Year's Eve championship game, Cinnaminson went 3-0 in their bracket play— beating Marlton 62-52, Washington Township by a score of 54-41, and Audubon 50-34. Other members of the team that contributed to winning the championship include Tyre Lampkin, CJ Gee, Justin Yansick, Danny Campbell, Tyler Conn, Justyn Cacesse, Kyle Robinson, Ben DiGiacomo and Rod Wright Jr.
The sixth grade boys travel basketball team is undefeated this season with an impressive 8-0 record and is also currently in first place in the South Jersey Basketball League with a 4-0 record. The Pirates next home games are on Friday, Jan. 3, and Jan. 10, both at 7:30 p.m. in the Cinnaminson Middle School gymnasium. The contest on the 3rd will be for first place against an undefeated Seneca team (4-0) and the matchup on the 10th is against an excellent Pemberton team currently in second place.
When asked what the key to his team's success is, coach Chuck Nesemeier responded, "We're fortunate to have a great bunch of kids that get along well, practice and play hard, and are eager to get better every day. It also helps being blessed with a rare combination of size, strength, and speed."