MSN: Boys’ Basketball Season Recap

The Montclair High School Boys’ Basketball team was able to complete a successful winter season. Overall, the team finished with a record of 13-12 and a 10-4 record in the Super Essex Conference. In comparison with last season, the program was able to flip its script from a poor record to a winning one with help from the new head coach, Cecil Stinson. 

When talking with Coach Stinson during the pre-season, he mentioned a “Hard, Smart, Together” mentality that would be preached to his players throughout the season. This saying seemed to translate on the court throughout the first eight games of the season.

During that stretch, MHS won six out of eight games and had two stretches of three wins in a row. They also were averaging about 60 points per game during that time which helped lead to victories over Orange, Millburn, Verona, Glen Ridge, and Belleville.

However, after that high point, the team reached its lowest point of the season dropping five games in a row. This included some tough double-digit point losses to West Essex and Colombia.

The team was able to bounce back in late January and early February with another winning streak of four games. Montclair was able to complete the sweep of close rivals Verona, Belleville, and Glen Ridge. In the same streak, the basketball team was able to gain its revenge with a win against West Essex after losing that matchup earlier in the season. 

It was a tough end to the season as the group only won a single game out of the last five. The worst loss out of those came in the first round of the NJSIAA Tournament when Hackensack was victorious over the Mounties 66-44. That game capped an end to the season. 

Even with the upsetting finish, there are still many positive takeaways. Coach Stinson walks away from his first season as head coach of the Montclair High School Boys’ Basketball team with a winning record.

Senior Shindon Thompson finished the season averaging 10 points, 2 rebounds, and an assist per game. He also led the team in steals and was a 2nd team All-Conference selection in the SEC.

Sophomore Jahi Whitney led the team with 12 points and 4 rebounds per game. Whitney was also named to the 1st team All-Conference in the SEC. Junior Shawn Kirkley was an honorable mention on the All-Conference team as well.

Along with Thompson, seniors Ian Muchineuta, Ryan Murphy, Jaden Reid, and Charlie Rubin played in their final seasons of high school basketball. Even with all these seniors departing, the Montclair High School Boys’ Basketball team is hoping to build off of this season to reach even greater heights in the future.