Boys Basketball: Cohen leads Urban to road win over Lowell

Lowell senior forward Elijah Saunders (right) swipes at a ball in the possession of Urban freshman forward Andre Campbell Jr on Monday at Lowell High School. (Photo by Willie Eashman)

By Jeremy Balan

Harrison Golding hit a few key jump shots and Harry Krinsky swiped a couple steals, but the balance of the Urban boys basketball team’s road matchup against Lowell ultimately rested in the hands of standout guard Nate Cohen.

The senior poured in a game-high 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting from the floor and hauled in eight rebounds to lead the Blues to a 48-42 non-league win over the Cardinals on Monday.

No other player on either team had even half of Cohen’s point or rebound totals, and with the game in the balance and Lowell (3-5) only trailing 44-42, Urban head coach Joe Skiffer called a timeout with 59 seconds remaining in the fourth quarter.

Coming out of the timeout, the Blues (5-1) immediately got the ball to Cohen on the right-hand wing. After a bluffed screen, Cohen blew by his man, got the the hoop with a pair of left-handed dribbles, then sunk an easy layup to put the game away.

Urban senior guard Nate Cohen goes up for an uncontested layup in the final moments of the game on Monday at Lowell High School. (Photo by Willie Eashman)

“Nate has had a rough time in our first few games, but this is the first game he’s been complete,” Skiffer said. “He made the right plays at the right time and that’s what we expect of him. I think people get mesmerized by the flash and the speed, but for us, he’s our best defender, probably our second-best rebounder [and] an assist man.”

Without sharpshooting guard Matt Monges, who was absent due to an illness, Golding scored 10 points and the Blues appeared to have an in inside advantage with forward Andre Campbell Jr. The 6-foot-2 freshman, just 14 years old, scored four points in the first quarter, but the Cardinals toughened up inside and held him to scoreless the rest of the way.

“Part of it was youth, but part of it was that they were paying more attention to him,” Skiffer said. “They were aggressive with him and normally he likes that, but maybe I was looking for a few calls he didn’t get.”

The Cardinals led 3-0 early in the first quarter, but never took the lead again after Urban pulled ahead 5-3 with 6:21 left in the opening frame.

Lowell hit 6-of-12 attempts from three-point range to stay in the game throughout, but struggled to find a consistent scoring threat.

In each half, a different Lowell guard had their moment. In the first, it was junior Evan Louie, who hit two three-pointers and had 10 points at the break. Louie only had a single point in the second half, but senior Jonathan Li scored eight of his 11 points after the break to pick up the slack.

Still, the Cardinals were within two points in the final 2 minutes, a far cry from the last time they took on a Bay Counties League West opponent, a disheartening 40-13 loss to Stuart Hall in their season opener.

“From that first game to now, we grew quite a bit,” said Lowell head coach Wyman Lee. “We’re still going through some growing pains. I mean, in the last 4 minutes of the game our possessions on offense were a little messy.”

Scoring Leaders

Nate Cohen – 23
Harrison Golding – 10
Harry Krinsky – 6
Andre Campbell Jr. – 4
Eddie Lieberman – 3

Jonathan Li – 11
Evan Louie – 11
Jason Ho – 8
Sam Pollard – 4
Two players tied with 3 points

Be Sociable, Share!


  1. bballobserver says:

    Urban is a young team with player leadership and a great coach. Skiffer is building this team by playing all his players. There will be tough times along the way but these kids have the heart of their coach……some of the best defense. Nate Cohen, Andre Campbell, Harrison Golding, Harry Krinsky, Matt Monges, Eddie Lieberman, Phong Tran, Jonathan Baer……all got their place. And Nate’s a big time player.

    • Just some facts says:

      Nate Cohen is a first-class athlete. Nothing like him. When things are not going right, his athleticism and “push” pulls the game back into order for his team – whatever team – Urban or AAU. He is a leader. He inspires with example. He stirs things up. Lifts his team and the overall play of the team and the game up too. Great guy and strong spirit and fair sport and classy at all times. Urban is lucky to have him. Whatever college gets him will be lucky too. He is a team “glue” kind of guy – holds the team together and never gives up on his team – plays through injury and pain.

    • Harry Krinsky( one of the greatest)
      Your namesake would be so PROUD!!!

    • tenor1 says:

      i wouldn’t say this a “young” team. The core of their team is seniors, and they have been waiting for this season for awhile. I agree that they have potential and that nate is a big time player, but the score with Lowell was closer than Lick’s and Stuart Hall’s scores with Lowell so far this season, so I wouldn’t anoint them so quickly as this up and coming team. They are certainly contenders in the bcl, but if the great nate cohen can only help his team to beat lowell by 6, than they may be in for a rougher season than some people on here speculate.

      • BluesPlayer says:

        Tenor1…… should be a soloist!!! You are above the mediocrity of
        many observers. Thanks for the fresh air, we’re tired of smoky rooms.

  2. jessie king fredel says:

    andre campbell is 15 years old. do you even factcheck?

  3. Ari Gold says:

    Cohen looks like he’s 22. Definitely doesn’t look like a high school “kid”.

    • WCAL Alum says:

      He is the one BCL player that can get significant minutes in the WCAL. I would love to see this kid play rugby someday.

      • Ari Gold says:

        He shouldve transferred to SH then and play for Coach Barbour. The best players should majority of the time play for bigger schools/better competition.

        • jbalan says:

          I think that’s a terrible thing to say about any person’s school choice. He went to Urban for his own reasons and I’m sure they were good reasons.

          • WCAL Alum says:

            True JB. Yes, he may want to play at next level (who doesnt, if able). Do not know the kid personally, but there are many reasons some schools are chosen over another. Although a “WCAL Alum” a WCAL school and education is not the end-all (do I really have to state the obvious).

            I guess what I am saying he is a man (physically) amoungst boys in the BCL.

          • Ari Gold says:

            I never said attending Urban was a mistake. Of course thats his choice and transferring to any other school may have never been in any cards. Hes an excellent player and I wouldve loved to see Nate in an Irish uniform. That is all. JBalan, a little to quick on that trigger finger no?

            • jbalan says:

              I don’t think so. Saying he “should’ve” transferred to SH and that the best players should play in the WCAL against the best competition ridiculous.

              I’ll be entirely honest, I really like all of the WCAL folks and I acknowledge, across all sports, that it is the best league in the Bay Area (maybe the best in NorCal). The problem I’ve had, however, is the hubris of many WCAL fans – that anything outside of the league is obsolete.

              The WCAL is great and stands on its own reputation, but there are good programs, good schools and pathways to success outside of the WCAL. The WCAL is not the end-all.

              • Just some facts says:

                Someone recently told me that the WCAL was picked on another sports blog- I think a national one like Maxpreps – to be one of the top two competitive leagues in the nation.
                Nate would be great for any school. So lucky for Urban he is there (and Matt Monges and Harry Krinsky and others) and Urban is a really good school for many reasons and especially academically. It also has a great philosophy in general for educating their students.
                There are those who do think that to get more attention WCAL is good/better – but all in all, Nate has been noticed.

              • Ari Gold says:

                I’ll be entirely honest, I enjoy all you do for SF HS sports. Its 110% admirable and San Franciscans are very VERY lucky to have you cover prep sports the way you do.

                On the flip-side, I personally would love for you to cover a broader mass. Because frankly theres just not enough interest in the AAA, BCL, even the three WCAL city schools for particular sports.

                I think you offer us alot of great stories, stats, and noteworthy mentions. Merv Harris covered Bay Area prep sports with similar passion and unbiased opinion. He was writing before you came here and I always looked forward to reading his Monday or Tuesday prep article in the Examiner. I always look forward to reading your articles and for me I think it would be a lot more appreciated if it were on a Bay Area scale rather than just a SF scale.

                Once again, thanks for your dedication.

              • jbalan says:

                Thank you for the kind words.

                This has been brought up before, to cover more of the area, but I’ve always felt that I would rather cover a small area well than spread myself too thin over a larger area. That is a mistake many local media outlets have done, in my opinion.

              • SF Wrestling says:

                ” …I really like all of the WCAL folks and I acknowledge, across all sports, that it is the best league in the Bay Area (maybe the best in NorCal). ”

                All sports? Don’t think so.

      • tenor1 says:

        that is absurd to say that cohen is the one bcl player that would get big minutes in the wcal. si and sh would love to have guys like getz and mah from uni, schneider and bergland from lick, and armani collins from stuart hall in addition to cohen.

  4. wcalsf says:

    JBalan, keep it SF HS sports only! All of the other sites (I.e. Prep2prep and BayPreps are South Bay-heavy. Your City coverage of all our schools is awesome and much appreciated. Though I’m a Crusader grad, I’m always rooting and hoping for success of all the schools – unless it’s SI or SHC! ;-)
    Keep up the great coverage!

  5. AFitzsimon says:

    Ari I think you make a good point with covering a broader area. I lived in Sacramento last year and got the Sac Bee at my house every day where Joe Davidson covers prep sports along with his colleague Bill Patterson. The two do it as good as anyone but they have to cover the whole Sac area. However, when I was guest writing for a community online forum I decided I was going to cover some HS games. I put emphasis on the Metro League in Sac because they get the least coverage with all the superpowers in Elk Grove and the rest of the surrounding area and they were grateful to be written about. I took that idea directly from Jeremy because that’s what this organization does it covers teams that otherwise wouldn’t get coverage, like it was before SF Preps.

    • WCAL Fan says:

      We need a write up on Zac Contreras and the ARHS varsity wrestling team for their performance at the Mid-American Nationals in Oklahoma where Zac took home first place in his division.

    • Ari Gold says:

      When JB goes and cover games, I’m sure he’s not taking an attendance count, but I believe the turnouts for these events are pretty dismal except Riordan games. And then you have matches when Balan says the refs are missing or are no shows, or you have big time blowouts showing the huge disparity between schools in the city. It’s just not good and I think and I stress I think that Jeremy is so much better than this. He’s talented and his work is thorough. But if this is what he wants to do I won’t complain. No one else is doing this for us.

  6. Don L. says:

    I’m not sure exactly how many visitors view SFPreps but I personally like the SF only coverage, even if I don’t necessarily follow the BCL / WCAL teams regularly.

    I don’t know if Jeremy is familiar with “Loco Sports” or “SF Youth Sports”, two local shows that covered SF Sports on cable (Viacom then Comcast). Loco Sports was first followed by SF Youth Sports. Both were good for it’s time but ultimately went off the air. When the Chron stopped having a local writer for Preps, I actually tried to do some freelance coverage via Examiner.Com (not the newspaper but the website). I had become unemployed at the time and thought I would give it a shot. This was maybe a few months before Jeremy started SF Preps (can’t remember exactly). Freelancing proved to be difficult and I wasn’t really schooled in the art of journalism (I like to write and blog a lot, but journalism is a bit of a different beast). I did keep at it for a short time and some coaches still remembered that I wrote about their teams / games etc (some of the articles are still around online).

    The way I see it is that Jeremy is continuing the tradition started by the guys who did Loco Sports / SF Youth Sports. If the major newspaper won’t cover SF High School Sports, then someone’s got to step up. Jeremy’s did as good as anyone in the past few years (even though funding may be sparse). That’s the way SF High School sports seem to be. There are die hards like me and bandwagon folks. I’ve donated a little bit to SFPreps even though I am not a student anymore. The kids deserve coverage.

    In my day, the best coverage I got was from the San Francisco Independent (I got my name for a fencing article!).

    • WCAL Alum says:

      O.K. I go back even farther when the Chron (yes, the Chron) covered h.s. sports. Then the Progress (Flecto Player of the Week), Independent, etc.

      Loco sports was funny as well as SF Youth Sports-loved them, but nobody has covered SF Prep sports as thoroughly as San Fran Preps and had a better following. Keep the provinchial coverage. In all honesty, where else can you see ink on a Drew/Bay kid and SI, SH, R kid on same site?

      • wcalsf says:

        John Donohue (Lowell V Baseball Coach) used to write for the Progress back in the day. He also did some radio for the City WCAL rivalry games (football and hoops) when they were played at Kezar/USF.

  7. WCAL Alum says:

    Mighty KALW.

Leave a Comment

Comments that advocate violence, racism, or libel, as well as comments featuring profanity will not be permitted. Repeat offenders will have their commenting privileges suspended. All comments must abide by our Commenting Code of Conduct.