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.
“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.”
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