MONTGOMERY: Cougars’ chemistry could lead to success

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By Bob Nuse, Sports Editor
Kris Grundy likes the makeup of his Montgomery High boys’ basketball team.
“We have really good team chemistry,” said Grundy, who is in his 13th season as the Cougars’ head coach. “Our kids are playing tough. We played Plainfield in a scrimmage and hammered them. We played well against Westfield. We have to fine-tune some things, but we’ve been working hard. We have Pennsauken coming in for our first game on Saturday and we’re excited. We have great leadership from the three senior captains. We will rely on the play of the seniors and the experience of our juniors.”
Montgomery has three seniors on the roster and those players share the co-captain role for the squad. Mack Bloom, Lawrence Levy and Aaron Thomas will provide the leadership on a roster that also includes nine juniors, many of whom played big minutes a year ago when Montgomery finished 11-15.
The juniors on the roster are Kevin Fromelt, Riley Greene, Joe Elicone, Kyle Howard, Rohan Prakash, Ben Heubach, Will Marrapodi, Andrew D’Avino and Anthony Bellavia.
“Fromelt and Bloom were both starters last year,” Grundy said. “”Prakash also started some games and Levy was out first guy  off bench. Howard started some last year. We have a lot of experience coming back. Riley Greene has had an amazing preseason and is playing well. The talent this there. We just have to mesh and we have to play hard defensively. We have to shoot the ball well from the outside. We’ll take a lot of three-point shots this year.”
As is always the case with a Grundy coached team, Montgomery will emphasize the defensive end of the floor.
“Defense is going to be our calling card, like it has been since I took over at Montgomery High School,” Grundy said. “We will defend hard for 32 minutes and I hope our defense keeps us in games. We are playing some very good teams. Our division of the Skyland Conference is loaded this year. I hope our offense takes care of itself. We just have to defend.”
Montgomery will play in the Raritan Division of the Skyland Conference along with Hunterdon Central, Watchung Hills, North Hunterdon, Phillipsburg and Immaculata. There will also be a number of non-league games against some top-notch competition.
“We are playing some different teams this year,” Grundy said. “Pennsauken is new. We’re also playing a couple of showcase games. We’re playing up at County College of Morris against Chatham and that will be a tough game. We’re in the Prime Time Shootout playing Moorestown and they are very good. And we’re hosting the Coaches Vs. Cancer at Montgomery again this year with six games where we hope to raise a lot of money for cancer research. That should be a fun day and we’ll play the final game of the day against Somerville.”
The Cougars will also be the host to their own holiday tournament, facing Bridgewater (Dec. 27) and Princeton(Dec. 29) in the two games.