Edison on the rise in GMC boys’ basketball

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Edison High School boys' basketball player Nasir McLean looks to knock down a jumper at the top of the key during the team's practice on Feb. 5. Edison is 15-5 to begin the season.STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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Edison High School boys' basketball player Emanuel Davila pump fakes and rises up to shoot a jump shot during the team's practice on Feb. 5. Davila is averaging a team-high 14.4 points a game this season.STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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Edison High School boys' basketball player Malachi White shoots a three-pointer from the wing during the team's practice on Feb. 5. STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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Edison High School boys' basketball player Nasir McLean looks to knock down a jumper at the top of the key during the team's practice on Feb. 5. Edison is 15-5 to begin the season.STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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Edison High School boys' basketball player Emanuel Davila pump fakes and rises up to shoot a jump shot during the team's practice on Feb. 5. Davila is averaging a team-high 14.4 points a game this season.STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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Edison High School boys' basketball player Malachi White shoots a three-pointer from the wing during the team's practice on Feb. 5. STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF

It’s tough to find a team playing better basketball than the Edison High School boys’ basketball squad the past few weeks in the Greater Middlesex Conference.

The Eagles have taken the conference by storm over their last 15 games, going 13-2 during that stretch to stand at 15-5 on the season.

“The kids have been playing hard and have bought in to what we are doing,” said Edison coach Charlie Mohr. “We’re playing together as a team and meshing well. The guys play for each other. We stress defense and rebounding, and so far it has worked out for us.”

Currently, the Eagles are on a four-game winning streak, rallying to defeat South Plainfield High School on Feb. 6 in Edison by a score of 42-41.

Edison battled back from a 29-21 halftime deficit to top South Plainfield, marking its second season of 15 victories in the last 10 years.

Senior Nasir McLean recorded a double-double effort in the victory for Edison, when he registered a game-high 13 points and 12 rebounds.

McLean is one of the team’s three senior captains. He leads the team in rebounds, steals, assists and blocked shots, while averaging 11 points a contest.

“I worked hard in the summer for this success,” McLean said. “Everybody on the team put in the time together in the offseason. We’re all very connected with one another and know what each other brings to the table as a unit and individually. We’re doing way better than we did last year and in the school’s history.”

Edison’s leading scorer is another senior captain in Emanuel Davila, who has been a marksman from three-point range this season for the Eagles.

Davila has knocked home 40 shots from behind the arc this winter and is averaging a team-high 14.4 points a game.

“All of the seniors on the team are leaders and try to set a good example for the younger kids,” Davila said. “I just care about what I can do to help the team win games.”

Meanwhile, senior Malachi White has been a strong leader in the paint for Edison.

McLean, Davila and White all finished in double figures to help Edison rally to beat South Plainfield.

Sophomore Niko Barnes has stepped up and made an impact on the Edison squad this season, standing as the team’s third lead-scorer and second leading rebounder.

Seniors Shane Doherty and Tyree Martin have both been solid contributors on the court as well.

Home-court advantage has been a major key to Edison’s success this season. The Eagles are 7-0 when playing in their home gym.

The team’s success this season is no surprise to anyone on the Edison squad. Even with people around the conference doubting them coming into the season, the players knew they could give Edison a special season.

“We’ve proved people wrong,” White said. ‘Our goal was to have a winning season and to have an opportunity to put a banner on the wall. The comradery on the team has really made this an amazing season. We’re like a family. We’re in a good position, but we want more. We just want to win and put something on the wall.”

This season has come with some special victories, which include two decisions over GMC White division foe North Brunswick High School and a huge 47-34 division victory over New Brunswick High School on Jan. 4. The victory over New Brunswick was a huge victory for the program in the eyes of Mohr.

New Brunswick is currently in first place in the White Division standings, with Edison just one division loss behind the Zebras in second place.

The Eagles still have a chance with a little over a week left in the regular season to win the White Division outright or be co-champions with New Brunswick, which would be a major accomplishment, said Mohr.

Another goal for the squad will be to win a state sectional playoff game, something the program hasn’t done in the last 10 years.

As Edison continues to prove that they will be a major test for anyone in the conference tournament, Mohr has made sure to keep reiterating to his squad the importance of having a one-game at a time mentality.

“We’re a one-game at a time type of team and that’s what has worked for us,” Mohr said. “We stress at the beginning of the year that the most important game is the next one on our schedule.”

Follow Steven Bassin on Twitter @SBassin_Sports