Edison soars into GMC quarterfinals with statement victory over East Brunswick

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Edison High School boys' basketball player Shane Doherty knocks down a three-pointer over the outstretched hand of East Brunswick High School's Justin Black during the first round of the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament on Feb. 20. Edison defeated East Brunswick, 72-48, to advance to the quarterfinals of the tournament.STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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Edison High School boys' basketball player Emanuel Davila dribbles the ball up the court during the team's game against East Brunswick High School in the first round of the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament on Feb. 20. Davila scored 20 points in the contest.STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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Edison High School boys' basketball player Malachi White powers his way through a host of East Brunswick High School defenders to the basket for a layup during the first round of the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament on Feb. 20. White scored a game-high 21 points in the victory.STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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East Brunswick High School boys' basketball player Jackson Bayuk dribbles the ball up the court during the team's game against Edison High School in the first round of the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament on Feb. 20. East Brunswick is 11-11 on the season.STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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East Brunswick High School boys' basketball player Ricky Gomez surveys the court from outside the wing during the team's game against Edison High School in the first round of the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament on Feb. 20.STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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Edison High School boys' basketball player Shane Doherty knocks down a three-pointer over the outstretched hand of East Brunswick High School's Justin Black during the first round of the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament on Feb. 20. Edison defeated East Brunswick, 72-48, to advance to the quarterfinals of the tournament.STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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Edison High School boys' basketball player Emanuel Davila dribbles the ball up the court during the team's game against East Brunswick High School in the first round of the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament on Feb. 20. Davila scored 20 points in the contest.STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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Edison High School boys' basketball player Malachi White powers his way through a host of East Brunswick High School defenders to the basket for a layup during the first round of the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament on Feb. 20. White scored a game-high 21 points in the victory.STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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East Brunswick High School boys' basketball player Jackson Bayuk dribbles the ball up the court during the team's game against Edison High School in the first round of the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament on Feb. 20. East Brunswick is 11-11 on the season.STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF
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East Brunswick High School boys' basketball player Ricky Gomez surveys the court from outside the wing during the team's game against Edison High School in the first round of the Greater Middlesex Conference Tournament on Feb. 20.STEVEN BASSIN/STAFF

Since the new year, there has been no slowing down the Edison High School boys’ basketball team.

Edison has continued to show why it is a force to be reckoned with in the Greater Middlesex Conference.

Edison made a big statement in its first-round matchup against East Brunswick High School in the conference tournament on Feb. 20 in Edison, when it coasted by the Bears for a 72-48 victory in front of a packed house in Edison.

The Eagles had four players in double figures and knocked down a total of 10 three-pointers to advance to the quarterfinals of the conference tournament for the first time in two years.

“We wanted to come out ready to play,” said Edison coach Charles Mohr. “The kids played super hard and deserve all the credit. They followed the game plan and believed in it. They played for each. When we play for each other, that’s when we’re at our best.”

Edison is currently on a six-game winning-streak and stands at 17-5 on the season as it headed into its quarterfinal against Old Bridge High School on Feb. 23 at Middlesex County Community College in Edison.

It was not the night East Brunswick coach Mark Motusesky envisioned for his squad, which gave up a season-high 72 points in the contest and dropped to 11-11 on the season.

The Bears will now set their sights on the state sectional tournament, which begins on March. 3.

East Brunswick is the No. 10 seed in the NJSIAA Central Jersey, Group 4 bracket and will play at the No. 7 seed, Montgomery High School, in the opening round of the state tournament.

“When we don’t defend, we’re beatable. When we defend, we’re very competitive,” Motusesky said. “We’re used to being in competitive games. We have to defend and make shots.”

Edison never trailed in the contest, getting out to an 8-0 lead thanks to senior Shane Doherty, who scored the first eight points of the contest.

Doherty knocked down a total three-pointers in the contest and finished with 14 points.

Edison took full control of the contest in the second quarter behind the stellar play of seniors Malachi White and Emanuel Davila.

White anchored the Eagles’ 11-0 run to begin the second quarter, beginning his monster period by dropping in back-to-back three pointers.

The senior then bullied his way to the basket for a layup and a foul, connecting on the free-throw attempt to complete the three-point play and extend the Edison lead to 28-10 with 4:24 to go in the first half.

White went on to score 11 of his game-high 21 points in the second quarter.

“Every time I lace up my shoes, I try to give it my best effort,” White said. “I saw my shots go in early and noticed it was my night, so I just attacked. I played my game and I’m happy about that.”

Davila made his money from three-point range in the first half, knocking down two of his three shots from behind the arc during the half in the second quarter.

Edison racked up seven three-pointers in the first half.

Davila went on to score 10 points in the quarter and helped the Eagles take a commanding 38-20 lead into the half.

The senior finished with 20 points in the victory and nailed in four shots from downtown in the contest.

“Once I got hot, I just kept letting it go,” Davila said. “Everybody is a leader on the team. Everyone was contributing and working hard. That’s what we have to keep up.

Sophomore Niko Barnes recorded all 12 of his points for Edison in the second half, eight of which coming in the third quarter to help the Eagles take a 58-36 lead in the fourth quarter.

Edison is 10-1 in its last 11 games and are a perfect 9-0 at home this season. The Eagles have scored over 70 points in three of its last four games.

“People counted us out from the start and we’re trying to prove them wrong,” White said. “We got the White Division title already and we’re looking to go as far as we can in the county tournament.”

Senior Desola Awoyode led the way for East Brunswick with a team-high 11 points, while teammate Devin Kennedy produced nine points in the loss.

Follow Steven Bassin on Twitter @SBassin_Sports