Cresskill is carrying the hopes of every small-school basketball team that dreams of making a big run in the Bergen Jamboree.
The Group 1 Cougars are the only Group 1 or Group 2 school to advance to Ramapo College for this weekend’s quarterfinals of the 59th Jamboree.
Coach Mike Doto and the Cougars received “congrats” from small-school coaches and players following their upset over Group 4 Hackensack in the round of 16, and “good luck” entering the 5 p.m. quarterfinal against St. Joseph.
“We always have other teams wish us good luck during these big games,” said senior guard Zac Garcia, “so it’s nice to have those teams siding with us.”
“I’ve been getting a lot of tweets and calls from other coaches in our league,” Doto said, referring to the NJIC, “and from Group 2 schools, and a lot of schools are pulling for us. So we’re kind of representing Group 1, Group 2, and we’ll take that role. That’s fine for us.”
Cresskill (19-1) is enjoying a fine season. Seeded 10th in the 22-team Jamboree, the Cougars are the only double-digit seed to advance to the quarterfinals in the Bradley Center. Sunday’s 65-52 victory over No. 7 Hackensack was the team’s affirmation. Cresskill is the last Group 1 school to reach the Jamboree final, when it lost to Teaneck in 1996.