JSBL Basketball – Team Playoff Preview: RKE Athletic
RKE Athletic (4-3)
Playoff Position: No. 4 seed, will play winner of No. 5 Orthopaedic Institute and No. 8 Assistive Choices Inc. on Monday
Tyler Hawkins, 6-3, Pittsburgh State/Brookdale (Monmouth Regional)
Gage Daye, 6-2, Bloomfield College
Sydney Brown, 5-10, Albright
Raheem Carter Jr., 6-6, Felician/Raritan Valley (Roselle Catholic/Long Branch)
Chris Rubayo, 6-10, Lafayette
Jack Collins, 6-6, Monmouth (Manasquan)
Andrew Ball, 6-8, Monmouth
Nick Davidson, 6-6, Bloomfield College
Westley Telfair, 6-4, South Carolina State
Brandt Roundtree, 6-5, Dominican College
Zion Williams, 6-4, Gardner-Webb
Matt Solomon, 6-6, TCNJ (Manasquan)
RKE has been a balanced, competitive team from the outset and it has powered the club to a top-four seed in the upcoming JSBL Playoffs. They are led by JSBL veteran Gage Daye and a supporting group that includes Shore Conference alumni Tyler Hawkins (Monmouth Regional), Raheem Carter (Long Branch before transferring to Roselle Catholic) and Jack Collins (Manasquan).
The season started with four consecutive wins, followed by two/three straight losses heading into the playoffs. Carter powered RKE to a season-opening win, which turned out to be an important victory over Orthopaedic Institute. Carter scored 30, while Hawkins chipped in 22 to help the cause.
Hawkins then led six players (Collins, Daye, Sidney Brown, Andrew Ball, Chris Rubayo) in the double-figures with 21 points in a 15-point win over Assistive Choices Inc. RKE one-upped themselves with seven players (Nick Davidson, Brown, Carter, Hawkins, Ball, Collins, Daye and Rubayo) in double-figures in a 131-108 win over Larson Ford, led by Davidson’s 22 points. Hawkins (31) and Daye (27) then helped cap the winning streak by combined for 58 points in a nine-point RKE win over Sea Shore Auto.
RKE had no answer for Justin Robinson (56 points) in suffering their first loss of the season last week, then missed a chance to contend for the No. 1 seed with a 111-107 loss to first-place WCT on July 21. RKE closed out the regular season Wednesday with a 121-107 loss to Stern’s trailer.
RKE will get a chance to gear up for Monday’s playoff-opener, which will be a matchup against the winner of Orthopaedic Institute and Assistive Choices Inc, who square off against one another in the first round.