ROCKFORD, Ill. (WTVO/WQRF) — The East E-Rabs have faced several seasons worth of adversity in just half a season this year, yet they’re still very much alive in the chase for the NIC-10 championship thanks to a 63-69 win at Boylan Friday night.

E-Rabs leading scorer Matthew Hoarde wasn’t available to play in the game. He instead watched from the bench as other E-Rabs players stepped up. One of them was his younger brother Sterling Hoarde. He led the E-Rabs with 10 points. Antonio Lewis scored 16 and J.T. Samuels was right behind with 15. 6’7 center Carl Harris also came up big for East with several key rebounds and a critical blocked shot late in the game that prevented a Boylan fastbreak layup.

“With Matthew out we just had to step up, because we’ve been without Matthew before. He was injured. We just had to step up and take the opportunity to win,” said Samuels.

“It (the win) was very crucial,” said Sterling Hoarde. “We had to come out here and get the win for Matthew even though he out. We’ve got to do this.”

Head coach Roy Sackmaster was pleased to see his guys pull out the victory without their top scorer. “We’ve been through so much adversity this year, and I don’t want to say that we’re getting used to it. I guess maybe we’re doing a better job at handling it, and to come into Boylan’s gym and be able to grind one out like that with more adversity that’s going on I just couldn’t be more proud of our guys. I hope that just leads to more good things to come.”

Aedan Campos led the Titans with 23 points.
East is now 5-3 in conference play. Boylan is 6-2.

For highlights and postgame reaction watch the media player above.