Hoops for Hill


photo by Hailey Hunter

East takes first place at the Wheaton Warrenville South MLK Tournament after defeating York High School in the championship game 64-62.

Hailey Hunter, Social Media Director

  The boys basketball team continues to fire up the court with their now 27-2 overall record which breaks the record for most wins in East basketball, 16-0 undefeated conference record and current 11th place in the state rankings poll. The E-Rabs started their season with a 13-0 record before losing to Springfield South East in the Collinsville Tournament. This was their best start to the season since 1948 when the E-Rabs went 16-0 and were 2nd in the state. With 2 regular season games remaining, the boys earned their first NIC-10 title since 1981 and cut down the nets after their win against Belvidere. If the boys win their remaining conference games, they will be only the second team in NIC-10 history to finish with an 18-0 conference record.

  “It feels good, there isn’t any pressure and we’re just working harder every day to get where we need to be,” said Sha’Den Clanton, class of 2019.

  Clanton lead his team to win the championship game in the Wheaton Warrenville South MLK Tournament 64-62. Clanton lead all scores with 26 points, which put him just 120 points away from scoring 1000 career points. Now he is only 28 points away from that milestone as of Feb 13. Along with Clanton, the E-Rabs have a triple threat of record breakers this year including Chris Burnell, class of 2019, and Sincere Parker, class of 2020.

  Burnell is East’s All-Time Scoring Leader and Foul Leader, 3rd RPS All-Time Scoring leader, 12th NIC-10 All-Time Scoring Leader and is in the top 3 of career assists and rebounds at East.

  “It felt really good to find out I broke East’s scoring record because a lot of people haven’t done it and so for me to do it and have my name there now felt really special,” said Burnell.

  Parker tied the record for most threes made in a game when he hit 8 of them against Joliet Central High School. One of those shared record holders is his dad Ray Parker, who was a big name in East basketball in 2003. Parker is 6th in All-Time career threes at East, 4th All-Time career three-point percentage, and 145 points away from breaking the single season scoring record of 692 points, which is held by E-Rab Skip Thoren, class of 1961.

  There is no doubt about it that this has been a record breaking season for the boys, the E-Rabs have created a big name for themselves. The team has an incredible amount of athleticism, but it’s their “brotherhood and friendship,” Clayton and Burnell say is the biggest part of their success.

  “Just how close we all are is what really connects us on the court,” said Burnell.

  The teams strive for success is strong and they’re doing it for more than just the name.

  “My biggest motivation is my family and my best friend Greg,” said Clanton.

  Greg Hill was a part of this E-Rab basketball family and would have graduated this year in May. He grew up with some of his teammates like Clanton and Burnell before losing his life to gun violence. Since then, the team has played for him.

  “My brother Greg is what pushes me through every game,” said Burnell.

  The boys spread that memory of him through social media and show it on the court when they play. The hard work never seems to stop for this team as they continue to win games and create a bigger name for themselves as the regular season begins to come to a close.

  East will be hosting regionals the week of Feb. 25 and sectionals will be the following week at Rock Valley College.

  “We’re still focused on the same goal,” Chris Burnell.