The HS Hoops Experience: Philly vs Baltimore

There is a huge demand for high quality basketball… Hoopheads want to watch talented players in tightly contested games… On one hand, elite high school programs throughout the mid-Atlantic region are delivering… On the other hand, College programs? Not so much…

In recent weeks, Black Cager Sports has covered some of the finest scholastic basketball America has to offer. We were courtside for Camden vs Roman Catholic, Neumann-Goretti vs Roman Catholic, Reading vs Wilson West Lawn, Archbishop Wood vs Roman Catholic, Neumann-Goretti vs Archbishop Wood, Camden vs Roselle Catholic and Poly (MD) vs St. Frances (MD).

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Rahsool Diggins defended by Hysier Miller. Photo Credit: Mark Jordan, Raw Sports

These were wonderful games featuring highly ranked players. Nearly every contest featured a few HIGH major Division 1 prospects and, in some cases, as many as 10 or 11 low to mid-major D1 prospects were on the floor at the same time.

The strong thirst for high level basketball is evidenced by the insatiable demand for tickets to these games. There was, literally speaking, not any empty seat available for any of these contests. The Camden/Roman game, Reading/Wilson game and Philadelphia Catholic League games were sold out within hours of the tickets being made available.

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Hakim Bryd defended by Jaylen Stinson. Photo Credit: Mark Jordan, Raw Sports

The fact that tickets were NOT available only served as a slight deterrent to dedicated and determined Philadelphia area hoopheads. It merely added an element of creativity to the mission… They showed up anyway looking for a side door, a window, a heating duct… Any possible means of ingress. When all else fails, some deploy a high powered ‘blitz’ that hasn’t been seen round these parts since the departure of legendary Eagles coach Buddy Ryan.

Shit is that serious… Tickets to elite HS school basketball tickets move like Popeye’s chicken sandwiches when they first return to the menu.

I absolutely love packed gyms, highly ranked teams, intense rivalries and good players. This is basketball as it was meant to be played. The high schools have it in abundance.

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Anthony Hoggard seated courtside for Camden vs Roselle Catholic at Neumann University

Philadelphia area colleges, for the most part, are not delivering a product of similar quality. The Big 5 has become almost an afterthought to all but the most dedicated alums. There is one exception of course, Villanova exists on a separate planet. The Wildcats have watched their blood change from red to blue over the last ten years or so. Thier ascent has been accompanied by an ever expanding cadre of front runners joinging the Main Line movement.

The rest are struggling mightily… After a solid start, Temple is 10-9 (2-5) and sit in 10th place in American Athletic Conference. La Salle also had a decent non-conference run and came back to earth once league play began. The Explorers are also 10-9 (1-6) and currently in 13th place in the A10. Last year’s Big 5 champion Penn Quakers are floundering at 8-7 (0-2 in the Ivy League). After seven league games, St. Joseph’s finds itself 7 games out of first place in the A10. The Hawks are 4-16 (0-7) on the season.

Outside of Villanova, the college basketball landscape in Philly barren…

Predictably, fans have been avoiding the Liacouris, Gola and Hagan arenas in droves. Even the fabled Palestra is more than half empty most nights. Meanwhile, true hoopheads have been climbing on top of one another for an opportunity to watch the finest high school teams in the area. As I noted earlier, people really want to see good competitive basketball game between strong and familiar teams featuring good players.

While high school basketball is very popular throughout the mid-Atlantic region, there are some significant and noticeable regional differences worth mentioning. It’s all good, but there are some decidedly different flavors…

Here, I’ll touch on a few variations that exist between elite high school basketball in Baltimore, Maryland and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.

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Rodney Veney, Philly Pride Co-Director at Wood vs Neumann-Goretti

First up, the venues… In Philadelphia, games featuring 10-12 D1 prospects are often played in HS gyms with a maximum capacity of 600-800 spectators. To their credit, school administrators usually turn a blind eyes to those maximum capacity certificates hanging on the walls. As much as humanly possible, they try to accommodate the hungry and thirsty fanbase. They sell tickets til it just not possible to fit more human beings into the gyms. As a result, in most games, there is not a single free square foot of space in the gym that is NOT dedicated to the actual game.

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Neumann-Goretti fans along the baseline during the Roman Catholic game

Referees are constantly tasked with gently reminding overzealous and passionate throngs to give the kids just a lil’ space so they can inbounds the ball along the baseline. Fully engaged fans can be found breathing down the necks of the players who can literally discern what fans had for lunch or whether they smoked ‘loud’ or ‘Reggie’ in the parking lot.

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Lynn Greer, III along baseline during warmups at Archbishop Wood

It’s an intense atmosphere for sure… For a lil’ over two hours on game days, Roman, Wood and Neumann-Goretti gyms are packed tighter than slave ships traversing the Atlantic in the early 1800’s. The sheer number of excited, energetic and highly emotional humans easily overwhelms the climate control systems in these decades old facilities.

They get HOT as shit. By the 4th quarter, they feel like an oven set on ”HELL!”

Loyal fans happily endure the momentary discomfort… What are they gonna do? Where are the alternatives? Are they gonna go watch college games featuring losing teams with players from countries, counties and towns they can’t pronounce?

Naaaaah… Philly hoopheads wanna see Philly Ballers!

In Baltimore, big HS games are played in Division 1 facilities. Last year, big games were played in Towson’s SECU Arena which seats 5,200. Yesterday, I attended the St. Frances v Poly game at the 4,000 seat Talmadge L. Hill Field House on the campus of Morgan State University

 

 

 

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St. Frances Academy supporters

They have it figured out…

In Philadelphia, one constantly hears that you cannot play high school games in Division 1 facilities. In Baltimore, One can constantly attend high school games played in Division 1 facilities.

What gives? We’ll try to clear up the discrepancy and report back to you…

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St Frances Coach, Nick Myles, paces the sideline in front of overflowing capacity crowd

Every single seat was filled well before tip-off at the Hill Field House yesterday. Indeed, there were still hundreds in a line to purchase tickets that wrapped around the arena 15 minutes before tip-off. Just like in Philadelphia, the authorities didn’t pay close attention to that pesky maximum capacity certificate hanging in plain view.

Get this… The price of admission was $20 for a boys and girls doubleheader. Using “old” math skills I learned in the early 1970s, 4,000 times $20 equals a gate of about $80,000. In contrast, Camden High School home games cost $3. If Camden attract 1,000 fans to Woodrow Wilson HS the game will generate $3,000.

Maybe that why high schools in Maryland are able to afford shot clocks…

That’s another major difference between the brand of basketball played in Baltimore and that played in Philadelphia.

The presence of the 30 second shot clock changes the game.

Coaches are forced to really coach down the stretch.

Good defense is immediately rewarded.

Perhaps, most importantly, players learn to play under conditions they will face for the rest of their playing careers.

Indeed, I haven’t seen a persuasive argument AGAINST shot clocks in basketball… Ever…

There’s one more difference between HS hoops in the Philly and Baltimore that’s worthy of discussion. The cultural feel varies considerably…

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Neumann-Goretti Senior Star PG Hakim Byrd. Photo Credit: Mark Jordan, Raw Sports

The very best Philadelphia High School games have an old-school Big 5 feel to them. The hard-core hoophead alums of Roman, Wood and Neumann-Goretti for the most part are middle-aged white males. These guys are fervent supporters of the young men  currently playing for their alma maters. It’s a wonderful thing to see diverse crowds coming together to share a scholastic basketball experience.

High quality Catholic League basketball games are, arguably, the most diverse regularly scheduled gatherings in Philadelphia.

It’s a beautiful thing and it portends well for the role that sports can have in building and maintaining a semblance of unity in a city of racially stratified neighborhoods. Catholic League basketball in Philadelphia is truly a multicultural and multiracial phenomena.

The very best high school basketball in Baltimore is much different…

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A section of fans at the Poly vs St, Frances game on Saturday

Games featuring the top teams and players have a decidedly HBCU homecoming feel to them. The alums, are Black, the fans are Black, the cheerleaders are Black, the ticket takers are Black, the security guards are Black, the athletic Directors are Black, the coaches are Black, the vendors are Black… Yesterday, there were well over 4,000 people in the Hill Field House and I might have seen a total of 10-12 white people.

 

It’s a wonderful thing to see Black people coming together to share a scholastic basketball experience. The manner in which people greet one another… The chants… The cheers… The food at concession stands… Everything is different when it’s done by Blacks for Blacks.

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Angel Reese, St Frances Academy (MD), 2020 McDonald’s All-American

Every so often, I would sneak glance at the door… I was waiting for Avon, Slim Charles, Bodie Broadus and Wee Bey... How would they get past the metal detectors? Then I remembered Wee Bey is still upstate with Chris Partlow’s homicidal ass and Bodie is dead. So, I just watched a helluva high school basketball game.

St. Frances, led by their outstanding senior point guard, Ace Baldwin (VCU commit) 13 points, 8 assists and 5 steals, defeated No. 1 and nationally ranked Poly, 57-53.  Senior forward Jamal West (South Alabama commit) contributed 15 points and 11 rebounds in the victory over Poly, which was led by Marquette commit Justin Lewis (18 points) and Brandon Murray (15 points).

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St. Frances Coach Nick Myles and Team Melo Director Julian Brown in Hill Field House

As usual, the hospitality shown to Black Cager Sports was beyond reproach. Team Melo Directors Bay Frazier, Julian Brown (pictured, above right) and St. Frances Academy Head Coach, Nick Myles always make sure Black Cager Sports feels right at home in the Charm City. The Baltimore HS basketball experience is not necessarily better than that of Philadelphia, but it certainly is different, very different.

Man… If we can get these colleges back on track…

 

The Cahillites Capture South Jersey!

The sun still hasn’t set on the Roman Empire…

The Cahillites traveled about 20 minutes from Center City Philadelphia to meet the upstart Camden Panthers in a contest played in the supposedly neutral Cherry Hill East Gymnasium. Camden came into the game with a HEAVY reputation. Their main piece is, Lance Ware, a versatile 6’9” senior power forward headed to play for John Calipari and the Kentucky Wildcats. Alongside Ware is the incredibly strong and determined, TaQuan Woodley, a junior 6’8” 230 lb power forward that relentlessly rebounds and protects the rim. Woodley is a high major prospect with South Carolina, Temple, Saint Joseph’s and Penn State in hot pursuit. On the wing, the Panthers feature Jerome Brewer an athletic 6’7” wing with a sweet shooting stroke from 3 point range.

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DJ Wagner, Camden’s Freshman Guard

In the backcourt, DJ Wagner has arrived. Heir to the throne of Camden basketball, Wagner is the son of DuJaun Wagner and Grandson of Milt Wagner. He has already been anointed the messiah for the proud Camden High basketball program. Rounding out the rotation are 4 or 5 highly talented freshmen that display skill and athleticism that will one day result in college basketball scholarships at some level.

This group of uber-talented scholastic players is led by a former McDonald’s All-American and 9 year NBA Veteran point guard. Rick Brunson is a disciple of Temple’s legendary John Chaney and this matchup with mighty Roman Catholic was his first BIG game at the helm of the Camden High basketball program.

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Rick Brunson, Camden Head Coach

In preparation for this matchup, the Panthers have been plundering and pillaging small communities in New Jersey. They had piled up 4 victories with final margins ranging from 20 to 37.

But this would be different… This was HIGH MAJOR HS basketball... Coaches from Auburn, Temple, Penn State and several other high major programs were present. Saint Joseph’s brought their entire staff out to see the match up. Several former NBA players were present. Well over 2,000 spectators crammed into the hot gym designed to hold about 1,500. There were fans in every nook and cranny of the space not used for the actual contest itself. Jeremy Treatman, once again, put together a Play-by-Play Classics event that hoop heads could not resist.

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Pat Chambers, Penn State Head Coach & Hansel Canon, Black Cager Sports

Roman Catholic, on the other hand, is trying to find an identity. The Cahillites suffered massive losses of key warriors… Seth Lundy and Hakim Hart have moved on the the Big 10 playing for nationally ranked Penn State and Maryland, respectively. Louis Wild a key member of Roman’s last two Catholic League Championship squads is prepping at Olympus.

Throughout the summer and fall, the Cahillites have struggled to find a new way to win big games. The road has been filled with potholes. They have looked really bad in several performances against elite competition.

Not the last two games…

Facing the very best the Public League and South Jersey has to offer, Roman Catholic has found a new path to victory… They have convincingly vanquished two of the strongest teams (Imhotep Charter and Camden High) in the region.

How are they getting it done?

Of course, there’s the fact that they have the most athletic, most explosive, most powerful big man in the nation. Jalen Duren’s game really defies adequate description. Some shit you just have to see first hand to grasp. But… I will try…

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Jalen Duren

He dunks ON you! He dunks OVER you! He dunks THROUGH you! He dunks AROUND you!

On this night he had no fewer than 9 or 10 dunks… while these plays only resulted in 2 points each on the scoreboard, everyone in the gym will attest to the fact that they were worth at least 4 points each!

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Jalen Duren

His dunks are like the body shot that Bernard Hopkins landed to end his fight with Oscar De La Hoya. The contest literally STOPS for a standing 8 count after each dunk. These are not regular high school dunks… These are FUCK YOU… FUCK your family dunks…. These are FUCK YOU give me your lunch dunks…

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Rysheed Jordan, PUB Legend and Stan Laws, Head Coach of Camden Monarchs

Yeah… Yeah… His offensive repertoire is limited… He continues to take ill-advised jump shots… He really hasn’t developed a picture perfect turnaround jumper like former Cahillite Marc Jackson… He doesn’t have a feathery touch like Roman legend Eddie Griffin… So what?

That’s like complaining that a prime Mike Tyson lacked Ali’s lateral movement… Right now, he don’t need none of that shit. Why? Because…

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Jalen Duren

He dunks ON you! He dunks OVER you! He dunks THROUGH you! He dunks AROUND you!

But… we all knew that… and on many nights, we all know that will be enough for the Cahillites to eek out victories… But what about when they face the big boys? Will the other guys show up?

Well… For the second BIG GAME in a row Lynn Greer, III has displayed the leadership, poise, judgement and selflessness that one would expect from a HIGH MAJOR point guard prospect. His handle is beyond tight… LG3 has the ball on a string… He puts in front of defenders and yanks it back with precision… He’s able to go wherever he wants with the ball… He is big enough and strong enough to challenge BIGS at the rim… He finishes through contact… Most importantly, he has become very, very good at choosing the right time to impose himself of the game.

While Jalen Duren is an NBA athlete playing high school basketball, there is no doubt that this is Lynn Greer’s team. He has become an exceptional leader… Greer’s play is allowing the incredibly gifted Justice Williams to show his ASS this year. Lynn sets up the offense and gets guys in position. He gives it to Williams on the wing and Williams is doing things that other 10th graders simply cannot do. He was deep in his bag tonight. His in and out moves… His crossovers… His hesitations were simply majestic.

Camden was right there… They played solid defense, and on many occasions Justice’s offense was just better… If you want to know what a HIGH MAJOR wing looks like, watch the soon to be released Raw Sports video of this contest and focus on Justice Williams offensive performance tonight.

But… as noted in Isaiah 11:6 “a little child shall lead them.”

When Woodley was able to wrestle, bump and push Duren away from the rim… When Brewer’s and Ware’s length was giving Greer problems… When the Roman offense was stalling… It was the pubescent Xzayvier Brown that made big shot after big shot. Brown is very slight in stature… One can easily envision him sitting at middle school lunch table just a few short months ago… Then… The game begins and he is ALWAYS among the calmest, coolest and most collected players on the court. This kid has BIG BALLS!

Brown never gets sped up… He has a profound understanding of floor spacing… He makes himself available to Greer and Williams for skip passes… He gives them a clear target… And, when the pass is made, he is ready to squeeze! A freshman… A FUCKIN freshman is already one of the most reliable knock-down jump shooters in the Greater Philadelphia region. If his feet are set and he catches and shoots in rhythm… Count that shit! Put three on the board for Roman.

Brown is going to be a problem for four years down at Broad and Vine.

Another key piece for Roman is Nasir Lett. Like Brown, Lett understands floor spacing and he understands his role. If he is open, “Lett it fly!” Rarely does Lett catch rim… far more often than not… splash!

Impressive… Very impressive… It took a while for these guys to identify and GROW into their respective roles. One has to credit Head Coach Matt Griffin for switching defenses at key moments and constantly instilling a high level of confidence in this version of the Cahillites.

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Justice Williams, Roman Catholic, defends an inbounds pass

Yes… They have the BEST big man in the land… But they are much more than that… Greer has evolved into a maestro on the court. His tendency to play solos at inopportune moments is gone. He has clearly grasped the fact that he as to CONDUCT the orchestra. He’s allowing his young virtuosos to shine at precisely the right moments. Greer is a leader…

After finishing a tough layup, Brown took an ugly and violent spill. He thought he was hurt… I thought he was hurt… Everyone in the gym thought he was hurt… Greer knew he wasn’t injured! He made sure that Brown knew he wasn’t injured. After sitting one series, Brown immediately returned to the lineup and the Cahillites finished off the Panthers in front of about 2,000 despondent Camden fans.

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This is Lynn Greer’s team… They will go as far as he takes them… The car fully loaded with all the options… The tank is full of 93 octane and the GPS is set for the Palestra…

Can they be stopped?

The Roman Empire is seeking to capture their 5th Catholic League title in 6 years and 33rd overall… The Cahillites ended Neumann-Goretti’s string of six straight in 2015. Their recent run was interrupted by only Sir Colin Gillespie of Warminster’s incredible romp through the Catholic League in 2017. Other than that… It’s been all Roman for 5 years…

Well… I gotta go for now gotta get to work…  I owe Boo Farmer another Chicken Cheesesteak from Iskabibble’s!

I love this shit…

They Used to be BAAD Jawns!

Just got back from a party…

My man J-Rock threw another banging party… He’s been having some GREAT parties lately… Shit, a couple weeks ago he threw a party in Ohio and LeBron and Savannah James showed up… That night he had over 14,000 partygoers and the joint was rocking.

Tonight, I expected nothing less than another banging party… See, last year I went to a party right off 17th and Spring Garden and these two BAAAAAD jawns were there… These jawns were HOTTT!

One was from Center City… Her name is Romona and she’s a little stuck up… You know the bourgeoisie type… but I understand… She know she’s a BAD jawn! She was a BAD jawn waaay back in the 80’s… She had the big bamboo earrings and she was rocking cazals way back then… Her shit was fly… In fact, she always had the fly shit… She never lets up…

Very rarely will you catch her off her game… In fact last year, her shit was on point… The weave was tight… edges and all… She had the brand new Birkin Bag and the Loubitin pumps… The jeans was fitting just right… The make up was flawless… The manicure was perfect… This jawn was FLAT OUT fine… And, she knew it.

The other jawn was from uptown… Imhotesha is what they call her… She’s still kinda new to town… Her history doesn’t extend all the way back like Romona… Her pedigree is a lil’ questionable…

In fact, when she first came to town she lived in a trailer… But she got her shit together fast… Next thing you know she had a brand new crib… Yeah… She built it in the hood, but it’s a nice crib… She’s been getting all the attention for the past 6 or 7 years…

She’s not as polished as Romona… Now… Let me be clear, she’s a BAD jawn too! Don’t get it twisted… But she more likely to sport a pair of fresh Tims than Loubitin pumps… She is definitely all about the culture… Romona has crossover support… Imhotehsa is decidedly BLACK and ALL BLACK all the time for sure… She tends to pass on the weaves and wears her hair in braids or a natural style… In fact, almost every time I’ve seen her she’s wearing a Dashiki…

Last year, I went to a party right off 17th and Spring Garden and they both were there… Man those jawns were fine as shit… Niggas was sweatin’ both of ’em… They were on top of their game… You couldn’t take your eyes off of them, not even for a second… And they knew they were fine as hell… That was the party of the year.

That was last year…

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The Party was packed!

Tonight, the party was live… It was packed… Indeed, they had to stop letting people in… But it wasn’t a raucous as it was last year… It was a nice party though…

Truth be told, both Romana and Imhotesha fell off a lil’ bit…

The weave has been in a little too long… Romona’s manicure looks about 2 weeks old… You can see the little gaps where the nails have grown… The Birkin bag has a few stains on it… The make up looks like she was in a hurry and she has those weird extra long eyelashes…

Imhotesha has gained a lil’ weight, the love handles are hanging over the yoga pants… The braids have been in at least a week too long… The colors are faded on the Dashiki…

But damn… when they walked across the floor together, there can be no doubt… They are still two bad jawns!

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Rudy Davis, Marty Bibbs and Lewis Leonard at J-Rock’s Party

They still draw a crowd… They still make the party pop…

They just not as fine as they were last year.

Nor are they as fine as this chick I saw over the bridge last week… Mannnn… Listen that muthafucka is gorgeous… I heard Romona is going to a party with her on Monday… She better go to the hairdresser, go shopping and get that face painted…

That chick Cammy ain’t playing no games… Niggas is sayin’ she a dime!

 

 

Haddonfield Knocks off Camden… Again

Got there about 6:10 pm…. My Bro, Gene Lett came through! He made sure I had a ticket for the game… You had to have a plan or a hook up… Couldn’t show up and buy a ticket… Naaah…Not that night…

The South Jersey Group 2 title game between Camden and Haddonfield on Monday night at Cherry Hill East High School was HUGE!

The line to enter the game was a couple hundred deep over an an hour before tip-off… Keep in mind, these were people with tickets in their hand…

There were ABSOLUTELY no tickets available for purchase… Every square inch of the gym was accounted for… Here is a quick pan of the energetic and considerably swollen crowd…

 

 

Literally, this was the hottest ticket in town…

The meager number allotted to the respective schools were swallowed within minutes of release. And then… Shit got a lil’ weird.

At Haddonfield High School, you had to present a driver’s license with a Haddonfield address to purchase a ticket to a basketball game… If you had an acceptable address, you were allowed to purchase exactly one ticket…

RULES… Conceived, drafted and implemented in a day… Intended to advantage some and disadvantage others…

Some complained… strongly… Haddonfield, clearly, wanted to ensure that it’s fans were taken care of… I don’t blame them… With a suitable venue, between the two schools, they could have easily sold in excess of 4,000 tickets for this contest.

The Camden and Haddonfield communities support their basketball programs in a very big way!

Haddonfield also has a Championship team. Now… Here is where you say predictable things about a predominantly white basketball team… Shit like, they are well coached and unselfish… They play a structured, disciplined and patient brand of basketball. They avoid turnovers.

All true… The team possesses those characteristics… and more. They can really fuckin’ play…

They entered the game with a record of 28-1. They defeated Camden last year for South Jersey Group 2 title… Haddonfield ain’t new to this.

As Camden faithful perform the autopsies, various causes of defeat are bandied about… For example, the Xs and Os of first year coach Vic Carstarphen have been openly discussed as the reason for the loss. Some question his decisions to switch defenses at key junctures. Others point to a perceived lack of focus among the high talented core group of players and fault the head coach.

It is worth noting that Lett, Brewer and Woodley never wore purple and gold before this season. Carstarphen had to integrate these players into a lineup featuring established starters Lance Ware and Ethan Tarte. On top of that, the volatile Woodley was unavailable for a couple stretches. Overall, Carstarphen did a solid job of blending disparate parts into a functioning unit over the course of the season. They just ran into a well-prepared and determined Haddonfield squad.

With his rookie campaign under his belt, one would expect to see Carstarphen continue to evolve and improve as a head coach.

Another frequently cited reason was the referees. Objectively speaking, the refs must bear some weight… In my estimation, over the first three quarters, the refs missed a LOT of calls… but they – more or less – missed ‘em on both ends.

As the game wound down to crunch time, they started calling fouls away from the basket…

Huh? What the fuck?

You didn’t see that aggravated assault under the other basket ’bout 7 minutes ago. There’s no denying it… There were some very bad calls. Nakedly so… More significantly, in the latter stage, the whistle was only blowing one way. The refs were a factor in the game… The refs did not determine the outcome.

There were other factors of equal or more significance.

For Camden, Nasir Lett cramped up and Ethan Tarte fouled out.

Subsequently, several Camden players repeatedly made poor decisions with the ball… They were in a hurry… They wanted the game to be over… There was no effort to milk the clock. Camden almost played as if they were down 10 instead of up 10.

Also, missed free throws were very costly. Especially by your best players… your stars.

All of the aforementioned played a role… But, what stood out to me was the fact that these white boys could play.

Haddington’s Mike DePersia ’19 (committed to D1 IUPUI) effectively dealt with relentless full court defensive pressure applied by El-Khana Hidalgo ’19. DePersia was heady and savvy while controlling the offense for Haddonfield. His leadership kept them together and within striking distance.

DePersia kept coming and coming… Behind, but determined.

Haddonfield hung around all night… While it felt like Camden was in control for three quarters, Haddonfield never let them out of their sight. More importantly, Haddonfield was “long” enough, “athletic” enough and competed hard on every play.

Lance Ware ’20, TaQuan Woodley ‘21 and Jerome Brewer ’21 give Camden a formidable Division 1 front court. These guys are skilled, long and very extremely athletic.

Didn’t matter… Haddonfield matched ’em…

So… What happened? How do we explain IT?

Camden was up by 11 with less than two minutes to play and lost the game.

Was it Carstarphen’s coaching? Was it the refs? Was it Tarte fouling out?

I watched every minute of the game… Here’s what I saw… This is what I will remember going forward…

Haddonfield’s Dan Fleming “bussed dey ass!”

Straight up… His fifth 3-pointer with eight seconds left in regulation forced the overtime. Fleming scored 16 of Haddonfield’s final 20 points.

Please… Take a moment and view some the highlights of Fleming’s magnificent  performance…

 

That said… Camden still had multiple opportunities to win the game. Good clean shot attempts to win and or tie the ball game. They just wouldn’t fall.

Here you can watch the final minute of the game. It was a memorable and intense high school game.

 

I heard a lot of the chatter about Vic’s coaching… I’ve also heard how the refs “stole” the game from the Panthers.

Truth be told, if anyone asks me what happened… I’m gonna say Dan Fleming bussed dey ass…

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Haddonfield Senior, Mike DePersia

 

 

Roman Catholic vs Camden High: Preview

Why Roman Catholic SHOULD win their matchup with Camden High School tonight…

Let’s look at the matchups…

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Lance Ware, Camden’s Junior Power Forward

Lance Ware vs Seth Lundy – Ware is a highly skilled 6’9” PF. He is a very capable rebounder, ball-handler, shot blocker and shooter. Lundy is a 6’6” SF/PF that plays with a great deal of intensity. Lundy is a tenacious rebounder with range that extends well beyond the the high school 3 point line. EVEN

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Seth Lundy, Roman Catholic SF/PF

Taquan Woodley vs Jalen Duren – This is a matchup between the two most talented underclassmen in the region. Both rely heavily upon intimidation and athleticism. Both are excellent rebounders and shot blockers. Duren at 6’9” is a tad longer than Woodley who comes in at 6’7.” Right now, it appears that Woodley may be one of the strongest players in the region regardless of class. The X factor here could be composure. Woodley has demonstrated a tendency to allow his emotions to get the best of him. He has to remain even keeled for Camden to have a real chance. They need Woodley’s presence on the block. EVEN

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Taquan Woodley, Camden High School

Jerome Brewer vs Hakim Hart – Brewer has emerged as one of finest underclassmen in the region. He is a very long sophomore, standing 6’7.” He has a nice jump shot that extends beyond the 3 point line and he is a very capable rebounder. Hart is one of the best player in the area. Along with Isaiah Wong, he is a leading contender for the Catholic League MVP honor. He plays a very nuanced and subtle game. He rebounds, he passes, defends in the post and he SHOOTS. His shot is extremely soft and his range extends beyond the NBA 3 point line. Hart is one of the most cerebral players you will see… He very rarely makes poor decisions. ADVANTAGE HART.

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St. Joseph’s commit Hakim Hart, Roman Catholic

Ethan Tarte, Orlando Hildago and Nasir Lett vs Louis Wild, Lynn Greer and Justice Williams – The Camden backcourt is solid. Tarte is a big-bodied combo guard. He is effective attacking the defense off the bounce and capable of finishing through contact. Hildago is a good ball-handler and a fierce competitor. Let just doesn’t make mistakes. He is like an extension of Coach Vic Carstarphen on the floor. He consistently works to get his teammates involved and makes winning plays. The Roman Catholic backcourt features 2 high major prospects and a warrior. Louis Wild is a jack of all trades for Roman Catholic. He’s a very good shooter, strong rebounder and tough defender 1 through 4. Williams is a supremely gifted freshman combo guard and one of the top 100 players in the nation in his class. Greer is very well-rounded high major point guard prospect and also one of the top 100 players in his class. ADVANTAGE ROMAN.

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Ethan Tarte, Camden’s Senior Combo Guard

In what is sure to be an exciting action-packed contest, Roman Catholic’s advantage in the backcourt should give them a slight edge over a tough but young Camden squad.