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Outstanding Season for Camden Catholic

Outstanding Season for Camden Catholic Camden Catholic completes another outstanding girls’ basketball season

Camden Catholic had high expectations this season, and the Irish were able to meet them. The narrative before the season was that the Irish had the ability to be a top-five team in South Jersey, seriously contend for a division title, and also be a factor in the always difficult South Jersey Non-Public race.

In looking back, the Irish accomplished all three of those scenarios that were posed during the preseason.

Camden Catholic finished 24-4 following a 44-35 loss to Gloucester Catholic in the South Jersey Non-Public A semifinal.

Gloucester Catholic entered the game as the consensus No. 1 team in South Jersey. Yet the Rams knew how difficult it would be to defeat Camden Catholic.

That’s because in one of the biggest games of the regular season, Camden Catholic defeated Gloucester Catholic, 41-37 in the final of the South Jersey Invitational, a 16-team tournament that consists of most of the top teams in the area.

In the rematch, Gloucester Catholic used a 21-12 third quarter to gain separation and have a 12-point lead entering the final period.

During the season, coach Chris Palladino’s Camden Camden Catholic team started out with a 49-35 loss to Shawnee but, again, the winning Renegades are among the top teams in South Jersey. In that game Shawnee used a 14-5 fourth quarter advantage to pull away.

The Irish won a very difficult Olympic Conference National Division, with the highlight being two wins over defending state champion Woodrow Wilson, a team that came on strong at the end of the season.

Sometimes winning a division title is overlooked due to all the attention on the playoffs, but teams that come out as division champions should be lauded because it shows excellence over a long period of time. In the Olympic National and in many divisions, teams have to play each other twice--a true test.

There are many years that Camden Catholic is a Top 10 contender, and next season should be no different. Current junior guard Taiah Thornton, who was the leading scorer for the Irish, is among many veterans who will return next season. Two other key junior guards, Julie Braungart and Sierra Taylor, will give the Irish a talented veteran backcourt next season. Braungart had a team-high 12 points in the semifinal against Gloucester Catholic.

And then there is 6-foot-3 Brittany Garner, considered among the top freshmen in the state. She had 10 points in the loss to Gloucester Catholic.

What is interesting is that there may only be one team ranked higher than the Irish next preseason – Gloucester Catholic.

The Rams also have an experienced group returning and this is developing into a must-see game when these two teams take the court.

Camden Catholic enjoyed an outstanding season while playing and meeting the challenge of an awfully difficult schedule. © SouthJersey.com 2015. All rights reserved. This article or parts thereof may not be reprinted or reproduced by any other party without the express written consent of SouthJersey.com. For more information, please call 856-797-9910.

For more Local Sports features, visit our South Jersey Sports page.

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