Shawnee Boys’ Basketball With High...

Shawnee Boys’ Basketball With High... Shawnee Boys’ Basketball With High Expectations Next Season

The high school boys’ basketball season has just ended but it’s never too early to start looking ahead to next year. One team that could start next season as the No. 1 team in South Jersey is Shawnee.

The Renegades went 29-3 this year and won the Olympic Conference Patriot and South Jersey Group 4 titles.

Shawnee advanced to the state Group 4 final before losing to powerhouse Linden, 57-41 in a game that was much closer than the final score indicated.

The Renegades trailed by four points midway through the fourth quarter before Linden pulled away to win its third state title in four years.

Shawnee’s only other losses were to Lenape and Camden by a total of five points. The Renegades lost 62-61 at eventual state Group 2 finalist Camden on Jan. 24 and at Lenape, 65-61 on Jan. 31.

Shawnee also avenged the Lenape loss by beating the Indians, 77-64 in a South Jersey Group 4 semifinal.

The next game was one of the classics of the South Jersey season when second seeded Shawnee won at No. 1 Toms River North 76-71 in triple overtime. Dylan Deveney, 6-foot-6 junior, scored a game-high 31 points.

Shawnee then beat Hunterdon Central, 54-49 in the state semifinal behind 18 points from Deveney. Sean Heine and Patrick Kernan also scored 10 points and that was the reason Shawnee was successful. Frequently at least three and often more players scored in double figures. This type of balance made Shawnee so difficult to defend. Plus, the Renegades have the type of team where virtually anybody is capable of hitting a three and the way Shawnee spreads the floor, those opportunities arise frequently.

A major reason Shawee enter next season with such high expectations is that coach Joe Kessler will return all five starters.

Here are the starters from this year and their statistics:
Dylan Deveney, 6-6 Jr., 16.6 ppg.
Sean Heine, 6-4, Jr., 9.4 ppg.
Patrick Kernan, 6-3 So., 8.9 ppg.
Dean Noll, 6-1 Jr.14.7 ppg.
Daevon Robinson, 6-4, Jr.9.4 ppg.

In addition the sixth man was 6-3 junior Kane Feudtner, who averaged 3.6 points. In Kessler, Shawnee has one of the top coached in South Jersey history. He has guided the school to five state titles and no doubt that will be the goal heading into next year.

It has been difficult lately for South Jersey teams to compete with their North Jersey counterparts. This year South Jersey was shut out from winning a boys’ basketball state title for the first time since 1971.

So even though it is difficult, Shawnee will no doubt be considered a state title contender and a team to potentially begin next season No. 1 in South Jersey.

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Author: Marc Narducci

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