Camden Will be Tough to Unseat

Camden Will be Tough to Unseat Camden Will be Tough to Unseat In South Jersey Group 2 Boys Basketball

Last year, in his first season as boys basketball coach at Camden, John Valore guided the Panthers to the South Jersey Group 2 title. With a veteran contingent returning from that team, the Panthers remain the favorite to repeat in the tournament, which begins on March 2.

Yet Camden will face competition in a deep Group 2 field.

Still, the Panthers have the experience and talent to surely repeat. Start off with the fact the Panthers have two, 1,000-point career scorers who are both juniors: Jamal Holloway and Brad Hawkins. Both the 6-4 Holloway and 6-1 Hawkins are threats from the inside or the perimeter. Entering the week, Camden was 18-5 in playing one of the toughest Group 2 schedules in the state. This season, Holloway is averaging 17.7 points while Hawkins began the week averaging 14.4 points. Rasool Hinson, a heady senior guard, is averaging 12 points and 3.3 assists per game. No team in South Jersey Group 2 has a trio as explosive as this Camden group.

The Panthers are the No. 3 seed and could face a potential semifinal test against No. 2 seeded Middle Township.

This is a Middle Township team that began the week 15-8 but, like Camden and Haddonfield, has played a treacherous schedule.

Middle Township lost nine-point games to Top 10 teams Atlantic City and Camden Catholic, and have two close wins over an underrated Bridgeton team that is seeded No. 4 and won’t be easy for any Group 2 opponent.

That said, Camden remains the favorite.

One of Camden’s best showing was in a loss this year, falling 50-46 to perennial national power St. Anthony of Jersey City.

Camden’s best win was an 85-79 triple overtime victory at Shawnee. In between there have been other solid wins and a few close losses to marquee teams.

So Camden will be a major threat.

Then again, so will top seeded Haddonfield. The way the brackets are set up, Haddonfield couldn’t meet Camden until the South Jersey final. Last year Camden ousted the Bulldogs in the semifinal round.

Haddonfield had a big recent win over a Paulsboro team that defeated Camden in overtime.

Do comparison schools mean much? Who knows, but it likely tells us is that Haddonfield and Camden are evenly matched.

Haddonfield is led by the formidable senior backcourt of twins Rob and Nick DePersia. Rob is the point guard and Nick is the shooting guard and the two have the savvy and experience on both ends of the court that any coach would value. One other potential darkhorse is No. 6 Collingswood, which lost two games to Haddonfield, each by six points.

So there is plenty of depth in Group 2, but in a way it would be surprising if Camden and Haddonfield aren’t the ones left standing when the sectional final is played on March 9.

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Author: Marc


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