Lenape Girls Basketball Continuing its Winning Ways

by Marc Narducci | Jan 5, 2017
Lenape Girls Basketball Continuing its Winning Ways Lenape Girls Basketball Continuing its Winning Ways

So much for the so-called rebuilding year for Lenape's girls' basketball team. Coached by Rob Hummel, The Indians are the defending state Group 4 champions, but they were hit hard by graduation.

First off, what Lenape accomplished a year ago was amazing. The Indians won their first ever state Group 4 championship by beating Paterson Kennedy, 50-35. They finished 31-3, setting a South Jersey season record for wins.

Hummel has always preached defense and it was evident during last year's state tournament. The 35 points surrendered in the state final, was the most the Indians allowed in their six NJSIAA state tournament games. (In winning four games in the South Jersey portion of the tournament, the Indians allowed an average of 28.5 points).

The Indians also won a game in the NJSIAA Tournament of Champions, before falling to eventual TOC champ St. John Vianney, 57-36 in the semifinals.

Among the key losses to graduation were offensive players Maddie Simms and Amanda McGrogran.

This year's team returned just two starters, junior sharpshooter Kendall Keyes and senior guard Shane Holmes.

Both are the focal point of a Lenape team that began the week with a 4-1 record. The lone loss was to Group 4 contender Rancocas Valley, 56-53.

The Indians own a 49-36 win over Lenap School district rival Cherokee. (That's the same Cherokee team Lenape beat, 37-29 to win last year's South Jersey Group 4 title).

In this year's win over Cherokee, it was a typical Lenape effort, which included balanced scoring and tenacious defense. The Indians had five players score between eight and 11 points.

And hanging tough against a talented Rancocas Valley team shows the Indians will be competitive with virtually everybody on their difficult schedule.

It isn't usual for Lenape to have a different leading scorer from game to game. For instance, sophomore Shannon Mulroy had a team-high 16 points against Rancocas Valley.

The leader has been Keyes, who was averaging 12.4 points in the first five games. Holmes was averaging 10.2, followed by senior Skyla O'Connor (8.6 ppg.) and Mulroy (8 ppg.).

And of course, Lenape is still playing its usual tough defense, having allowed an average of 31 points per game.

As usual, the schedule is challenging. Playing in the Olympic Conference American Division means having to face the likes of Eastern, Cherokee and Washington Township twice each.

And then there are the difficult cross over games with teams like Camden Catholic, Paul VI and Timber Creek, to name a few.

So consider the Indians a contender in South Jersey Group 4. Maybe not the favorite, but certainly a team that should be clearly in the mix come March.

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Author: Marc Narducci

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