Timber Creek Boys’ Basketball Enjoying an Excellent Season

by Marc Narducci | Jan 28, 2020
Timber Creek Boys’ Basketball Enjoying an Excellent Season

The Timber Creek boys’ basketball team entered the season with high expectations, but ranked among the top 20 in the state and top five in South Jersey?

We’re not sure people saw that.

Yet the Chargers are No. 15 in NJ.com’s most recent ranking and No. 4 in The Philadelphia Inquirer South Jersey rankings.

And that was before beating a quality Lenape team on Monday, 62-58, that improved Timber Creek’s record to 15-1.

This is veteran team led 6-2 senior guard Justin Bladen, 5-11 senior Eric Benjamin and 6-6 senior Demetrius Paynter.

In the win over Lenape, Paynter led the Chargers with 17 points while Benjamin added 15 and Bladen scored 14. 

After the Lenape game, Bladen was averaging 16.8 points. Benjamin was averaging 14.8 points. Paynter, who is also a force on the boards, was averaging 12.1 points.

These three have been basically carrying the offensive load, although 6-5 junior Austin Green is another player coming on. He had eight big points against Lenape.

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The Chargers began the year by winning their first eight games before suffering a 58-45 loss to Cherry Hill West.

Since then, they have won seven in a row, including a 67-44 win over highly regarded Camden Catholic. Timber Creek opened with a 21-10 first quarter and were in control the rest of the way. Bladen led the way with 21 points.

Another key victory during this streak was a 44-42 triumph over Shawnee as Greene and Paynter each had eight points in this defensive struggle.

Timber Creek competes in South Jersey Group 3 and the Chargers a looking to earn the No. 1 seed. According to the NJSIAA power ratings via NJ.com at the beginning of the week, Timber Creek was No. 1, followed by Moorestown, Westampton Tech (which recently beat Paul VI), Mainland and Cherry Hill West.

Group 3 is considered to be balanced and any of those top five teams could make a run. In fact as the fifth team at the moment, Cherry Hill West already beat the Chargers so that shows how deep this Group is.

Moorestown is the defending South Jersey and state Group 3 champion, and the Quakers never got the memo that this was supposed to be a rebuilding year.

Another darkhorse can be Seneca, which Timber Creek faces twice a season and won the first meeting 64-53.

Timber Creek’s last three games are against No. 1 Camden, Paul VI (a top five team) and Cherokee, which is expected to be a major contender in South Jersey Group 4.

That end of the season schedule should provide type of top-notch competition for Timber Creek to prepare the Chargers for what they hope is a long postseason run.

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Author: Marc Narducci

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