Great Season for Haddon Heights Boys’ Basketball

by Marc Narducci; Photo Marc Narducci | Mar 13, 2020
Great Season for Haddon Heights Boys’ Basketball
There are plenty of teams that enjoy great seasons, even if they don’t win a championship. An example of that is the boys’ basketball team from Haddon Heights.
 
The Garnets finished with a 24-5 record, tying the school record for wins that was set in 2010-2011. That was the second year under head coach Mike Ricci.
 
A Haddon Heights resident, has done an outstanding job with the program. The Garnets are competitive almost on a yearly basis and this year they had some great clashes with rival Haddonfield.
 
Both teams compete in the Colonial Conference Liberty Division and South Jersey Group 2.
 
They played three times this year with Haddonfield winning twice.
 
On Jan. 3, Haddonfield won an improbable 39-38 decision at Haddon Heights. The Bulldogs trailed by as many as 12 points in the fourth quarter, but stormed back in typical Haddonfield fashion.
 
Haddon Heights evened the score with a 37-30 win at Haddonfield on Dec. 11.
 
What earned Haddonfield the Colonial Liberty title is that the Bulldogs didn’t lose another division game. Meanwhile, Heights fell to a talented West Deptford team, 57-54. (In December, the Garnets scored a 43-38 victory over the Eagles on opening night).
 
Not surprisingly, Haddonfield and Haddon Heights met in the semifinals of the South Jersey Group 2 playoffs. As the No. 2 seed Haddonfield earned home court advantage.
 
In another typically tight defensive struggle, Haddonfield pulled out a 35-33 victory.
 
So even though in three games Haddon Heights outscored Haddonfield by four points, Haddonfield was ale to win its two games by three points.
 
Tremendous credit goes to Haddonfield, which had graduated four starters from a team that won its second consecutive Group 2 state championship last season.
 
Both teams were led by seniors, with Heights’ two leading scorers forward Te’Sean Pressley and guard Patrick Campbell.
 
Pressley, who is also a football and track standout, averaged a team-high 15.4 points this past season. Campbell, among the area’s top shooters, averaged 13.7 points.
 
While the Garnets were a senior laden team, junior swingman Isaiah Turner averaged nearly 10 points per game and was among the area’s better defensive players.
 
In the win over Haddonfield, Turner led the way with a game-high 13 points.
 
Haddon Heights has several other impressive moments this season. The Garnets convincingly won its first two playoff games over Medford Tech and Colonial rival Sterling, by a total of 44 points.
 
Earlier in the season in a 69-64 overtime win over Sterling, Pressley scored 26 points and became the 12th player in Haddon Heights history to score 1,000 career points.
 
That was a game in which the Garnets trailed Sterling, 24-9 after one quarter, but fought its way back.

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The Garnets also defeated three quality Group 4 program, Williamstown, Lenape and Rancocas Valley during what was an exceptional season.

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Author: Marc Narducci; Photo by Marc Narducci

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