Lenape School District Schools in the Running for SJ Group 4 Girls Basketball title

by Marc Narducci | Feb 11, 2022
Lenape School District Schools in the Running for SJ Group 4 Girls Basketball title

The South Jersey Group 4 race in girls’ basketball could come down to three teams from the same school district.

Cherokee, Shawnee and Lenape are all part of the Lenape School District (along with Seneca) and they are likely the top three teams in the upcoming SJ Group 4 tournament.

The cutoff date is Feb. 12, where a team’s top 13 power point games will comprise their final power point raking.

Entering the week, Cherokee was No. 1, Shawnee No. 2 and Lenape No. 3 in the South Jersey Group 4 power points, according to NJ.com.

All three compete in the Olympic Conference American Division.

So while they will be competing for the division title, all three should make a serious bid for a coveted SJ Group 4 title.

The single-elimination tournament begins on Feb. 28.

In addition, Cherokee, Shawnee and Lenape are the top three seeds in the South Jersey Invitational Basketball Tournament, where all three have advanced to the quarterfinals.

There are other teams such as Toms River North, Clearview and Kingsway that will field quality SJ Group 4 teams, but the teams to beat are Cherokee, Shawnee and Lenape.

If there has to be a favorite, it would be Cherokee. The Chiefs beat Lenape by four points and Shawnee by six the first time they met.

The rematches are Feb. 15 at home against Lenape and Feb. 22 at Shawnee.

Senior guard Katie Fricker averages a team-high 13.8 points for coach Ron Powell’s Cherokee team, but the real key to the Chiefs is their tenacious defense.

That should play well in the postseason.

Shawnee, which began the week 15-2, owns an earlier 61-52 win over Lenape.

Junior Avery Kessler averages a team-high 13.4 points for Shawnee.

The makeup of the Renegades is similar to Cherokee. This is a team without an explosive scorer, but plenty of players capable of hitting the big shot.

And like Cherokee, Shawnee is a strong defensive team.

Lenape has two main scorers. Freshman Alexa Henry and junior Kaitlin King were both averaging about 11.5 points per game.

Playing in the American Division, which also includes a quality Eastern team that is playing its best basketball of the season, assures Cherokee, Shawnee and Lenape top-notch competition.

Plus, all three have played strong non-division schedules.

Toms River North, which began the week 12-3 and plays in the highly competitive Shore Conference, can’t be discounted either.

Clearview is a quality program, but the Pioneers lost by 20 to Cherokee and by 19 to Shawnee. If Clearview met either team in the postseason, the Pioneers could very likely be more competitive.

Yet at this stage, the top three of Cherokee, Shawnee and Lenape appear to be the main teams to beat in what promises to be a highly competitive SJ Group 4 tournament.

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Author: Marc Narducci

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