Lenape remains a top boys’ basketball team

by Marc Narducci | Jan 5, 2023
Lenape remains a top boys’ basketball team
Last season Lenape was among the top boys’ basketball teams in South Jersey and even though the Indians lost a lot of key players to graduation, they have gotten off to an impressive start. Lenape began the week 6-1 overall and 1-0 in the Olympic Conference American Division, one of the deepest in South Jersey.

This season there are several contenders in the American who also have the same distinction in South Jersey Group 4. Besides Lenape, there is Eastern and Cherry Hill East for starters. Cherokee and Rancocas Valley are the other teams in the division, and all began the week at .500 or better.

In short, there are no easy games in the American Division. Nor were there last year when Lenape and Cherry Hill East tied for the title, with 11-1 marks. The two also advanced to the South Jersey Group 4 championship, where Lenape won, 45-33.

That is a typical Lenape game, low scoring, with the Indians annually possessing one of the top defensive teams in South Jersey.

While nobody expected this to be a rebuilding season, the Indians did lose quite a few talented players, including point guard Derek Simpson. Already, Simpson is making an impact at Rutgers, where he is averaging 22.3 minutes, 7.7 points and 2.0 assists for a Scarlet Knights team that began the week 9-4.

Lenape has already earned one championship this season, winning the Score at the Shore Tournament at Southern Regional.

Holiday Tournaments are good preparation for teams, an early-season way to compete for a championship in March.

Lenape defeated Pleasantville, 62-42 in the first round, then earned a 51-33 semifinal win over Holy Spirit before beating Mainland, 41-29 in the final.

It was Lenape’s sixth consecutive win after opening the season with a 50-42 loss to Bishop Eustace, which like the Indians, is considered another Top 10 South Jersey team.

Junior guard Tyler Dorset was named the tournament MVP. Dorset, who had 13 points in the championship, averaged 19.3 points in the three games. Junior Myles Primas, who scored a team-high 14 points in the championship, averaged 17.6 points in the three games.

So far this season Dorset and Primas have been carrying the offense. Dorset has averaged 19.7 points while Primas has averaged 16.3 points for coach Matt Wolf. A key will be developing other consistent offensive scorers, but the reason Lenape should be in virtually any game is its defense.

The Indians were allowing an average of just 42.4 points in the first seven games. And that is against a difficult schedule that won’t get any easier. Besides having to play the American Division teams twice, there are games against the likes of Camden Eastside, Moorestown, and Shawnee just to name a few.

Group 4 appears wide open and as this young Lenape team continues to develop, the Indians should find themselves as contenders. Playing in the American Division will certainly prepare the Indians for the rigors of the state tournament.

 

Photo courtesy Lenape Twitter

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Author: Marc Narducci

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