Florence boys dominate trio of teams

By: Sean Moylan
   The Florence Township Memorial High School boys’ varsity basketball juggernaut steamrolled its way past three more opponents over the last week.
   The Flashes started the past week off by clubbing Palmyra, 64-41, in an away contest on Thursday.
   Coming into the contest, Palmyra was considered to be a good 8-4 squad. But the Flashes, who bring sharp-shooting and a high level of defensive intensity to every contest, held the Panthers to single digit scoring in each of the first three quarters.
   In fact, with his team holding a huge lead going into the final quarter, Florence head coach Art Bobik was able to play everyone significant minutes.
   Maurice Calhoun was on fire with 19 points while Florence teammate Dan Miller tallied an even dozen. Akiwande "A.O." Oshidi pumped in 10 points, Matt Ordog knocked down a trey on his way to putting nine points in the bucket. Abree Jones scored seven points, Joe Spahn had five and Ryan Shafer hit a field goal for the victors.
   On Monday, the Flashes were even more dominating in a 69-22 victory over the New Egypt Warriors at Florence. New Egypt did not score more than a half a dozen points in any quarter. Miller was particularly explosive in the contest with 22 points. Calhoun (12 points), Ordog (10 points), Spahn (three three-pointers), Oshidi (six points), Shafer (five points), Jones (three points) and Shaquan Virgil (two points) all found their way onto the scorer’s sheet too.
   Then in what may have been the ultimate statement game, Florence crushed Westampton Tech, 62-31. at Florence on Tuesday. Westampton. Tech is a good team—it was 9-6 going into the game, including a victory over Burlington City. And yet Florence held Westampton to under 10 points in each quarter too.
   Usually when a team plays defense the way Florence does, it wins games by about 10 points. But the Flashes are putting up huge offensive numbers too. And it’s different guys scoring every night. Against Westampton Oshidi was the offensive star with 17 points. But Calhoun was right behind him with 16 points of his own and Ordog chipped in with 11. Shafer and Miller each had a half a dozen points, Virgil netted four points and Jones connected on a field goal.
   Florence was at its most explosive in the third quarter where it outscored Westampton, 23-5. However, a 16-8 first-quarter run was great too.
   Florence (10-2) is scheduled to host Medford Tech today (Thursday) and Riverside on Monday. On Tuesday, Florence is scheduled at New Egypt.

   After two excruciating losses to powerful Willingboro and Lenape squads, the Northern Burlington County Regional High School boys’ varsity basketball team rebounded nicely with a quality 70-59 victory at Burlington Township on Monday night.
   "Tonight (Monday) we did fairly well," said NBC Coach Herman Johnson. "This was a big win for us-particularly coming off two unbelievably tough losses. We beat a good Burlington Township team."
   Of course that was because Cedric "Action" Jackson was able to slice through the Falcons’ defense to score a game-high 24 points. Moreover, with 16 rebounds and eight assists, he barely missed posting a triple double.
   With a representative from the University of Michigan looking on, "Cedric the Entertainer" calmly netted 11 fourth-quarter points, including a five-for-six performance from the foul line.
   "He was in control," added Coach Johnson of Jackson’s performance, which ended with a spectacular dunk. Playing a stifling man-to-man defense, the Greyhounds broke out to a 10-2 first-quarter lead to gain early control of the contest.
   Cornel Jones, Jackson’s sidekick, knocked down a pair of treys on his way to scoring 23 points. "He (Jones) was fantastic tonight (Monday)," commented the fine NBC head coach.
   Keith Jones came off the Greyhounds’ bench to tally 11 important points, including seven in the third quarter.
   "Every big game he (K. Jones) has made contributions. He’s got ice water in his veins," said Coach Johnson.
   And Anthony "Mr. Defense" Barksdale scored six points while playing his usual brand of sterling "D".
   "I thought tonight he (Barksdale) helped us out with his steadiness," noted Coach Johnson. Meanwhile, Danny Zimplemann scored six points for NBC.
   Lately, NBC has needed all of Barksdale’s intangibles more than ever because of the recent injury to Durrell Whitmore.
   "One of the things that hurt us is Durrell Whitmore, our non-statistical MVP (Barksdale) usually piles up more rebounds), twisted his knee in the Delran game and he hasn’t played in three games," noted Coach Johnson.
   Without Whitmore, NBC made too mistakes down the stretch drive of last Thursday’s home game versus Willingboro.
   Consequently, the Chimeras beat the Greyhounds 73-67, despite the fact that NBC was nursing a 65-62 lead with a minute and a half left in the contest.
   "Our youth has made us more athletic, but it has also made us more inexperienced," Coach Johnson remarked.
   Even so, NBC’s veterans, Jackson (28 points), Barksdale (19 points) and C. Jones (13 points) all had explosive offensive games. Moreover Zimplemann (two points) and Jerry Howell (5 points) did well in sports too.
   Coach Johnson also thought NBC has a good shot of winning Saturday’s home game versus Lenape. But unfortunately, Lenape snuck away with a 61-57 decision to pump its record to 12-0. It was Lenape head coach Bill Lange’s 400th win of his great career.
   With less than two minutes left, NBC was holding onto a three-point advantage over Lenape. However, a three-pointer by Lenape’s Kraig Petters knotted the gamed at 55-55 and from there it was an uphill struggle for the Greyhounds. Even so, C. Jones scored a team-high 21 points for NBC while Jackson chipped in with 20, Zimplemann scored six, Barksdale netted five, Howell hit a three-pointer and K. Jones had a field goal.
   "We’re more athletic now. Every one of these games we’ve been able to slow people down by playing man-to-man," said Coach Johnson.
   Three out of NBC’s four losses have been heartbreakers. However, Coach Johnson won’t care about that as long as his team can win the close ones in the playoffs.
   NBC (10-4) is scheduled to play Pennsauken in the Prime Time Shootout at the Sovereign Bank Arena. And on Tuesday NBC is scheduled to host Moorestown.

   The Bordentown Regional High School boys’ varsity basketball squad was able to post a terrific 50-40 victory over Delran at Bordentown last Thursday.
   It was one of the Scotties most consistent games of the season as they scored more points than the Bears in every quarter.
   Mike Pracko tossed in a dozen points to lead the way, but James Brotherton (10 points), Matt Rodenbaugh (eight points), Tom Gutowski (eight points), Danny Sasso (six points), Kevin Cumming (four points) and Thomas Knapp (two points) all contributed to the win.
   On Friday Riverside defeated Bordentown, 70-44, despite a terrific 19-point effort by Gutowski and 13 points by Knapp. Brotherton (four points), Mike Medina (three points), Rodenbaugh (three points) and Sasso (two points) also scored for the Scotties in the tough road contest.
   Then on Tuesday at Burlington Township, a talented Falcons’ squad topped the Scotties, 73-40.
   Nonetheless, Knapp (10 points), Gutowski (10 points), Sasso (six points), Cumming (four points), Kamal Patel (two points), Medina (two points) and Ryan Pina (two points) all scored for the Scotties as Bordentown Coach Mark Drew gave his bench plenty of playing time.
   Bordentown is scheduled to host Maple Shade on Saturday. It is scheduled at Cinnaminson on Tuesday.