Local boys’ basketball teams all notch wins

By: Sean Moylan
   While Bordentown has its established stars in Sam McDuffie and Jon Kohler, it was a new breed of heroes — led by Donnell Hayden — who ultimately led to the Bordentown boys’ varsity basketball squad capturing a 58-56 victory over Cinnaminson in the Scotties’ road opener on Friday night.
   Hayden hit a jumper with seven seconds to go to provide the margin of victory. He had 15 points in all but Scotties head coach Mark Drew was just as satisfied with his work on the boards and his defense. Brandon Fraser (11 points) and Tyrone Johnson (nine points) also did all the little things to help lock up the triumph.
   "Brandon Fraser did an outstanding job. He hit a couple of key three-pointers," said Drew. "Tyrone Johnson came off the bench and gave us a spark."
   Bordentown has been looking for a great sixth man for years. If Johnson can fit that bill, he’ll be every bit as valuable as a starter. McDuffie, the Scotties’ great scorer, did net a game-high 18 points and Kohler knocked down a trey while netting five points.
   Bordentown broke out to 12-7 lead after a quarter and many Bordentown fans thought the Scotties would blow the Pirates out. But it didn’t go down like that. Without Hayden’s heroics at the end, it may have even turned into a loss.
   "When we jumped out to the lead it was nice, but we got too fancy," said Drew. "We’ll take the win, but we have to get a lot better. We were a little sloppy."
   Since Friday’s game the Scotties have had some great practices and the boys are playing very hard. This is a team that has the potential to be special. Yet for the Scotties to be truly special will take an extraordinary amount of work and dedication. Still, the bottom line is the kids won the game.
   "In an away gym, it’s always great to get the win," added Drew, who hopes many more victories will follow.
   Bordentown (1-0) is scheduled to host Holy Cross today (Thursday) in its home opener. Next Tuesday and Wednesday it is scheduled to host the annual Michael J. Tucker Basketball Tournament.
   Despite its relative youth and inexperience, the Florence Township Memorial High School boys’ varsity basketball squad knew it had a favorable match-up going into Friday’s home opener versus Maple Shade.
   What the Flashes didn’t know was so many of the younger players would shine in a rather easy 63-26 victory over the Wildcats. In fact, Steve Giambrone, who had a cup of coffee with the varsity team last year, was on fire from the field for most of the contest.
   "Steve Giambrone . . . he did a pretty good job. He handled himself well for a sophomore. He scored 18 points and he played good defense," said Art Bobik, the head coach of the Flashes. "He had a pretty good overall game."
   As is often the case in a Florence win, the Flashes set the tone of the game with their wonderful defense as they held the Wildcats to six or less points in three out of the four quarters.
   "The difference in the game was our press and we got easy lay-ups off of that press," Bobik added.
   Sophomore Brandon Youngblood was able to run the floor well and put in several lay-ups on his way to scoring 11 points. And as expected, junior center Malcolm Jenkins was a force in the one-sided contest netting 11 points.
   "Malcolm’s (Jenkins) gotten a lot better from last year," noted Florence’s Hall of Fame head coach. Abree "Mr. Defense" Jones is nursing a sprained ankle but still managed to tally eight points. Freshman guard Chris Thompson also came up big in his first game as he hit a 3-pointer on his way to putting in nine points. Jim Karwacki and Cody Vogel each collected three points apiece.
   According to Bobik it was a good victory because the younger players needed to develop some confidence that only can come from actually playing in a real game. Yet Bobik knows the tremendous challenge his young squad is up against this season.
   "The real test will come on Thursday (today) at Riverside," remarked Bobik, who should have his club as prepared as possible for today’s battle. Florence (1-0) is also scheduled to play in the South Amboy Holiday Tournament on Tuesday and Wednesday.
   The NBC boys’ basketball team picked up its first win of the season on Tuesday night at Delran, as the Greyhounds sent the Bears into hibernation with a 56-37 win. Keith Jones poured in a game-high 23 points for NBC while Jerry Howell chipped in with 13 points. Darryl Melvin (six points) and Danny Zimplemann (five points) also had solid games for Northern.
   On Saturday a powerful Lenape squad defeated NBC, 52-28. Ryan Gause tallied seven points in a losing cause. And Pemberton downed NBC 69-61 in Friday’s opener at Pemberton. Nevertheless, NBC had an excellent fourth quarter (24-18) to make that game fairly close. Howell and Jones led the Greyhounds in scoring with 18 points apiece.