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High School Basketball (Playoffs):
Camden Wins South Jersey Group 3 Title

Monday, March 9, 1998

By Art Redd
SJSports Staff Writer

Coach Clarence Turner went into this title game with the same plan that worked all year for his Panthers. That is, to rely on his back court players to run the team and let his front court players clean up the rest. That's exactly what Camden did to defeat Middle Township 64-57 to capture the South Jersey Group 3 championship. Star guards DaJuan Wagner and Aaron Stephens were the sharp shooters hitting from the outside while Cantrell Hawkins, Kris Cooper and Arthur Barclay were the force on the boards for the Panthers. Camden now advances to the state semifinal game against Long Branch High School at Freehold Boro High School.


The first quarter was a closely played game with both teams feeding off of the crowd's loud cheers after each basket. But Camden would switch to a 1-3-1 press defense to hold Middle Township to only four points in the second quarter. The Panthers would see Wagner and Stephens work the perimeter to get the open shots and pull away from Middle Township. Camden would lead at the half 28-19.

The crowd for Middle Township wanted to see that 9-point deficit disappear in third quarter. When their team came out of the locker room, they were greeted with applause to show their support. Camden had plans of their own. It was rebounding of Cooper, Barclay and Hawkins that contributed in the Panthers' largest lead of the game. DaJuan Wagner would hit a jumper with 4:24 left in the third quarter to put Camden up 38-23. Middle Township would go into the final quarter down 9 points.

Middle Township Coach Tom Feraco would try different player combinations to gain the offensive momentum. Nick Boyd's two free throws would close the gap to 51-44 in the final period. Camden would maintain that fourth quarter lead when they went into the bonus with 3:57 remaining in the game. Middle Township would still try to make a comeback. When Camden went back to their 1-3-1 defense, Township would waste most of the remaining time trying to set up the open shot. DaJuan Wagner finished with a game high 29 points and Aaron Stephens had 11 points for Camden. Nick Boyd finished with a team high 19 points while Lawrence Lee added 12 points for Middle Township.

©1998 South Jersey Sports Online