High School Boys Basketball:
Thursday, February 11, 1999
By Greg Alvord
The rivalry between the Lenape Indians and the Cherokee Chiefs dates back long and far for these two neighboring schools. In a packed gymnasium in Evesham, the pre-game rock-n-roll was a precursor to the game that was to follow. The Chiefs (8-9) and the Indians (5-12) could throw their records out the window on this night as it was evident in the first meeting between these two (a thrilling overtime 2 point win by Lenape on Jan. 7).
The game began full of energy, with each club exchanging baskets. Like Rocky Balboa and Apollo Creed swapping punches in the 15th round, the Chiefs and Indians went tooth and nail at each other. The Chiefs came out in a box, in hopes of containing the explosive Chris Hall. Hall had just come off of two impressive games, scoring 46 and 39 points. The Chiefs' Doug Cusick drew the task of guarding the Lenape ace. The lead changed six times as the quarter ended 14-9 in favor of the Chiefs.
The second quarter opened with the aggressive Cherokee "D" gaining more and more confidence as they continued to shake the Lenape offense. With Cusick holding Hall to an unimaginable 6 points with glove-like defense, the entire play of the Chiefs team picked up the tempo. With Cusick all over the hardwood, the rest of the team shut down passing lanes and forced turnovers. A spectacular back door cut and pass from Cherokee's Kyle Cuneo to Jamal Williams brought the crowd to their feet. As the half ended, it saw tremendous defensive effort from both clubs. This was seen with the total disregard of self as both clubs laid their bodies on the line. Evidence that the rivals were "taking one for the team" was proven by five charging calls. The second quarter ended with the Chiefs leading 28-17.
The third quarter opened with Cherokee pumping in the first 7 points. With Brian Erhart and Ryan Hewitt banding the boards for the Chiefs, their quick outlet passes allowed the Chiefs to get into the flow of the game. Lenape was frazzled by the Cherokee defensive effort. The Chiefs did not give the Indians the chance to get anything going. Stepping into passing lanes, fighting through picks, and blocking shots caused utter chaos for the Indians "O". Cherokee's Mike Scanzano's steal and outlet pass to Williams gave the Chiefs their biggest lead of the night (15 points). Williams' behind the back, twisting lay up pumped up the crowd once again. The defensive gem by Cusick continued. Cherokee's Brett Lawrence spelled Cusick and picked up where he left off. The quarter ended with Cherokee up by a 38-23 margin.
The fourth quarter saw Cherokee's momentum continue with Lenape's Hall scoring only 8 points in the night. The Indians offense could not get going. The fired up Chiefs continued their confident effort. Pulling away as the game neared completion, both coaches did an excellent job in giving their reserves some well earned playing time. The final score this Thursday night, Cherokee 53 - Lenape 32.
Cherokee: Cusick 12, Scanzano 4, Williams 6, Hewitt 12, Erhart 4, Cuneo 9, Zuno 2, Lawrence 2, Albanese 2.
Lenape: Hall 8, Gooding 6, Unger 2, Gentile 5, Bailey 5, Wigmore 1, Wolf 1, Young 1, Schaaf 3.
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