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High School Basketball:
Defensive Breakdown Knocks Deptford Out Of Tourney

Thursday, March 4, 2004

By Vincent Lewis
SJSports Staff Writer

The excitement of high school basketball is only the beginning for a true basketball fan as the NCAA is prepping for collegiate teams looking to make it to the final four. At Deptford High School, the final minutes of the game featured two teams making big plays down the strength to pull out the victory. The Spartans, hosting the 6th seeded Manchester Township, fought back to tie the game and had the ball in their possession with 37.1 seconds remaining in the game. But a missed shot and a touchdown pass for a last second basket by Jaron Griffin ended Deptford’s season as they fell 54-52.

When this game started out, the Hawks from Manchester Township were outplaying the third seeded team in the Group 3 bracket. The Spartans found themselves down ten points, 20-10 after one quarter and then trailing at the break by eight. That’s when Deptford ripped off a 12-3 run to go ahead 34-33 with 3:20 remaining in the third quarter to get back into this game. The Hawks would respond by holding Deptford scoreless for over three minutes to regain the lead, 43-34 right before the end of the quarter.

The final quarter of this game the Spartans tying the game at 47 apiece and from that point on, the two teams began trading baskets. Deptford would hold a 3 point lead with 51.4 seconds remaining in regulations, but a three pointer by Jerome Morris tied the game again with 37.1 seconds. Deptford had difficulty getting their last second play in motion with the Hawks swarming defense causing havoc. The Hawks were at the right place at the right time to pull down the rebound with 4.5 seconds showing on the game clock. After a timeout, Ty Pitts’ inbound touchdown pass to Griffin was perfect to the points needed to advance them further on into the playoffs. Jaron Griffin led Manchester with a game high 26 points and Jerome Morris added17 points for the Hawks. Deptford’s Isham Poe finished with a team high 19 points, Jeff Green added 11 points and Luiz Perez added 10 points.

Photos by Art Redd

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