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High School Basketball:
Deptford Survives Township's Late Assault

Saturday, January 8, 2005

By Jerome Michaels
SJSports Special Correspondent

The Spartans boy's basketball team started their non-league game against Washington Township in full control maintaining their lead for the majority of the game. Instead of a game that Deptford could have opened and maintain a double-digit lead, Township found a way to cut into their deficit to make it a very competitive and exciting ending. Deptford's Aigner Green converted six straight free throws down the stretch to hold off the Minutemen. Despite posting twenty-two scored in the final quarter, Deptford controlled the boards long enough to hold onto a five point advantage during the final eight minutes. The Spartans picked up their second victory in a row to increase their record to 7-1 with their 48-42 win.

Sometimes a team is judged by the past seasons on how well the players performed on the court. By the tenth game of the new season, it becomes somewhat clear how that team will do providing key players remain healthy and keep up their grades. So far, Washington Township's success had them ranked as a team that would win a lot of games both at home and on the road. Deptford was one of those teams not yet in the rankings but had a one game lead in the Tri-County Conference Royal Division.

Starting out their home game against the Minutemen, Deptford quickly built a seven point lead that ended the quarter with a 13-10 lead. That’s when the guards took over setting up the open shots that began to fall. Green along with Niccos Curry and Jeff Clement found each other on the perimeter to knock down the shot or passed the ball inside to Ricky Crews or Jeff Clement. That combination ignited a 13-2 run during the second quarter which led to Deptford's 28-16 halftime lead.

After a third quarter that both teams wanted to forget, the shots began to drop during the final quarter. Township went inside with success, building on their 10-5 run to cut their deficit to with five points with 2:24 remaining in the game. Dan Betteridge's breakaway basket brought Township within three points, 42-39, with 47 remaining in the game. Betteridge nailed a three pointer with 28.1 seconds remaining the game, but Green’s free throws sealed the victory for Deptford. Aigner Green finished the game with a game high 14 points while Ricky Crews added 10 for Deptford. Greg Prince led Washington Township with 11 points.

Photos by Art Redd

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