Wednesday, March 17, 2004
By Jerome Michaels
Paul Wiedeman has more than enough reasons not to be disappointed with his boy's basketball team from Haddonfield. After losing to Raritan in the first round of the Tournament of Champions held at the Ritacco Center, it would be the journey that would be most remembered. The Bulldogs were looking to added another title of state champions to their resume with a team that has proven that five guys could work together to overcome any obstacles put in their way. The one obstacle that ended their season would be Qa'rraan Calhoun who dominated both ends of the court for Raritan. The Rockets overcame an early two point deficit and turned it into a 63-44 victory and moving on to the semi-finals against St. Anthony.
A conference title, South Jersey Group 2 title, State Group 2 title and an expecting individual awards will be added to Haddonfield’s success this year. One last step for the boy’s basketball team was a chance to add the Tournament of Champions recognition. But that quest fell short when Raritan found an answer for the 7 footer Brian Zoubek who has dominated teams all year long. The Bulldogs were stopped by the Group 3 state champions with a 6’7” athletic center of their own by the name of Calhoun.
Haddonfield found them in a familiar position during the first quarter of this game played at the Ritacco Center in Toms River, New Jersey. Zoubek worked his way inside with success and the Bulldogs would own an 18-16 advantage after one quarter. During that quarter, both teams were also connecting from outside, especially for the Rockets. Dave Lonnay and Marques Johnson began connecting from the perimeter and that success added more weapons for Haddonfield to defend. Raritan would regain the lead during the second quarter and lead 35-30 at halftime.
The second half did not start out well for Haddonfield as they were held to just 4 points. Raritan, on the other hand, took full advantage of their opportunities and built a 47-34 lead going into the final quarter.
The final eight minutes would not be any different for either team, Raritan connecting from the perimeter and inside the paint. Haddonfield was looking for ways to slow down the Rockets success plus shoot their way back into this game. Raritan would outscore the Bulldogs during the final quarter to seal the victory. Qa’rraan Calhoun scored a team high 17 points, Marques Johnson added 15 points, Dave Lonnay also scored 15 points and Mike Nunes dropped in 11 points for the Rockets from Raritan. Haddonfield was led by Brian Zoubek’s game high 22 points and Derek Heckendorn completed the game with 11 points.
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