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High School Basketball:
LEAP Academy's Fourth Quarter Surge the Difference

Thursday, December 29, 2005

By Zachary Hibbs
SJSports Special Correspondent

There was an inaugural New Jersey Charter School Holiday Tournament held at Scared Heart that involved LEAP Academy University High Charter School from Camden. The Lancers from LEAP Academy advanced to the finals of this tournament against CREATE from Jersey City. Trailing by six points heading into the final quarter, Will Mace would contribute in the Lancers outscoring their opponent 25-8 to take control of this championship game. LEAP would go on to defeat CREATE 78-67 giving head coach Marco Marcos a well deserved victory.

A unique feature of the LEAP University High Charter School is the partnership with Rutgers University. A university academic team will provide ongoing and long-term support for the development, implementation, and evaluation of curricula that ensures student success in post-secondary education. While the state and national standards provide guidance for content a strong pre-college curriculum will emphasize development of each student's academic habits of mind, processing skills, and critical thinking skills.

Rutgers University supports the LEAP Academy through school-based Centers of Excellence. These Centers are staffed and operated by Rutgers University and provide an opportunity for faculty, staff and students to engage in the development and delivery of multidisciplinary, collaborative, and long-term approaches geared at addressing the challenges of urban families and children.

There were several players from both teams that showed off their skills on the basketball court. Vernard Gibbs controlled the ball for CREATE able to find the open player for the basket. That success would lead to the Crusaders first quarter lead of 19-13. The momentum would swing to LEAP’s side of the court as they were able to put within a point, 33-32 at intermission. After the break, both teams were very successful putting points on the scoreboard. A total of 47 were scored with the Crusaders leading 59-53 over LEAP. A combination of team defense and Will Mace’s game high 27 points contributed to LEAP winning their seventh game in a row. Lance James, who connected on three three-pointers, finished the game with 18 points and Nate Craig added 9 points for the Lancers. CREATE would be led by Jerome Haig’s 32 points who also was successful at the foul shooting line. John Glover scored 12 points and Vernard Gibbs scored 10 points for CREATE.

Photos by Hugh Tsung

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