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High School Basketball:
Lenape Endures First Loss of Season During Tournament of Champions

Wednesday, March 17, 2004

By Jerome Michaels
SJSports Special Correspondent

There were two teams being watched closely by fans from the South Jersey area to see how far they would go during this year's tournament of champions. Those two teams were Haddonfield and the Indians from Lenape. First up were Lenape and their 28 game winning streak going up against the sixth seeded Bloomfield Tech during the quarterfinal round of the Tournament of Champions played at the Ritacco Center. The third seeded Indians were hoping that the opening round be as successful as the state finals. But the team from Bloomfield Tech’s play during the second quarter proved to be the difference in their 71-58 win over Lenape.

The Indians were on their way to accomplish a feat that only a few have achieved, a perfect season without any losses. With already a state Group 4 trophy with their name on it, Lenape was looking to start the quest of Tournament of Champions champion to their successful season. That road ended quickly as they loss for the first time this season. Bloomfield Tech also ended the season for another South Jersey team, Burlington City, during the Group 1 state final.

The first quarter seemed like a boxing match with each opponent looking for that weakness and finally exploit it. Bloomfield would hold onto a one point lead after one quarter and then found success from the perimeter. Tech would build a 39-24 lead at the half and never looked back. Lenape would make a run at closing the gap, but time was on Bloomfield Tech’s side. Lenape was lead by Matt Betley who scored 17 points and Kraig Peters’ 11 points. Bloomfield Tech received 15 points from Courtney Nelson, 14 points from DaShawn Dwight and 12 points apiece from Caseim Drummond and DaSean Butler.

Photos by Mark Fletcher

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