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High School Basketball:
March Madness Hits the Court at Shawnee

Friday, March 4, 2005

By Jason Brown
SJSports Special Correspondent

The typical ending of a basketball game at any level of play did not happen during the South Jersey Group 4 semifinals held at Shawnee High School. Sure we have seen the exciting last second shot made to come away victorious, but the way the game ended with the fifth seeded Lenape Indians traveling to the top seeded Renegades, it was one to remember. Matt McFadden’s three pointer with two seconds remaining gave Shawnee a three point lead. On the inbounds pass, Shawnee was hit with a technical for having too many players on the court. After both free throws were converted, Lenape’s Ryan Thompson was fouled behind the arch with no time remaining. Shawnee would survive the dramatic 53-52 ending after all three shots missed their mark.

From the opening tip-off to the very end of the game, those fans sitting in the stands were treated to an exciting basketball game worth the price of admission. Every player on the court played an exceptional game which included McFadden’s big time shot and the technical free throws Thompson made to set up the dramatic ending. So we have to be reminded that these are high school basketball players playing like men and it may have been an emotional roller coaster for both teams, but these kids deserve the credit for playing their best under pressure situations.

Shawnee broke open the game leading by five points at the end of the first quarter. During the second quarter, Lenape’s defense picked up and key baskets by David Walker and Thompson allowed the Indians to end the half with both teams tied at 22 points apiece. The start of the second half watched Lenape expand on their lead and led 37-32 heading into the final quarter. Lenape would establish a 50-46 lead with less than a minute remaining, but those points quickly dissappeared down the stretch. The Renegades fought back behind Julian Sanders’ game high 23 points which set up Mcfadden’s dramatic three pointer. Tyson Hartnett also finished in double figures with 11 points for the Renegades. Ryan Thompson finished the game with 19 points while Shawn Greene added 12 points for Lenape.

Photos by Mark Fletcher

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