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Haddonfield Wins a Classic Over Camden

Haddonfield Wins a Classic Over Camden
Those who saw it, still couldn’t believe what transpired while walking out of Cherry Hill East’s gym on Monday.
 
It was there that Haddonfield made one of the great comebacks in recent South Jersey history with a 69-67 overtime win over Camden.
 
With under two minutes left in regulation, Haddonfield trailed by 11 points.
 
Somehow, the Bulldogs kept fighting and never gave up. Dan Fleming hit a three-pointer to tie the score at 63 with eight seconds left in regulation.
 
The Bulldogs then gutted it out in overtime.
 
For the past three years, Haddonfield facing Camden has provided stirring competition in the state tournament.
 
Last year Haddonfield won, 54-53 in overtime during the South Jersey Group 2 semifinal.
 
In 2017, Camden won a 42-40 overtime decision in the South Jersey Group 2 final.
 
Even though Camden surrendered a sizable lead in the fourth quarter of this year’s game, the Panthers showed why they are among the top teams in South Jersey.
 
“They played great,” said Haddonfield coach Paul Wiedeman about Camden.
 
Among those who stood out for Camden was 6-7 sophomore Jerome Brewer, who had a team-high 22 points and hurt the Bulldogs inside.
 
He is one of the many young players who should keep Camden at a high level next season.
 
There haven’t been too many games that Haddonfield has had to make a big comeback, but on Feb. 12, the Bulldogs overcame a 23-point deficit to beat West Deptford, 65-61.
 
Haddonfield leading scorer Dan Fleming missed that game due to illness.
 
He was back when Haddonfield eliminated West Deptford. 51-30 in a South Jersey Group 2 semifinal.
 
The 6-foot-7 Fleming, who is one of the best shooting big men in the area, was the difference maker against Camden, scoring a game-high 28 points, hitting five three pointers.
 
After the game, several Haddonfield players talked about never quitting and never thinking they were out of it, but there weren’t many others in the sold-out Cherry Hill East gym who felt the Bulldogs could come back.
 
Yet Haddonfield picked up the pressure, forced some key turnovers and got back into the game.
 
Haddonfield has a senior laden team and that experience paid huge dividends. Point guard Mike DePersia, among the best in South Jersey, faced relentless pressure from Camden, but kept making big plays.
 
He scored 19 points, but even more importantly ran the offense adeptly while Camden threw countless defenders at him.

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This will be the type of game that will be talked about for years. One that looked out of reach for Haddonfield, but instead was pulled out by a team that refused to lose in one of the classic games anybody will ever see in South Jersey.

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Author: Marc Narducci; Photo by Marc Narducci

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