With each passing game the Haddon Township High School girls’ basketball team proves that being young can be a very good thing. The Hawks went undefeated again last week and have transformed into one of the Colonial Conference’s best teams. Meanwhile, the wrestling team also had a monster week, going 4-0 against some strong competition.
With a starting lineup that doesn’t include a single upperclassman, Haddon Township girls’ basketball coach Tom Mulligan found a different way to inject some experience into his team.
He brought back alumni.
Mulligan has had former Hawks in and out of the gym, helping the young squad learn what it's like to succeed at the high school level. The advice from the experienced veterans has clearly paid off, as Haddon Township went 2-0 last week to run its record to 9-2.
Mulligan said he has seen significant growth from his team—which features four sophomores and a freshman starting—particularly in the last few weeks.
“I think in December we were inconsistent with valuing the ball every possession,” Mulligan said. “It wasn’t that we were playing selfish, but we were really lacking some team stuff at times. What I thought was huge for our team was that five different times we have brought in alumni between 19 and 25 that played for us. Not only were they really good players who played in college, but they were the type of kids that didn’t care if they took two shots or seven. That kind of rubbed off on our girls. I really owe this to a lot of the alumni that came back.”
The Hawks picked up 37-25 win against Woodbury (10-3) last week, moving closer to the division lead. Freshman Morgan Lenehan, whose father was a well-respected coach in the area, scored 12 points, as did sophomore Bella Preziosi.
“It’s just a really, really quality win for us, because our kids really got tested,” said Mulligan. “It seems like there is a million people in this gym with all of the noise all the time.”
The Hawks followed with a 50-34 win over Audubon. The Hawks take on Lindenwold (Thursday) and Lower Cape May (Saturday).
Haddon Township never let Audubon think it had even a remote chance of recording an upset last week, jumping out to a 18-2 first-quarter lead and never looking back in a 64-34 win. Tyler Easterday had it going on from beyond the arc, draining a trio of 3-pointers and finishing with 24 points. Senior guard Trey Thatcher also had a hot hand, contributing 12 points.
The win allowed the Hawks to snap a two-game skid, which included a 51-43 setback to Woodbury earlier in the week. Easterday had 17 points but the Hawks were unable to climb out of the 17-11 hole they found themselves in after the first quarter.
The Hawks have run their record to 12-1 after going 4-0 last week. Haddon Township began the week with a whitewash of Overbrook. Each Hawks wrestler earned a win in a 79-0 victory.
The team followed that performance up by going undefeated in a quad meet. Haddon Township got wins over Absegami (56-21), Woodstown (41-28) and Egg Harbor Township (49-21). Chris Wolf was a man on a mission, going 3-0 with two pins and a decision at 106 pounds. Brian Navarro (pin, major decision, forfeit at 120), Jason Martinak (three pins at 132), Marvin Japa (pin, forfeit, DQ at 152), Sean Jones (two decisions, major decision at 170) and Tim Wolf (pin, mjor decision, forfeit at 195) also went 3-0 on the afternoon.
The Hawks (3-4) inched closer to the .500 mark with an 87-83 win over Seneca last week.