In one moment, Morgan Lenahan runs the ball up the court, shrugging off defenders and finding an open teammate on the offensive end. In the next, she transforms into a pesky defender, looking for every opportunity to knock the ball away from the opponent.
Lenahan has looked nothing like a freshman this season for the Haddon Township High School girls’ basketball team.
Instead, she has looked every bit like her father’s daughter.
Morgan is the daughter of Tim Lenahan, who died suddenly of congestive heart failure in 2005. He was one of the most well-respected basketball minds in the area, spending 28 years as the head boys’ basketball coach at St. Rose of Lima in Haddon Heights. He helped hundreds of students find success when they reached the high-school level and saw dozens go on to play at college. He also ran youth camps, giving his time to the children of the community.
Morgan was only 7 when her father passed, but had already taken a liking to the sport he was so fond of teaching.
“When I was younger, I always went to his practices and camps,” Lenahan said. “I slowly got into it. I have been playing since I was little. He taught me so much about the game and I’m just continuing it.”
It’s fitting that Morgan has already developed into the type of point guard her father was known for producing—a guard who could excel at running the fast break while also being fundamentally sound.
“She doesn’t even know how good she can be yet,” Hawks’ coach Tom Mulligan said. “Just the things she does on the court are so impressive.”
Lenahan scored 12 points Tuesday night, leading Haddon Township to a 37-25 road win against Woodbury (9-3). The victory was the sixth in a row for the Hawks, who are 8-2 despite starting a freshman and four sophomores.
“I think every game we go into, we go as hard as we can and never give up,” Lenahan said. “I know our team is young but we always do our best, and I think we have been doing amazing every game.”
Mulligan, who picked up his 400th victory earlier this season, praised Lehehan’s basketball intelligence, saying she never looks overmatched even against some talented veterans.
“She has a tremendous basketball IQ and once she starts to believe in herself more she will be even better,” Mulligan said. “Today, she hit some big 15- and 18-foot shots and made some key steals. I think Morgan is really fun to watch when she gets up and pressures people for 75 feet.”
Lenahan admitted to having a few freshman jitters at times this season.
“Sometimes I get nervous as the point guard as a freshman,” Lenahan said. “Coming out here, I don’t want to ruin the game, but I do the best I can. I try to get the ball to the people that are open and spread the ball around, but I am nervous sometimes.”
The Hawks are very much involved in the Colonial Conference Patriot Division race and will almost certainly be a factor when the state playoffs role around. With each passing game, Lenahan becomes increasingly confident in her abilities to play against the top guards in the conference.
At this point in the season, she no longer considers herself a freshman and opponents would be wise to do the same.
“I feel like I’m with everyone else. I feel like I’m right there,” Lenahan said. “It doesn’t really hurt me anymore being a freshman. It doesn’t faze me.”