By Lauree Padgett / Exclusive to Haddonfield[dot]Today
It was another four-game week for the Haddonfield boys basketball team. And you know what that meant: another four wins! The Dawgs beat three Conference opponents and a local team that’s been a fly in their ointment for a while to extend their winning streak to 15 and give them an overall record of 21–3 as they head into the final week of conference play.
Alas, I did not see the big game Saturday, 2/4, when the Dawgs went up against the Moorestown Quakers in the Holy Cross Academy Showcase. (I was attending my grand-nieces’ first birthday party, which was a pretty big deal too.) But I will share some details gleaned from an article by Kevin Minnick for NJ.com and some comments from those who were able to attend. But first, here’s a look at how this past week unfolded …
Game 1: Haddonfield at Haddon Township, 1/31/23
In the second meeting of these two Liberty division contenders, the Hawks tied the game on two foul shots at the 4:20 mark after Teddy Bond had gotten two from the line for the Dawgs a few plays earlier. After a jumper by Daire Roddy made it 4–2, Haddonfield, Haddon Township answered with a field goal of its own to again bring the match even at 4 with 3:15 left in the quarter. That would be the last tie of the game. Patrick Ryan’s determination gave him three chances to score, and the third time was the charm, putting the Dawgs up 6–4 with 2:49 on the clock. Sam Narducci hit two straight 3’s to push the Dawgs’ lead up to 12–4 with 1:11 to go. The Hawks broke their mini drought with a basket ahead of the buzzer, making it 12–6 in favor of the visitors going into the second quarter.
Foul shots by Nate Rohlfing (2) and Roddy (1) and another field goal by Ryan upped the Dawgs’ lead to 16–6 in the first 90 seconds of the next 8 minutes of play. The Hawks got a bucket before Narducci hit another trey and Rohlfing got 2 at one time on a nice feed from Bond, and with about 4 minutes left in the quarter, Haddonfield was up by 16, 24–8. The Hawks got back-to-back baskets, a 3 and a 2, but the Dawgs were still up by double digits, 24-13 with 2:50 until the half. A pretty overhand drive by Matt Morris was followed by another 3 by Haddon Township, and with the score Haddonfield 26, Haddon Township, 16, a timeout was called with 2:20 on the clock.
A bit of messy play followed on both sides. The Dawgs lost the ball on a bad pass. Under the Hawk basket, the Dawgs blocked two shots, sending the ball out of bounds both times. A pickoff by Roddy led to a foul called against Haddon Township that sent Narducci to the line. He hit 1–2. After the Hawks lost the ball out of bounds, Narducci went into the paint for 2 off a pass from Bond. The Hawks, who had some nice looks from behind the arc, hit a 3 for the final basket of the half. Heading into the locker room, the Dawgs were ahead by 10, 29–19.
The Dawgs’ offense really kicked in during the third quarter. While the defense held the Hawks to 8 points, the Dawgs put 25 on the board. Ryan, Narducci, Roddy, and Rohlfing had two buckets each, with Narducci’s coming off a foul shot and a 3. Morris hit a 3 as well, and Zack Langan put up 6 points on a pair of field goals and a pair of foul shots. When the period ended, the Dawgs were up by 27, 54–27.
Even with the starters and regular subs out for a good part of the fourth quarter, the Dawgs still added 20 points to their score and held the Hawks to 7 points. Bond hit 2 treys, sophomore Lear Fuller made a bucket and a foul shot, and freshman Chris Beane (I believe in past articles I misidentified his year) added 5 with two field goals and a foul shot. Joe Tedeschi sank a pair of foul shots, and Morris and Rohlfing each had one more field goal. When the horn sounded, the Dawgs had beat up the Hawks by 40, 74–34. Narducci led the Dawgs with 14, and Ryan and Rohlfing both had 10.
1st: Haddonfield, 12, Haddon Township, 6
2nd: Haddonfield, 29, Haddon Township, 19
3rd: Haddonfield, 54, Haddon Township, 27
4th: Haddonfield, 74, Haddon Township, 34
Sam Narducci: 14
Patrick Ryan: 10
Nate Rohlfing: 10
Daire Roddy: 9
Teddy Bond: 8
Matt Morris: 7
Zack Langan: 6
Chris Beane: 5
Lear Fuller: 3
Joe Tedeschi: 2
Game 2: West Deptford at Haddonfield, 2/2/23
This was Senior Night. Several of the “cheer squad” (formerly known as the cheerleaders) members are seniors and were recognized with their parents or guardians, but only one current Dawg will be moving on come June: Teddy Bond. Especially after his 10-trey performance the week before, I thought Teddy was deserving of some extra ink, so make sure you find the sidebar, “Ties That Bond” for the responses he gave me about what it’s been like being the sole senior on the team this year and what has made the Dawgs so tough against the competition.
Appropriately, Bond knocked down three 3’s in the first 8 minutes of the game. Narducci added a trey and a 2, Ryan had a trio of 2’s and Langan had a bucket as well. This was why the Dawgs were up by 8, 22–14, after 1. In the second quarter, the Dawgs put up another 22 on the board, but their defense held the Eagles to 7 points. The first 2 came off their initial possession of the game, which cut the Dawgs’ lead to 6, 22-16. However, the Dawgs then went on a 15–0 run that went like this:
Morris hit a 3. West Deptford didn’t score. Narducci hit a 3. West Deptford, deterred by nice “D” by Rohlfing, did not score. Ryan drove into the paint and scored off a feed by Roddy. Before West Deptford had a chance to not score again, Narducci picked off the ball, and after some solid Dawg passing, he hit a jumper. Narducci got the defensive board after West Deptford did not score, the Eagles were charged with their second foul of the half, and Rohlfing had a pretty drop-in. He then blocked a shot at the other end, which is why West Deptford did not score on that possession. And as he did to start the run, Morris hit a 3. At the 3:36 mark, the Dawgs were up by 21, 37–16.
The Eagles finally did score on an offensive rebound off another Rohlfing blocked shot, and after Haddonfield finally did not score, the Eagles did again. With 2:31 remaining in the half, however, the Dawgs were still in command, 38–20. A few plays later, a real scramble on the floor ensued that ended with Morris on the bottom of the heap with the ball. Bond was on the other end of the line to inbound the ball. He made a cross-court pass to Rohlfing, who made an uncontested basket, making it 40–20 with about 2 minutes left. Rohlfing would score the last 2 baskets of the half, with a 1–2 from the foul line by the Eagles sandwiched in between. When the teams walked off the court, the Dawgs were up by more than twice the Eagles’ score, 44–21.
In the third quarter, the Eagles outscored the Dawgs by 2, 14–12, but even so, going into the final 8 minutes of play, the Dawgs were still on top by 21, 56–35. That 2-point differential flipped back to the Dawgs in quarter 4, as they scored 13 points to the Eagles’ 11. When it was all said and done, the Dawgs had won their 13th straight game (which is not so coincidentally Teddy Bond’s number) by 25, 69–44. Ryan and Rohlfing (doesn’t that sound like a great name for a law firm?) each had 13. Number 13 himself, however, finished with 14.
1st: Haddonfield, 22, West Deptford, 14
2nd: Haddonfield, 44, West Deptford, 21
3rd: Haddonfield, 56, West Deptford, 35
4th: Haddonfield, 69, West Deptford, 44
Teddy Bond: 14
Patrick Ryan: 13
Nate Rohlfing: 13
Sam Narducci: 11
Matt Morris: 8
Zach Langan: 6
Joe Tedeschi: 2
Phil McFillin: 2
Ties That Bond
My first recollections of Teddy Bond are from seeing him at games with his parents Rich and Susie watching his oldest brother Richie (2016) play for the Dawgs. One of Richie’s biggest games was against Haddon Heights his senior year. The Garnets had been ahead the whole game, which was at Haddonfield, but Richie hit a basket with 6 seconds left to put the Dawgs on top by 1, 71–70, and secured a come-from-behind victory. Brother Will, who graduated 2 years later in 2018, was on the first of the Dawgs’ 2018 and 2019 back-to-back state championship teams. Will broke his wrist early in the season, but came back to contribute important minutes in the Dawgs’ run to the Group 2 state title.
So when I asked Teddy if seeing his brothers on the court contributed to him having his own basketball career for the Dawgs, I wasn’t surprised by his response. “Growing up watching Richie and Will definitely influenced me to play basketball. Going to all their games growing up and watching how much fun they had always seemed like a good deal to me. I knew Coach Wiedeman and the system coming into it so it was perfect.”
I also wanted to know what it’s been like for Teddy being the only senior on a team that is made up primarily of juniors (11) along with a sophomore and two freshmen. He told me, “It’s definitely been weird being the only senior, but it works out though.” Because the juniors had been playing so long together, he knew it wasn’t going to be an issue coming into the season.
I’ve been noticing a lot lately that when the team comes back out onto the court after a timeout, especially when it’s later in the game, Teddy is talking to his teammates. I asked if that has been self-directed or if the coaches have been encouraging him. It sounds like it’s been a little bit of both: “After timeouts, I usually try to get the guys together to talk about what I see or how we can attack the other team better. I try to make sure they all have level heads and are calm coming back onto the court because I know for a lot of them, it’s their first year playing on the varsity level. It’s a small thing I try to do to keep everyone together.” He added that coaches Paul Wiedeman and Anthony Parenti are always pushing him to be the best leader he can be. “I credit the small things like that to them.”
Next, I was curious as to what he thinks helped turn the team around after the two losses early in January to Sterling and Hammonton. He said he’s not sure if there’s just one thing that’s contributing to the year the Dawgs are having. “Our team is just a brotherhood. No one plays for themselves; we all play for each other. From playing together in the summer to now, our bonds have really grown, and now we are just having fun with it. It’s a true family with our team and we all trust one another to have our backs in war. I have never been a part of something like this before and it’s truly special.”
Speaking of fun, how fun is it, I wanted to know, playing pressure defense, especially going up against teams like Mainland, who clearly didn’t know what hit them? Teddy confirmed that they are having really good time defensively. “We are running around creating havoc for the other team and winning games because of it. Our tight-knit defense is credited toward Coach [Brian] Stafford and it’s awesome. It took a little bit to get used to early in the season, but once we figured it out, everything has just come easy.” I found out that Teddy and Daire Roddy have come up with a catchy name for their defense: “Havoc at Haddonfield.” This, he explains, is because the players know the other team won’t know what to run against them. “We take away the three balls, the drive, the post up, really everything.”
Of course I wanted to find out what was going through Teddy’s mind during the Camden Tech game, which was the first game in the Camden County Tournament, when he was on fire with the 3’s and tied Andrew Gostovich for 10 in one game. “Monday’s game [1/23] was for sure one I will remember forever.” He admits that he was nervous toward the end when he started to get close, but credits his teammates with helping him to tie it. “It was a surreal feeling being able to do something special with that group of guys. If it wasn’t for my teammates, coaches, parents, and everyone involved, I don’t think I would have been able to do it. It’s not my record, it’s our record.”
Whenever it happens (and let’s hope for later rather than sooner) and Teddy walks off the court for the last time as a Dawg, it will be an end of a Bond era at Haddonfield. I know I’m speaking for all Dawgs fans when I wish Teddy the best as he goes onto the University of Mississippi (aka Ole Miss) to study economics. Maybe during his winter breaks, he’ll come back and sit in the stands again to cheer on the Dawgs like he did when he was little. (Sniff.)
Game 3: Haddonfield vs. Moorestown at Holy Cross Academy Prep Showcase, 2/4/23
This is the game I missed due to my little nieces’ first birthday party. I did not know that going into the game on Saturday, the Quakers were ranked 20th in the state, with a record of 15–4. That doesn’t sound that impressive, but according to my astute travel buddy, this was based more on the toughness of their schedule than the number of wins versus losses. I also had forgotten (blocked out, more than likely) the tough Tournament of Champions game in 2019 that Haddonfield lost by 1 point, 59–60, to the Quakers, as well as another close but no-win game against Moorestown in a previous Holy Cross Prep Showcase …
My travel buddy kept me posted during the game. The first few texts did not sound too encouraging. “12–7 them [end of] 1st.” Then, “Whoops. 20-12 them start of 3rd.” However, the next communique was much more promising: “25–22 us [end of] 3rd.” It was nerve-wracking waiting for news, so I finally texted, “Update?” “35–31 us 12 seconds [to go] our ball” came the reply. And then came the best text: “37–31 we win.” “Whoop!” I responded.
It wasn’t until another friend texted and told me this was a “huge win,” especially because of Moorestown’s ranking, that I realized the Dawgs really had pulled off an upset and had not just had an impressive, come-from-behind victory.
I was hoping this game would be available as a stream on (or off) YouTube but that wasn’t the case. While as a non-subscriber I couldn’t access it the day of the game, I was able to read the full article by NJ.com’s Kevin Minnick the next day, titled “Haddonfield Turns Up the Heat, Upends No. 20 Moorestown in Holy Cross Prep Showcase.”
One of his first sentences captures what I think a lot of Dawg fans have been saying the last several weeks: “Allowing just 36 points per game, it’s the defensive intensity that has fueled the offense and allowed Haddonfield to enjoy significant success this winter.” That’s how, in the second half, the Dawgs were able to turn an 8-point deficit at the start of the third into a 3-point edge at the end of it. My travel buddy told me at Sunday’s game how the Dawgs just came out in the second half and kicked up the defense, which is how they held the Quakers to 2 third quarter points. I found out from Minnick’s article that the Dawgs not only shut down the Quakers offensively, it enabled them to go on a 10–0 run to start the quarter, thanks in part to two straight 3’s by Teddy Bond and Zach Langan
The fourth quarter must have been intense, as Moorestown tried to mount a comeback but came up short. The Dawgs outscored them by 3, giving them a 6-point, 37–31, victory. Minnick noted that only Patrick Ryan reached double digits for either team, with 10 for Haddonfield. But all those other points sure mattered. And it meant Haddonfield was now riding a 14-game winning streak.
Game 4: Gloucester City at Haddonfield, Camden County Tournament, Round 2, 2/5/23
The game against Moorestown was over a little after 5 p.m. on Saturday. Sunday at 10 a.m., the boys were back on their (home) court, going up against a Colonial Patriot opponent, the Gloucester City Lions, whom the Dawgs had beaten on 1/11, also at home, rather handily, 62–36. Two key questions would be addressed in this game: Would the Dawgs be still savoring their upset of the Quakers? And would they have the stamina to play another game 15 hours after the previous one ended?
The first question was answered pretty quickly. The boys did not seem to be focused on anything but the game at hand, which was good to see. As for fatigue, that the game started on a steal and a 2-point basket by the Lions was an indication that it was going to be a factor. Just how much of one remained to be seen.
Patrick Ryan tied the game at 2 on a pair of foul shots, and after pulling down an offensive board a possession later, he set up a basket by Daire Roddy, which put the Dawgs up 4–2 with 6:08 on the clock. After a combined steal by Sam Narducci and Roddy, Teddy Bond got his own offensive rebound and scored, making it 6–2, Haddonfield about 25 seconds later.
The Lions got a point back from the foul line, and after the Dawgs turned over the ball on a 3-second call, the Lions shot off an air ball. The Dawgs missed their next shot and did not make a good effort for an offensive rebound. At the other end, Gloucester City did get a second-chance shot, which dropped, bringing them to within 1, 6–5, with 3:45 left in the quarter.
The Dawgs missed both shots from the foul line, but the Lions lost the ball out of bounds. Zach Langan, who has been quietly hitting big shots when the Dawgs need one, nailed a 3, and at the other end, Bond clamped down on the rebound. Narducci missed a shot but fought hard to get the board and was rewarded with a basket. That put the Dawgs up by 6, 11–5, at the 2:30 mark and Gloucester City called a timeout.
They followed their timeout with a basket, but Ryan answered with one under the Dawg basket, keeping it a 6-point, 13–7, Haddonfield advantage with 1:53 left. The Dawgs missed two shots, Langan stole the ball, but the Dawgs missed another shot, which was a sign of “tired legs syndrome.” The Lions were going for the last shot of the quarter, but Langan stole the ball again, but without time for anything but a heave toward the other end of the court, so the quarter ended with the Dawgs still up 13–7.
The second quarter started with Gloucester City inbounding and failing to score. Nate Rohlfing, just in the game, got his first basket off an offensive rebound and pass from Roddy, making it 15–7, Dawgs with about 30 seconds gone in the quarter. Bond got a blocked shot, Matt Morris, also making his first appearance in the game, pulled down a board, but the Dawgs were called for an offensive foul. Bond got a rebound and Morris, in traffic under the basket, hesitated before going up and in, throwing off his defenders and resulting in 2 points for Haddonfield. This gave the Dawgs their first double-digit lead, 17–7. With 5:56 on the clock, Gloucester City took a timeout. Again the timeout did not lead to a basket. Morris got another board, and Langan was fouled driving to the basket. He stepped to the line and with his high-arching shots, found nothing but net, making it 19–7, Dawgs.
The Lions’ first basket of the second was a 3, but it was quickly followed by a Roddy-to-Rohlfing play that gave Rohlfing his second field goal of the quarter. Roddy then got a steal and Bond made a nifty bounce pass to Langan, who got 2 this time from the floor. With 3:47 remaining in the half, the Dawgs might have been a bit tired, but were still ahead by 13, 23–10. The Lions got another basket, and then so did Rohlfing, keeping a 13-point game, 25–12, with 2:32 on the clock.
The Lions then started closing in a bit on the Dawgs. After a field goal, and a missed Haddonfield shot, a foul sent the Lions to the line, where both shots were good. The Dawgs missed another shot while the Lions made another one. With 1:16 left in the game, the Lions were back to within 6, 25–19. Neither team scored their next possession. Bond secured the defensive board for Haddonfield and got an assist on the 2-pointer from Morris with about 29 seconds left in the half. The Lions were waiting for a final shot, but it did not go in so when the buzzer sounded, the Dawgs had an 8-point, 27–19 halftime edge.
I don’t think anyone in the stands (and there weren’t as many, understandably, on a Sunday morning than there usually are for an evening game) was too worried, even though it was fairly clear that the boys weren’t playing at full tilt this game. But when the third quarter started and the Lions were keeping pace with the Dawgs, it didn’t seem out of the realm of possibility that the Dawgs might be in for another fight.
With 6:49 on the clock and the Dawgs still unable to get beyond a 6-point lead, up 29–23, Langan hit another one of his 3’s. Gloucester City said, “Hey, nice shot. Look at our 3,” and it remained a 6-point, 32–26, game. The next trip down the court, Langan handed the ball off to Bond, who hit a 3, pushing the Dawgs’ lead to 9, 35–26, with 5:30 to go in the third. Neither team scored for a few possessions, then the Lions got a field goal with 4:04 on the clock, cutting the Dawg lead back to 7, 35–28. Narducci stole the ball, but his shot did not drop. Bond recovered the ball and put it up and in, giving the Dawgs a 9-point advantage again. That didn’t last long, as the Lions hit a 3, and the lead slipped back down to 6, 37–31, with 3 and change left in the quarter.
The Dawgs, in the person of Ryan, got the next 6 points of the game. The first came off a feed from Roddy in which Ryan made a nice pivot to put the ball in the net. The next 2 points came off foul shots, and put the Dawgs up by 10, 41–31, with 2:01 to go. After Langan was called for a foul on what looked like an all-ball move, there were several boos from the crowd (we might have been small, but we were loud). The Lions called a timeout and after inbounding, the teams played hot potato with the ball. Haddonfield wound up with it, and Ryan scored once more on a pass from Roddy, making it a 12-point, 43–31, Dawg advantage.
The Lions lost the ball out of bounds, and Langan forced a foul going in for a basket. He made 1–2 from the line. Bond got the offensive board, Gloucester picked it off, but Bond blocked the shot at the other end of the court, and it went out of bounds off the Lions with about 26 seconds left. Langan set Ryan up this time, and he was fouled while in the act of scoring. His foul shot swoosh in, and with 4.8 seconds on the clock, the Dawgs had shaken off their tired legs syndrome and were up by 16, 47–31.
After putting 20 points on the board in the third and holding Gloucester City to 12, the Dawgs got 19 more points in the last 8 minutes, holding the Lions again to a dozen. Out of those 19, Rohlfing got 9, and Jack Walters and Mike Feinstein each hit a 3. Morris got one more field goal and Narducci made 2 from the foul line. The final score was Haddonfield 66, Gloucester City 43. That the Dawgs were able to pull away in the second half and win by 23 was a statement in and of itself about the determination of its players, even when they are not playing at 100% strength.
Ryan and Rohlfing each scored 15 points. Langan followed with 11. This win advances the Dawgs to the next round of the Camden County tournament, which is scheduled to be played at Sterling on Saturday, 2/11, at 4 p.m. As of Sunday night, the Dawgs’ online schedule was not indicating who the Dawgs will be going up against.
1st: Haddonfield, 13, Gloucester City, 7
2nd: Haddonfield, 27, Gloucester City, 19
3rd: Haddonfield, 47, Gloucester City, 31
4th: Haddonfield, 66, Gloucester City, 43
Patrick Ryan: 15
Nate Rohlfing: 15
Zach Langan: 11
Teddy Bond: 7
Matt Morris: 6
Sam Narducci: 4
Jack Walters: 3
Mike Feinstein: 3
The Dawgs go into the final week of the regular season 21–3 overall and 12–1 in Colonial Conference play; within the Liberty division, they are 6–1 and tied with Sterling, who suffered a 46–55 defeat at the hands of Haddon Heights (yay Garnets!) on 1/31. Haddonfield plays away (game time 7 p.m.) on Tuesday versus the Red Raiders of Paulsboro, who are in the Patriot division. On Thursday, Sterling, who gave Haddonfield its only Liberty loss, comes to town. If Sterling can handle Haddon Township on Tuesday, this second meeting Thursday between the Dawgs and the Silver Knights will determine who wins the Liberty crown. So, Dawgs fans, come to the gym on Thursday (game time 7 p.m., but come early!), wear red and black, and cheer hard. I know our Dawgs will play hard!