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Boys’ Basketball: Dawgs bounce back big

By Lauree Padgett / Exclusive to Haddonfield[dot]Today

I’m not sure if the Haddonfield boys basketball team started eating double servings of Wheaties this past week (the breakfast of champions, you know), or they just got themselves wound up after a three-game stretch in which their play looked lackluster at best. Or maybe they just started listening more to Coach Paul Wiedeman from the sidelines. Whatever the explanation, suffice to say the Dawgs got their bite back and then some on the way to collecting four—that’s right, four—dominating victories in week 5 of the high school hoops season.

Because all four games were not even that close after the first quarter, I’m not going to recap every quarter of each game. Instead, I’m going to throw out some impressive stats and then take a look at the decisive parts of each game.

Over those four games, two against Colonial Conference foes and two versus nonleague teams, the Dawgs won by an average of 25.25 points. Conversely, their opponents only averaged 29 points against what truly was a smothering Dawgs’ defense for almost all of the 16 quarters they played. Only Gloucester City broke 30, but the Dawgs put 26 more points on the board than the Lions. The team knocked down 26 3’s over this stretch, but even better, the Dawgs weren’t dependent on outside shooting to stay ahead.

Game 1: Haddonfield at Lindenwold, 1/9/22

This was the first game after the Dawgs had lost back-to-back contests against Sterling (39–47, which gave Haddonfield their first loss within the conference) and Hammonton (37–45). And it didn’t start out all that well. The Dawgs only got two buckets in the first 8 minutes, both by junior Patrick Ryan. Ryan’s first gave the Dawgs a 2–0 lead, but the Lions answered with a 3. Ryan put the Dawgs ahead again, 4–3, however, Lindenwold would get the last basket (at the 2:30 mark, which shows how poorly both teams were setting up plays and scoring to begin with) to take a 1-point lead into the second quarter. That would be the last time the Dawgs trailed at the end of a quarter for the rest of the week.

The Dawgs’ offense woke up a bit in the next 24 minutes, as they put 14, 14, and 15 on the board in the second, third, and fourth quarters, respectively. And 34 of those points came from the paint or inside the arc. Junior Matt Morris and Ryan led the way, with Morris scoring 15 to Ryan’s 12. In an “if you blinked” (or were scribbling in your notepad) moment at the end of the third, Morris drove into the lane, scored, then intercepted the Lions’ inbound pass under the Dawgs’ basket and scored again. When the buzzer sounded to end the 4th quarter, Haddonfield was on top by 21, 47–26. The Dawgs’ defense held Lindenwold to single digits every quarter.

Quarter Scores:

1st: Haddonfield, 4, Lindenwold, 5

2nd: Haddonfield,18,  Lindenwold, 11

3rd: Haddonfield, 32, Lindenwold, 17

4th: Haddonfield, 47, Lindenwold, 26

Player Scores:

Matt Morris: 15

Patrick Ryan: 12

Teddy Bond: 6

Nate Rohlfing: 6

Sam Narducci: 4

Zach Langan: 2

Joe Tedeschi: 2

Game 2: Gloucester City at Haddonfield, 1/11/23

The Dawgs offense kicked in from the start in this game against the newest member of the Patriot division of the Colonial, also with the nickname of the Lions. In the first 5 minutes, the Dawgs went on a 14-0 run, with 2’s from Sam Narducci and Teddy Bond, 3’s from Narducci and Daire Roddy, and a pair of foul shots from Narducci, before the Lions, hit a 3. The Dawgs would get 7 more in the quarter, while Gloucester City only mustered one additional basket, a 2-point field goal, making it 19–5, Haddonfield, as the second quarter started.

The Dawgs scoring slowed a bit in the second, as they added in only 9 more points on 3’s from Matt Morris and Roddy and a 3-point play—a basket and a foul shot—from Nate Rohlfing. The Lions were held to 5 again, so going into the half, the Dawgs were up by 18, 28–10.

The third quarter saw the biggest point tally for Haddonfield. Narducci and Roddy each nailed another 3 while Bond sank a pair of treys. Ryan had a pair of field goals, Narducci added a 2, and Rohlfing, who is almost automatic on the foul line, dropped in 2. These 8 minutes were also the Lions’ best effort of the game, as they put 17 on the board. Going into the fourth, the Dawgs were up by 21, 48–27.

With most of the starters out, the Dawgs still put 14 points on the board in the 4th. Morris and Phil McFillin had 3’s, Ryan and Rohlfing went up and in for 2’s, and Morris hit two foul shots. When this game was officially over (I say “officially” because it was pretty much over by halftime), the Dawgs had sent the Lions running, upending them by 26, 62–36.

Quarter Scores:

1st: Haddonfield, 19, Gloucester City, 5

2nd: Haddonfield, 28, Gloucester City, 10

3rd: Haddonfield, 48,Gloucester City, 27

4th: Haddonfield, 62 Gloucester City, 36

Player Scores:

Sam Narducci: 12

Teddy Bond: 11

Patrick Ryan: 10

Daire Roddy: 9

Matt Morris: 8

Nate Rohlfing: 7

Phil McFillin: 5

Game 3: Haddonfield at Pemberton Township High School, 1/12/23

This was a nonleague game I was very happy to be able to stream, since it started at 5:30 and would have been at least a 35-minute drive from Voorhees. (That’s where I live, in case you didn’t know.) At least I was happy for the first 5:10 of the first quarter …

But to begin with, after both sides had some loose play in their opening possessions, the Hornets scored after an offensive board. Junior Zach Langan got the Dawgs on the board and tied the game at 2 with 5:45 on the clock. A feed from Daire Roddy to Patrick Ryan made it 4–2, Haddonfield, but it was immediately followed by another 2 from Pemberton. Teddy Bond’s drive with 4 and change showing slid the lead back to the Dawgs, 6–4. After the Hornets did not score, Roddy picked up another assist, this time dishing the ball to Langan, who went up and in, making it 8–4, Dawgs. Roddy, who had a great overall floor game, secured the rebound at the other end of the court, and this time, Sam Narducci found the net to push the lead to 6, 10–4, with 3:04 left in the quarter.

The Dawgs almost had another steal (I had marked three for the quarter already), but it went out of bounds off Haddonfield, so Pemberton maintained possession. At the 2:50 mark, their coach thought a timeout was prudent … That timeout lasted a loooooong time. Well, the timeout didn’t but that’s when the feed froze. After a few minutes, I got a text from my traveling buddy (TB), who was also streaming the game:

            TB: Did your picture freeze?

            Me: Yes.

            TB: Ugh.

            Me: What did you do, lol?

            TB: Still frozen here (this text was sent at 5:59, so you know this was a long delay)

            Me: Yup, grrrrr …

I think most of us who were still hoping the feed would start up again (and periodically refreshing the screen) were about to give up when there was finally screen movement again. But it didn’t pick up at the 2:50 mark of the first quarter. There was now 1:12 left in the second quarter. I was thrown a bit and was quite baffled as to how we were now down 13–24, as I texted:

            Me: Back and not good … Oh, wait. We are the guests …

            TB: I was wondering …

So in fact, after the Hornets got a basket as the action picked back up, it was 24–15, Dawgs, and that’s how the quarter ended. Thanks to the commentators from Pemberton Township High, who commented that Teddy Bond had gotten 10 of the Dawgs’ 11 second quarter points, with Morris adding a foul shot, I was able to mark that info down on my scorepad. What I didn’t know at the time was whether Bond had made three 3’s and a foul shot or a pair of treys and a pair of field goals. I also now knew that if the halftime score was 24–15, and the Dawgs had put 11 on the board in the second 8 minutes, the Dawgs had gotten 13 in the first quarter. When the feed stalled, the Dawgs had 10. So, who got those other 3 points and how? Happily, the Hornet commentators would fill me in before the game was over with point totals and even telling me how many 3’s Bond had made.

In quarter 3, in what is turning out to usually be the 8 minutes when the offense really kicks in, the Dawgs scored 8 baskets. Bond hit another 3, Narducci had a trio of field goals, Ryan had a pair, and Morris and Langan each added a bucket. Going into the last 8 minutes, the Dawgs had the Hornets buzzing mad, as they down by 21, 20–241. Each team added 7 points in the final 8 minutes, so when the game was over, the Dawgs had kept that 21-point advantage with a honey of a 48–27 win.

Quarter Scores:

1st: Haddonfield, 13, Pemberton Township High School, 8

2nd: Haddonfield, 24, Pemberton Township High School, 15

3rd: Haddonfield, 41, Pemberton Township High School, 20

4th: Haddonfield, 48, Pemberton Township High School, 27

Player Scores:

Teddy Bond: 18

Sam Narducci: 12

Patrick Ryan: 9

Zach Langan: 6

Matt Morris: 3

Game 4: Haddonfield at Overbrook, 1/14/23

Although Overbrook left the Colonial Conference a few years ago and is now in the Tri-County, the teams have still been meeting in nonleague contests. Almost 51 weeks to the day in 2022, the Dawgs, playing at home, had trailed the Rams the entire game. They were down by 2 and Overbrook was trying to inbound under their basket with 1.7 to go. (The Dawgs had knocked it out of bounds in the Rams’ first attempt.) Wiedeman had his two tallest players (Matt Guveiyian and Teddy Bond) guarding the baseline. The Ram tasked with getting the ball inbounds decided the smartest move would be a high lob pass to his teammate on the other side of half-court. He wasn’t expecting Daire Roddy to leap up in front of his teammate to intercept the ball. Borrowing from last year’s write-up, here’s what happened next: “With amazing poise, Roddy dribbled the ball into Haddonfield territory, and instead of just throwing up the ball in desperation, he set his feet and made a shot, not a heave. The buzzer sounded as the ball was in midflight. It hit nothing but net for a waaay-behind-arc 3. The Dawgs had won in stunning fashion, 41–40.”

Having checked on how the Rams had been doing so far this season before heading out to today’s game, I discovered because they had played one more conference game than the Dawgs, they had a 7–1 record to the Dawgs’ 6–1 record. Both teams were 9–3 overall. That made me think it could be another down-to-the-wire game, and I hoped Daire Roddy was at the ready! It turns out, Haddonfield would not need any last-second heroics this go-round. However, we still got a pretty darn exciting half-court basket … More on that in a bit.

That a big, game-winning shot would not be required wasn’t obvious at the outset of the game. Overbrook got the ball from the tipoff and scored, while Haddonfield failed to do so its first possession. After getting an out-of-bounds call under the Rams’ basket, the Dawgs then picked up two quick fouls. But good hustle helped the Rams get called for a backcourt violation. With 6:19 on the clock, Patrick Ryan got the Dawgs’ first bucket off a pass from Zach Langan to tie it at 2. After a near pickoff by Sam Narducci, Ryan got the defensive board, but the Dawgs’ shot missed the mark. Pressure from all five Dawgs kept Overbrook from getting its shot to drop, but the ball went out of bounds off Haddonfield. Roddy turned the tables and got the ball to go off a Ram, giving the Dawgs back the ball. Ryan was fouled trying to score and made both his shots to put the Dawgs ahead by 2, 4–2, with 4:19 left in the quarter.

The Dawgs kept pressing and the Rams kept missing shots and/or losing the ball out of bounds. Ryan blocked a shot, and Bond stole the ball off the inbound, but the Dawgs lost the ball on a dicey pass. The Rams returned the favor, also sending a bad pass out of bounds, but the Dawgs couldn’t take advantage of it and came away empty-handed. The next scoring came on a 3 by the Rams’ Devon Johnson, which put him into the 1,000-points club. Time out was called so his teammates, family, and fans (on both sides of the court) could applaud his accomplishment, which also put his team up by 1, 5–4, with 2:23 left to go.

That would be the last time Overbrook would be on top the rest of the game. After a Haddonfield travel and Overbrook being pressed into making another bad pass that went off the court, Narducci’s 3 gave the lead back to Haddonfield, 7–5, with 1:23 remaining in the quarter. Overbrook kept struggling to get shots off because the Dawgs were playing zone and in their faces. Between near pickoffs, actual steals, blocked shots, and defensive boards, the Rams had a tough time for all four quarters. With 1.4 left, the Dawgs got called for a sloppy foul that sent a Ram to the foul line. He converted 1–2.

That made foul shot would be the last point Overbrook would put on the board until the 1:57 mark in the third quarter. No, that was not a typo. Haddonfield kept Overbrook from scoring at all in the second quarter and for more than 6 minutes in the third quarter. While keeping Overbrook from getting anything into the net in the next 8 minutes of play, the Dawgs weren’t exactly on fire offensively, but thanks to a pair of 2’s from Matt Morris, a bucket in the paint from Nate Rohlfing, and a basket and a 2 from the line from Ryan, going into halftime, the Dawgs were up by 11, 17–6.

Just ahead of the start of the third quarter, Nostra“thomas” Betley said it was time for Haddonfield to blow the game open with some 3’s. The Dawgs were happy to oblige. Although the first shot of the third, an attempted 3, did not go in, the next four did. Narducci got the trey dropping with a little more than a minute gone, putting his team on top by 14, 20–6. Ryan pulled down another defensive board, and Bond nailed a 3. After Overbrook lost the ball out of bounds, Bond did it again.

With 6:28 on the clock and down by 20, 6–26, Overbrook called a timeout. It didn’t help or cool off Bond. After Langan and Narducci combined for a steal, Bond hit his third trey in less than a minute. To put it bluntly, Haddonfield was ramming Overbrook 29–6.

The Dawgs finally didn’t score, but after Narducci got a defensive board, he went cross-court and scored. In the next possession, Narducci’s attempted 3 went in and out, but after Overbrook turned over the ball again, Narducci went in for another 2, and with just under 4 minutes to go, the Dawgs were up by 27, 33–6. The Dawgs defense kept hounding the Rams, even though Haddonfield didn’t score for a few possessions. When another basket went it, it was Narducci once more, and with 2:02 on the clock, the Dawgs were up by 29, 35–6.

Finally, after nearly two quarters with nary a point, the Rams got a basket with 1:57 to go in the quarter. Rohlfing got those 2 points back from the foul line. After a steal by Morris, Narducci got the Dawgs’ fifth 3 of the third, making it 40–8, Haddonfield, with 1:23 remaining. Rohlfing got one more from the line, and with 3.0 left, so did Overbrook. That appeared to be the last point of the third, but Phil McFillin, in off the bench, did his best Daire Roddy impression and hit a half-court 3 as time expired. With 8 minutes left to play, the Dawgs were up by 35, 44–9, having put 27 points on the board in the quarter to the Rams’ 3.

Before the fourth quarter was over, all of the Dawgs who play JV but also are part of the varsity squad had come in off the bench. Several of them had seen some minutes earlier than the fourth. Rohlfing, who had his best game of the year both offensively and defensively, scored three more times in the paint. McFillin launched another 3, Jack Walters hit a 3 and a 2, and freshman Mike Douglas (except for Bond, who is a senior, the rest of the team is made up of juniors and one sophomore, Lear Fuller) notched a bucket. And after only getting 9 points through 3 quarters, the Rams got 18 points in the final 8 minutes. Those 18 points barely made a dent, as the final score was Haddonfield, 60, Overbrook, 27. Eight Dawgs scored at least one basket in this big win.

Quarter Scores:

1st: Haddonfield, 7, Overbrook, 6

2nd: Haddonfield, 17, Overbrook, 6

3rd: Haddonfield, 44, Overbrook, 9

4th: Haddonfield, 60, Overbrook, 27

Player Scores:

Sam Narducci: 15

Nate Rohlfing: 11

Teddy Bond: 9

Patrick Ryan: 8

Phil McFillin: 6

Jack Walters: 5

Matt Morris: 4

Mike Douglas: 2

The Dawgs are now 10–3 overall and 6–1 in the Colonial Conference. Up next is a home game versus Woodbury on Tuesday, 1/17,at 7:00 p.m. and a 5:30 p.m. away game at Collingswood on Thursday, 1/19. Saturday, 1/21, the Dawgs will play Mainland Regional at Paul the VI in a game scheduled for 5:30 (but that will probably start later), as there will be games ahead of it.