Skip to content Skip to left sidebar Skip to footer


HMHS Boys Basketball: 2023–24 Season in Review

By Lauree Padgett / Exclusive to Haddonfield[dot]Today

In a 30-game season in which the Dawgs won 90% of their games, with a 27–3 overall record, a 12–0 record in the Liberty division of the Colonial Conference, and a total sweep of the Colonial at large, not to mention the Dawgs defeating their first 21 opponents, there are going to be a lot of highlights! Here are the ones (“wons”) that stand out for me in (mostly) chronological order.

• December 14: In the first game of the season, the host Dawgs beat nemesis Haddon Heights but only by 5 points, 51–46. The Dawgs were trailing at the half by a point, but took a 3-point, 33–30, lead into the fourth and hung on to start the season 1–0. Senior Sam Narducci poured in 20 points, and his two first-quarter 3’s kept the Garnets from having a bigger halftime lead. In the Colonial rematch at Heights on January 25, the game was never in question. The Dawgs were up by double digits, 19–8, after 1, 44–21 at the half, and really stifled the Garnet student section with a blowout 83–32 win. Eleven Dawgs contributed to those 83 points, and the top-scoring Dawgs, seniors Phil McFillin (21), Matt Morris (19), and Narducci (13), finished with more points collectively than the Garnets.

• December 16: In the Jimmy V Classic at Cherokee versus Camden Catholic, the Dawgs led in all four quarters against the Irish, but the second half got a bit close. The Dawgs went into the third quarter up by 9, but the Irish cut that to 6 by the end of the third. With 3:30 left in the game, Camden Catholic got to within 3, 38–35, but Matt Morris helped to keep the Irish at bey, scoring a basket after Patrick Ryan had gotten a point back from the foul line. That made it a 6-point game again. The Irish would get within 4 with 39.4 seconds on the clock, but Sam Narducci made 2 foul shots, Daire Roddy made 1, and Morris closed out the scoring with a pair at the line as well, as the Dawgs held on to win 48–42. Unfortunately, the Irish would have more luck against the Dawgs in the Camden County tournament in February.

• December 19, 21, and 22: In their next three games, the Dawgs beat their opponents (Haddon Township, West Deptford, and Atlantic City Institute of Technology) by 48, 59, and 58 points, respectively. In the latter two games, the Dawgs scored 95 and 96 points. Amazingly, their 59-point thrashing of the Eagles of West Deptford would not be the most points tallied or the widest margin of victory of their 27 wins.

• January 3 and 5: In the new year, the Dawgs kept streaking along against Colonial rivals. Paulsboro is almost always a tough matchup on the Red Raiders’ home turf. However, the only time the Red Raiders were ahead this game was after a bucket on their first possession put them in front by 2. From there on in, it was all Haddonfield. The Dawgs got the next 7 points, and were up by 8, 12–4, at the 3:20 mark. The Red Raiders’ 3 at the end of the quarter got them to within 4, 14–10, and they got the first basket of the second to make it a 1-point game before the Dawgs started pulling away. They won by 18, 43–25. A few nights later, the Silver Knights of Sterling galloped into Haddonfield, but it was the Dawgs who rode to a 28-point, 67–39, win. Matt Morris and Sam Narducci each put 20 on the board.

• January 8: The Lindenwold Lions would become part of history, but end up on the wrong end of it, at Haddonfield. This night, the Dawgs broke a school record previously held by the 1989 squad, coached by Dave Wiedeman and led on the court by son Paul. The 1989 team had put up 108 points to Haddon Township’s 63, winning by 45 points. With both Zach Langan and Nate Rohlfing on the bench from the outset, every other varsity and JV player—12 total—saw playing time. Nine of them helped the Dawgs rack up 121 points to Lindenwold’s 50. So not only did the Dawgs break that 1989 record for points scored, surpassing the previous winning amount by 13, they also held the Lions to 26 fewer points than what Haddon Township put up against the ’89 team. The Dawgs put 38 points on the board in the first, were leading by 34, 62–28, at the half, and had 99 points going into the fourth, so a 100-plus total was inevitable. Still, seeing 121 on the scoreboard when the final buzzer sounded was pretty amazing. Sam Narducci and Matt Morris outscored the Lions by themselves, 52–50. Fifteen of Narducci’s 30 points came off of 3’s, and Morris had four treys of his own to finish with 22. Patrick Ryan and Phil McFillin also hit double figures, scoring 19 and 17 points, respectively.

• January 20: The Dawgs were the “home” team against the Pitman Tigers at Paul VI’s Winter Classic. This game is noteworthy not just because of its outcome but because Pitman would go on to win the Group 1 South Jersey title before losing in the state semifinals and finishing with a 23–8 record. On this occasion, the Tigers would not play at their highest level, thanks to tough D by their opponents and Sam Narducci’s tremendous first-half offense. Thanks to his 12 points in the first and 10 more in the second, Narducci and Pitman were tied at the half, but the Dawgs were up by 24, 46–24. In the second half, Patrick Ryan took over where Narducci left off, scoring eight baskets in the paint. The Dawgs would bury the Tigers by a score of 88–50. Narducci finished with 32, Ryan added 20, and Matt Morris knocked in 13.

• February 1: Haddonfield kept rolling along in the Colonial. The Dawgs’ game at West Deptford would be their 13th in the conference. Although this would not be quite the blowout as the teams’ first matchup in December, Haddonfield still won handily, 79–44. Nate Rohlfing was busy in the paint all night, scoring 11 times and ending up with 24. Matt Morris hit five 3’s and added 17, and Phil McFillin had 13. The biggest story of this game, however, was that it marked Haddonfield’s 21st straight victory of the season without a loss.

• February 6: This game versus Paulsboro came on the heels of the Dawgs’ first defeat of the year, a 35–52 loss to Central Regional High School during the Holy Cross Academy Showdown. It was also Senior Night at Haddonfield, so if there had been any doubt how the Dawgs would respond, the “elite eight,” as I christened the seniors, erased them. Along with their 14 first-quarter points, the Dawgs held the Red Raiders to 2 points on the defensive end. By the half, the Dawgs had more than tripled the Raiders’ total and were up by 32–10. The final score would be 73–29. Senior Mike Feinstein, who saw playing time during all four quarters, swooshed in four treys and shared the scoring lead with Nate Rohlfing at 14.   

• February 8: This was the last Colonial Conference contest of the year and it was at Sterling. The Silver Knight student section, always admirably out in full force supporting their team, whether home or away, thought the Knights were going to put it to the Dawgs. In”steed,” the Dawgs would eventually have another easy win. That being said, most of the first half was a seesaw ride. After the Dawgs started out in front, Sterling went on a run and had a 5–8 and then a 7–10 lead. Haddonfield came back to put up the last 4 points, 2 from the foul line by Patrick Ryan and 2 from the floor by Nate Rohlfing, to go up 11–10. The Knights returned the favor at the start of the second, scoring 4 in a row to retake the lead 14–11. A Matt Morris 3 tied it, the Dawgs would fall behind again, tie it, go ahead, then have a 3 by the Knights put them up again by 1, 18–19. Zach Langan’s 3 would give the Dawgs a 21–19 edge with 2:26 on the clock, and they never gave up the lead after that. The final score was 67–38. Morris had 20, Rohlfing and Phil McFillin (who had a bit of interaction with the Sterling student section after some big third quarter 3’s) added 13 each, and Langan put up 12. This win gave the Dawgs not only a clean, 10–0, sweep of the Liberty division, they finished 15–0 in overall conference play.

• February 10, 12, and 14: The Dawgs went 2–3 in the Camden County tournament this year. After getting a first-round bye, the Dawgs hosted the Winslow Township Eagles in the second round. This was a pretty typical game for the Dawgs. They outscored the Eagles 9–1 to start the game and were up by 16, 20–4, after 1 period. The halftime score was Haddonfield 36, Winslow Township 13. At the end of the third, the Dawgs had more than doubled the Eagles, ahead by 28, 51–23, and won by 36, 67–31. Sophomore Mike Douglas scored 16 points and Nate Rohlfing put up 15. Two days later, in the third round versus the Cherry Hill West Lions at Eastern Regional High School, Rohlfing would put on a defensive show of force. It was a good thing, too, because this match would be a much closer one. There were a lot of ties in the first 8 minutes. The Lions even pulled ahead twice. About halfway through the quarter, they went up 5–7, and after baskets by Daire Roddy and Patrick Ryan put the Dawgs back in front 10–9,  the Lions recaptured the lead off a 3, 10–9, with 1:27 on the clock. A response 3 by Sam Narducci and a 2 by Rohlfing in between a Lion foul shot put the Dawgs up 14–11, which is how the quarter ended. The second 8 minutes also went back and forth. The Lions got the first 5 points to go up by 1, 15–14, but a bucket by Narducci gave the Dawgs back the lead. Just when it looked like the Dawgs were taking control of the game, going up by 7, 24–17 on a waaaay out there 3 by Narducci with 2:49 left, the Lions got 5 of the last 7 points and were within 4, 26–44, at the half. The third quarter was even tighter. Although the Lions never went ahead, they got to within 1 twice and a pair of foul shots brought them to within 2, 38–36, going into the final 8 minutes. The Lions kept pawing away in the fourth. A basket with 5:26 on the clock got them to within 1, 43–42, and they had a chance to tie it at the foul line, but failed. However, after Rohlfing hit 1–2 at the line, the Lions got another chance there and hit both, tying the game at 44 with just under 5 minutes left in the game. A drive in the paint from Ryan and a 3 from Narducci made it 49–44, but a 2 from the Lions got them to within 3, 49–46, with 2:49 on the clock. That was as close as they would get, as the Dawgs were able to pull away in the final minutes to win by 9, 57–48. Narducci led the Dawgs with 15, and Phil McFillin contributed 14. Along with his 11 blocked shots, Rohlfing scored 13. Round four, the semifinals of the Camden County Tournament, pitted Haddonfield against Camden Catholic again, this time at Camden Eastside. The Dawgs looked sharp at the outset, jumping to an 8–1 lead off 2 foul shots by Roddy, at the 3:19 mark of the first quarter. After the Irish hit a 3, McFillin answered the call, making it 11–4, Dawgs with 2:07 left in the quarter. The teams then exchanged 2’s, Haddonfield’s coming from Narducci, to keep it a 7-point game in favor of the Dawgs with 1:33 on the clock. The Irish got an easy 2 with 7.3 seconds to go, cutting the Dawgs’ lead to 5, 13–8, as the quarter ended. The Dawgs would not be ahead at the end of a quarter again, as fatigue seemed to set in, causing uncharacteristic bad passes, missed shots, and general disjointed play. At the half, they were trailing by 2, 18–20, and going into the fourth, the Irish were up by 5, 29–24. The final score was 46–47, Camden Catholic. McFillin was the only Dawg in double digits, finishing with 14.

• February 21, 26, and 28. The Dawgs were the fourth seed in the South Jersey Group 2 playoffs. Since I wrote up the recaps of these last three games of the season recently, I’m not going to go into much detail here. If you want more play-by-play, you can find it in my previous two Haddonfield.Today articles. The round 1 match against Manchester Township, which was the Dawgs’ only game of the week on 2/21, got its own article, and the second and third rounds are written up in the article prior to this one. The Manchester Hawks did not give the Dawgs too much of a fight. Although they did outscore Haddonfield in the second quarter by 6 to get to within 5, 25–20, at the half, the Dawgs were able to keep them from mounting anymore of a comeback and won by 11, 44–33. Nate Rohlfing and Sam Narducci were high scorers for the Dawgs, with 15 and 13, respectively. The round 2 contest against the Cape May Tigers would prove to be closer and a bit more exciting. One of the biggest sequence of events came in the first quarter with the Dawgs up by 3, 12–9. It started with a pickoff by Patrick Ryan, who passed the ball to Narducci. Narducci’s feed to Rohlfing brought down the house, as Rohlfing slammed it home. In the second quarter, with 2:16 on the clock, Daire Roddy handed the ball to Rohlfing under the basket. This time, Rohlfing’s hesitation move caught the Tigers off guard and his basket put the Dawgs up by 5, 24-19. In those last 2 minutes, the Tigers would put 4 on the board, holding the Dawgs scoreless, and at the half, it was a 1-point, 24–23 game. The Tigers took the lead twice early in the second half, but at the 4:28 mark, a pass from Ryan to Rohlfing put the Dawgs back on top 31–29. The Dawgs would never trail again and won 51–42. Rohlfing went up and in 9 times, adding 2 from the line, to finish with 21 points; Narducci had 14. Two nights later on their court, Middle Township would end the Dawgs’ spectacular season. But it took the highly favored Panthers overtime (and a lot of stall-ball tactics) to do it. The 38–46 defeat was hard to watch, especially since it meant the careers of the eight seniors, who had played together since middle school, had also come to an end, but it also proved that the Dawgs had not, as many had inferred, been overrated despite their 27–3 record.

Stat Toppers: For a complete rundown of player stats, from games played to baskets (3’s, 2’s, and foul shots) made and everything in between, including power points, go to this site off Note that you might need a subscription to view this page. But fear not: I’ll share a few of the best here. Not surprisingly, even with his two stints watching from the sidelines, Sam Narducci led the team with points scored (411). He was followed by Phil McFillin (328), Nate Rohlfing (294), and Patrick Ryan (216). All totaled, 14 players contributed to the Dawgs putting 1,977 points on the board over 30 games. Narducci (69) and McFillin (68) were neck-in-neck with 3-pointers made. The four Dawgs who made the most foul shots were Rohlfing (38), Matt Morris (31), Narducci (31), and Ryan (30). Morris was the most consistent from the line, making almost 89% of his shots. I think the assists stats are the most incredible and really are at the heart of why the Dawgs won 27 games. While Roddy was way ahead of the pack (157), look how many other Dawgs had 40 or more: sophomore Mike Douglas (45), McFillin (46), Morris (47), Narducci (55), and Ryan (73). Defensively, Ryan (244) and Rohlfing (201) led the team in rebounds. They also were tops in blocks: Rohlfing finished with 53 and Ryan with 45. Impressive as well were the steal leaders: Roddy (48), Narducci (46), and Ryan (46). Four seniors, McFillin, Morris, Roddy, and Ryan, played in all of Haddonfield’s 30 games.

My Personal Highlight: As much as I love being in the stands and cheering on the Dawgs, especially when they have a season like this one, what will be my favorite memory did not take place on the court this year. It happened in the HMHS cafeteria on February 6, Senior Night, when I had the chance to sit down with the eight seniors—Matt, Phil, Ryan, Sam, Mike, Daire, Zach, and Nate—and interview them. They were funny, engaging, polite, and through their answers showed how much they cared about each other on and off the court. They will be greatly missed in many ways next season, but they will be forever more a part of the Haddonfield boys basketball legacy. I wish them continued success in their post-high school years. And I have one request of them: Please come back and “visit”!

HMHS Boys Basketball: SJ Group 2 playoffs

By Lauree Padgett / Exclusive to Haddonfield[dot]Today

Quarter- and Semifinal Games

The Haddonfield boys basketball teams battled two tough opponents this past week during the South Jersey Group 2 tournament. At home on Monday, 2/26, they went up against the Tigers of Lower Cape May. Wednesday was a long road trip down to Atlantic County to face the Middle Township Panthers, who were seeded number 2, behind Camden, in the Group 2 brackets. As you probably know by now, the Dawgs were victorious in one match and went down fighting in overtime in the second. Both were exciting, heart-pounding games as I’ll do my best to describe below.

SJ Group 2 Quarterfinal round—February 26, 2024: Lower Cape May at Haddonfield

I was concerned about this game. Just like in the NCAA men’s basketball tournament, second-round games can often knock out the favored team. While the Dawgs had taken care of Manchester Township, who had a below .500 overall record, in the opening round, the game wasn’t a blowout. Lower Cape May was expected to be even more of a challenge.

Just as he had done in the opening seconds of the Manchester Township game, Phil McFillin hit a 3 to put the Dawgs on the board (but wasn’t fouled this time). Dawg fans had barely stopped cheering when the Tigers did the same to make it 3 all with about 40 seconds gone. Off a feed from Patrick Ryan, Nate Rohlfing went up and in and was fouled. His shot put the Dawgs up by 3 again, and again, the Tigers sent in a 3, tying it at 6 with 6:25 on the clock.

Haddonfield missed its next shot attempt, but Patrick Ryan got the offensive board, and this time McFillin passed it to Rohlfing in the paint, whose bucket made it 8–6, Dawgs. A leaping pickoff by Daire Roddy did not result in a basket for Haddonfield, but the Dawgs did get their first foul of the quarter, and then knocked the ball out of bounds. When Lower Cape May knocked down its third trey in a row to go up by 1, 9–8, there was a collective murmur in the Haddonfield section that sounded a lot like, “Ut-oh.”

To make matters worse, the Dawgs lost the ball out of bounds their next possession on a bad pass. Roddy came to the rescue with a steal, passed it to Sam Narducci, who hustled cross court for a basket. Now the Dawgs were up by 1, 10–9, with 3:46 left in the quarter. Roddy almost got another steal but instead was assessed with his first foul of the game. But then a few seconds later, he and Ryan did combine for a steal. Although the Dawgs’ first shot did not drop, Rohlfing pulled down the offensive board and put the ball in the net, making it 12–9, Dawgs, with 2:13 remaining.

Ryan blocked a Tigers’ shot, then pulled down the rebound. The Dawgs did not score, but Ryan not only got it back, he set up a slam from Rohlfing off a feed from Narducci with 37.2 on the clock. Naturally, the crowd rooting for the Dawgs went wild. Lower Cape May got the last 2 points of the quarter from the foul line, so when the horn sounded, the Dawgs were leading by 3, 14–11.

The Tigers and Dawgs exchanged missed shots to begin the second quarter. The first basket came off a steal by Narducci and a pass to Rohlfing from Zach Langan. Rohlfing’s fifth field goal of the half gave the Dawgs a 5-point, 16–11, advantage with 6:13 on the clock.

Lower Cape May called a timeout about 15 seconds later. Although Roddy blocked the Tigers’ shot attempt, they got it back and scored. At the other end, the Dawgs’ missed shot went out of bounds off the Tigers, and after the Dawgs inbounded, Langan set up Rohlfing for another bucket in the paint, pushing Haddonfield’s lead back to 5, 18–13. Roddy was all over the court and tipped the ball out of bounds. Lower Cape May made the most of getting the ball back, dropping in its 4th trey of the game and cutting the deficit down to 2, 18–16, with about 4:30 left in the half.

In what looked more like a foul than a steal, Lower Cape May got the ball back and missed the resulting shot. Narducci pulled down the defensive board and did one of his famous cross-court sprints to go up and in. The Dawgs’ 4-point lead only lasted for about 30 seconds, as the Tigers set up a 3-point basket (its fifth of the half, in case you hadn’t been counting), and all the sudden, it was a 1-point game, 20–19, with 3:26 to go until halftime.

Matt Morris got his own rebound off a missed shot and passed it to Narducci, who hit a nice jumper to give the Dawgs a 3-point edge, 22–19. It looked like that lead was going to go back down to 1 as a Tiger had a wide open shot under the basket—and totally missed it. Langan secured the board, passed it to Roddy, who fed it to Rohlfing. His hesitation move enabled Rohlfing to fake out the Tiger under the basket and score, and with 2:16 on the clock, the Dawgs were back to being up by 5, 24–19.

Lower Cape May called another timeout, but when play resumed, good pressure “D” by a trio of Dawgs tight to the line caused a Tiger turnover with just under 2 minutes to go in the half. The Dawgs almost lost the ball on an errant pass, but Morris saved it. He couldn’t prevent the missed shot by Mike Douglas, but Douglas hustled down to the other end of the court in time to block a Tiger shot and then with help from Rohlfing, picked off the ball. That was to no avail, as the next Dawg shot also did not go in.

This time, the Tigers’ shot dropped, and with 40.1 on the clock, it was back to a 3-point game with the Dawgs on top 24–21. The Dawgs lost their scoring opportunity with a pass misfire, and Lower Cape May took advantage, scoring again to get within 1, 24–23, with about 23 seconds to go until the half. The Dawgs waited until there were 3 seconds to shoot, the ball did not find the net, and as the players walked off the court, the Dawgs were only up by a point, 24–23.

That 1-point lead flipped to a 1-point deficit to start the third quarter. The Dawgs inbounded but did not score, and with 6:42 on the clock, the Tigers’ retook the lead, 25–24, with a 2-pointer. Before Dawg fans could start to get too uneasy, McFillin set up Rohlfing under the basket, and he put the Dawgs back on top by 1, 26–25, at the 6:20 mark. Under their basket, the Tigers grabbed that lead back, making it 27–26 in their favor with 6:11 left in the quarter.

A Lower Cape May foul sent the Dawgs to the sidelines to inbound the ball. Roddy, tasked with getting the ball in play, found an open Narducci beyond the arc, passed him the ball, and Narducci responded with his first, well-timed, trey of the game. The Dawgs’ 29–27 advantage lasted about 50 seconds. An offensive board by the Tigers enabled them to get a second-chance bucket and with 4:46 to go in the third, the game was in a dead heat at 29 all.

It was time for the Dawgs to show an extra layer of toughness and that’s what they did. It started with Patrick Ryan getting an assist on a basket by Rohlfing. Defense, Haddonfield’s not so secret weapon, caused a turnover, and this time, Ryan set up Narducci for his second trey in less than 2 minutes. The game had gone from being knotted at 29 with 4:46 on the clock to the Dawgs being ahead by 5, 34–29, with 4:00 minutes showing. The Tigers called a timeout.

Lower Cape May turned the ball over after the timeout on an offensive foul. Ryan, who is quick to react to anything on the court, saved an off-kelter pass, and then drove into the paint only to dish off the ball at the last second to Rohlfing, who was fouled. His first shot from the line dropped, but the second didn’t, and with 3:12 left in the half, the Dawgs’ lead had expanded to 6 points, 35–29.

At the other end of the court, Roddy was called for a foul. The usually unflappable Roddy got a bit, well, flappable, but Narducci and then McFillin came over to help him settle down. The Tigers went 1–2 at the line, so with 2:50 showing on the scoreboard, it was a 35–31 game. When the Dawgs got the ball to their end, they started passing, and with 2:11 on the clock, the Tigers committed their fourth foul of the quarter. Once the ball was inbounded, Roddy made a sweet pass to Rohlfing. His shot didn’t go in, but he got to the foul line again with 1:49 remaining in the quarter. Rohlfing’s first shot went in and out, and the second one went in and through the net.

The Tigers proved they still had some gas in their tank, nailing a 3 their next possession, which cut the Dawgs’ lead to 2, 36–34, with 1:36 on the clock. The two teams gave up the ball on bad passes, and when Haddonfield got the ball back, Narducci was fouled. He stepped to the line with 55.8 on the clock and both balls went swishing through the net, giving the Dawgs a 38–34 lead. A half-second after the buzzer, what would have been a 3 from the Tigers went in, but did not count. This meant the Dawgs were going to take that 4-point lead into the final quarter of play.

Lower Cape May had the possession arrow to start the fourth and got a much-too-easy 2 off an unguarded basket. Now it was 38–36 with 7:35 left in somebody’s season. It took some seconds off the clock before Roddy scored, but almost immediately, the Tigers got that bucket back to keep the Dawgs’ lead to 2 points, 40–38, with 6:16 on the clock. Morris got fouled under the Dawgs’ basket. He made the first but not the second shot, inching that lead up to 41–38.

Between shots, coach Paul Wiedeman made a somewhat surprising move that got the crowd a bit stirred up. When the quarter had started, Roddy, Morris, Ryan, Narducci, and Rohlfing had been on the court. Even though Rohlfing was responsible for 21 of the Dawgs’ 40 points, Wiedeman took him out and put in McFillin. This switch put his five quickest seniors on the floor. But would it pay off?

The results looked dicey at first, as the Tigers scored to get back to within 1, 41–40, with 5:33 on the clock. But then Ryan picked up where Rohlfing left off, and instead of setting up baskets, he started making them. His first came off a feed from Roddy. Roddy then grabbed a defensive board under the Tiger basket and down at the Dawg end, set up McFillin for a field goal. With 5 and change left, the Dawgs were up by 5, 45–40. The Tigers did not score, there was a scuffle for the basket that wasn’t pretty, but Ryan came up with it. And at the other end, off a feed from McFillin, Ryan got another 2 in the paint. Now it was 47–40, Dawgs, with half a period left in the game.

Lower Cape May called a timeout. Once back in play with the ball, their shot was deflected by Ryan. Roddy went in for a shot, ended up on his knees, and with 3:21, Lower Cape May was called for a foul. Apparently, the refs didn’t think Roddy had been in the act of shooting, so he did not get a trip to the foul line, and instead the Dawgs lost the ball out of bounds. Haddonfield then picked up a foul at the 2:55 mark, sending Lower Cape May to the foul line. Both shots went in, getting the Tigers back to within 5, 47–42.

Haddonfield had to inbound. Morris made a nice pass to get it in play, and then under the Dawg basket, McFillin set Ryan up for his third basket of the quarter, giving the Dawgs back a 7-point, 49–42, advantage with 2:24 on the clock. The fans and the players were feeling that a W was imminent. That feeling grew after Morris leapt up to block the Tigers’ next scoring attempt and Ryan dove onto the floor to go after the loose ball. Roddy inbounded but Haddonfield got stuck on the sidelines. Lower Cape May helped them out by committing a foul. A second later, they were called for another foul, their third of the quarter, and then about 13 seconds later, at the 1:31 mark, knocked the ball out of bounds.

After a missed Haddonfield shot, Ryan pulled down the offensive board and Wiedeman called a timeout with 1:10 left in the game. The Tigers sent another ball out of bounds before McFillin and Ryan combined for what would be the game’s last 2 points with 1:05 on the clock. When the horn sounded 65 seconds later, the Dawgs had played one of their best games of the season against a worthy opponent to best the Tigers 51–42. Rohlfing was high scorer with 21. Narducci added 14, and Ryan scored four big baskets in the fourth to finish with 8.

Quarter scores:

1st quarter: Haddonfield 14, Lower Cape May 11

2nd quarter: Haddonfield 10, Lower Cape May 12

Halftime: Haddonfield 24, Lower Cape May 23

3rd quarter: Haddonfield 14. Lower Cape May 11

4th quarter: Haddonfield 13, Lower Cape May 8

Final score: Haddonfield 51, Lower Cape May 12

Player scores:

Nate Rohlfing 21

Sam Narducci 14

Patrick Ryan 8

Phil McFillin 5

Daire Roddy 2

Matt Morris 1

South Jersey Group 2 Semifinal round—February 28, 2024: Haddonfield at Middle Township

Both Haddonfield and Middle Township, seeded fourth and second, respectively, went into Wednesday’s semifinal game with a 27–2 record. Both were also undefeated in their conferences. But Haddonfield was still the heavy “underdawg.” In fact, as Mark Hershberger and I were texting just ahead of the game (he was going to watch the stream, while I was at Middle Township), he said that as Camden was annihilating third-seeded Cinnaminson, the announcers were already talking about the South Jersey final versus Camden and Middle Township as if it were already a done deal. The prediction about a Panther vs Panther showdown did come to pass, but Haddonfield did not make it easy for Middle Township by any stretch of the imagination.

Middle Township won the tipoff to start the first quarter, but did not score. Patrick Ryan grabbed the defensive board, but Haddonfield was unable to even get a shot off due to a bad pass. The Panthers lost the ball to a Sam Narducci pickoff, and Haddonfield’s second possession ended on what could have been a trip to the foul line but instead was just a missed shot. Middle Township couldn’t score again, Nate Rohlfing got the defensive rebound this time, and another Haddonfield attempt failed to find the basket. It would take an offensive rebound by the Panthers off an airball to put points on the board at the 5:26 mark.

For the third straight game, the Dawgs’ first basket came from a Phil McFillin 3, which put the Dawgs up by 1, 3–1, with 5:03 left in the quarter. After a blocked shot by Rohlfing and a defensive rebound by Ryan, Narducci let loose with a shot behind the arc and the underdawgs  were now up 6–2 with about 4 minutes gone in the quarter. Good “D” by the Dawgs forced a Middle Township turnover, but Haddonfield could not take advantage of it, and instead got an iffy at best foul called on Rohlfing. (Unfortunately, more than once when Rohlfing was making a shot and seemed to be fouled, fouls were not called the other way.)

At their end, the Panthers scored a 2 and after a Dawg miscue on the floor that gave them back the ball, hit a 3 to go up by 1, 7–6, with 2:04 left in the quarter. Roddy drove in for a basket and Middle Township was called for an offensive foul. Haddonfield missed a shot and almost turned over the ball, but Ryan snatched it, and Narducci took it up and in with 37 seconds on the clock to put the Dawgs up 10–7. Middle Township played for the last shot, but did not score, so the first quarter ended with the Dawgs still ahead by 3.

Quarter 2 started out with Haddonfield inbounding and losing the ball on another miscommunication. Rohlfing’s blocked shot and defensive board got the ball back for Haddonfield. Ryan set him up for a shot, and Rohlfing was fouled hard. His first shot dropped; his second went in and out. Now the Dawgs were up by 4, 11–7, with about a minute and a half gone. More pressure “D” caused another Middle Township turnover and led to a 2 by Narducci off a Rohlfing pass. With 5:56 left in the half, it was 13–7, Dawgs. What was going on here?

A 3 from Middle Township followed by a blocked Haddonfield shot gave the Panthers back the ball. Not only did they score, they got a trip to the foul line and scored there as well. And in less than a minute, the Dawgs went from being up by 6 to being tied at 13. Two minutes passed with some traded turnovers/pickoffs and missed shots before a foul was called on Haddonfield. From the bench, Haddonfield coach Paul Wiedeman was heard to say, “On the floor,” meaning the foul should have been a non-shooting one. The ref did not agree with that assessment, and the Panthers picked up 2 more from the line to retake the lead 15–13 with 3:09 on the clock. A ball that was lost in transit by Haddonfield resulted in another 2, this time from the floor, by the Panthers.

With Middle Township now up by 4, 17–13, Haddonfield called a timeout at the 2:50 mark. That seemed to help, as off the inbound, Morris fed Rohlfing, who got his first basket from the field. That briefly closed the gap to 15–17, and the Dawgs had a chance to tie or go ahead after Rohlfing stole the ball. But after Haddonfield’s attempt did not go in, Middle Township responded with a 3 at the other end, which put them out in front by 5, 20–15, with 1:22 on the clock. At the Dawgs’ end, Rohlfing made for the basket but instead of going up and in, passed it out to an open McFillin, who knocked down a 3 with 53 seconds on the clock. Middle Township got the last basket of the half with 42 seconds on the clock, and when the buzzer sounded, the Dawgs were down by 4, 18–22.

Middle Township inbounded the ball to begin the second half, but Rohlfing tipped the ball to Narducci, who drove into the lane for 2 to cut the Panthers’ lead down to 2, 20–22, with about a minute gone. The Panthers answered with a 2 to push their advantage back to 4, 24–20. The Dawgs missed their next shot, but McFillin got the offensive board and then let loose with another 3, and with 6:00 on the clock, the Dawgs were back to within 1, 23–24. The Panthers’ next shot was an airball, but Haddonfield lost the ball under its basket. Rohlfing got another blocked shot, Middle Township was called for a foul, and then to the shock of almost everyone rooting for Haddonfield, Rohlfing was called for foul. This gave the ball back to the Panthers with 4:37 left in the quarter, and they scored to go up by 3, 26–23.

Narducci got the fans whooping when his ball swished in for 3 behind the arc to tie it at 26 with 4:04 on the clock, but that elation quickly faded when the Panthers went back up by 2 on a very easy basket. To make matters worse, the Dawgs, who are normally very efficient at handling and passing the ball, turned it over on yet another bad pass, but at least this time, it did not result in a basket by Middle Township. Haddonfield got two shots off its next possession but did not score. Roddy picked off the ball before the Panthers could set up a play, but for naught. And so this non-scoring went on for a few more trips up and down the court for both teams. I did not record the time, probably because I was too busy yelling, when McFillin launched a 3 that put the Dawgs up 29–28, but I did note that Middle Township lost the ball out of bounds with 4 seconds left, and the Dawgs did not get their last shot to go in. So as the fourth quarter started, instead of fading away, the underdawgs were up by 1 …

Haddonfield had possession to start the last quarter of regulation but could not score. Middle Township at the other end got a 3 to swing the lead back their way, 31–29, with 6:48 on the clock. A travel was called on Haddonfield, and the Dawgs then picked up two quick fouls. The second sent the Panthers to the line, where both foul shots were made. Now the Panthers’ lead was back to 4, 33–29, with 6:03 left in the fourth, and I think Haddonfield fans were wondering if they were going to start to pull away. A Narducci 3 was a firm reply that no, the Dawgs were not going to give up, and were back to within 1, 33–34.

Middle Township called a timeout with 4:52 on the clock and when play resumed, proceeded to bounce, bounce, bounce the ball with no real attempt to score for more than 2 minutes. That plan backfired when they were called for a walk with 2:48 left in the quarter. Another timeout was called, I believe this time by Haddonfield, even though I didn’t note it on my pad, at the 2:34 mark. I have been trying to decipher what I scribbled down next. All I can figure out is that it involved Rohlfing and ended with him driving into the paint for 2 to put the Dawgs on top by 1, 34–33.

At the Middle Township end, the Panthers got that basket back and were fouled in the process. Their foul shot gave them a 2-point, 36–34, edge with 2:08 on the scoreboard. It was nail-biting time as the Dawgs took the ball down to their end of the court. Narducci, not surprisingly, took the ball to drive in and was fouled. He stepped to the line with 1:37 to go and the season on the line. His first shot hit nothing but net. His second shot, equally perfect, tied the game at 36.

After a timeout, Middle Township went back into stall-ball mode and would not shoot. It was maddening. Roddy made a smart foul with 9.2 on the clock just as the Panthers were about to make a move, which broke up whatever play was in the works. Instead, the Panthers sent up an airball, and with about 2 seconds on the clock, the Dawgs flailed a shot off that missed the mark as the fourth quarter buzzer went off. Still tied at 36, the game was about to go into a 4-minute overtime, and Dawg fans were going nuts.

I wish this recap would end in a winning way for Haddonfield. But in OT, the Dawgs were held to a pair of foul shots by Rohlfing. While they did miss some shots that were a bit forced as OT ticked down, they were also limited by the times actually touched the ball, as Middle Township slowed the pace down again. With about 1:30 left in the game, after a near steal by Roddy when the ball also almost went out of bounds, the Panthers somehow recovered and an off-balance shot dropped in for a 3.

After Middle Township made 2 shots from the foul line that put them in front 46–38, Paul Wiedeman called a timeout so he could take his seniors out of the game as a final tribute to them as their season and careers came to an end. It was hard to watch them, looking a little shell-shocked, walk off the court and try to console each other, but at the same time, I wouldn’t have expected anything less from this group of seniors who had played together, grown together, and become good friends together. And while their playing days together may be over, I predict that the bond that they established as middle schoolers will remain unbroken no matter where life leads them.

Quarter scores:

1st: Haddonfield 10, Middle Township 7

2nd: Haddonfield 8, Middle Township 15

Halftime: Haddonfield 18, Middle Township 20

3rd: Haddonfield 11, Middle Township 6

4th: Haddonfield 7, Middle Township 8

OT: Haddonfield 2, Middle Township 8

Final, Haddonfield 38, Middle Township 46

Player scores:

Sam Narducci 17

Phil McFillin 12

Nate Rohlfing 7

Patrick Ryan 2

On the Upside

I wanted to end this piece in an upbeat way by giving a shout out to the HYBA (Haddonfield Youth Basketball Association) Girls Travel Team 7A. You may have heard about the incredible finish to their semifinal game on Sunday, 2/25, against Washington Township. The teams were tied in overtime with about 4 seconds to go when Sara Guveiyian stole the ball under the Washington Township basket and somewhere between the top of the 3-point arc and the midcourt line, let go a shot that soared over the court and into the net. (If you somehow missed seeing a video of this extraordinary feat on social media or the local news, here is my favorite replay of it: This Sunday, the Haddonfield Girls 7A traveled to Lenape High School to take on the Mt. Laurel girls, who Haddonfield had beaten twice already during the regular season. It’s tough to beat a team, at any level, three times in a row. And for a while, it looked like this was going to be the case. The 7A girls were down by 4 at the half. The second half seesawed back and forth, but Mt. Laurel seemed to be pulling away in the fourth. However, the 7A Haddonfield girls played really tough defense and forced turnovers that got them back in the game, as did some big-time foul shots. Still, Mt. Laurel had possession of the ball with the game tied at 22 with about 6 seconds to go. Sara stole the ball again, but this time, she passed it to Lane Barnes, whose shot went up and in, putting the Dawgs on top 24–22. Mt. Laurel had no timeouts and could not get a shot off. This was the third straight championship for the 7A Haddonfield girls. They played hard, never gave up, and stayed cool at the end of the game. Although she didn’t have the winning shot, Sara finished with four 3’s and 14 points. Congratulations to the team and their coaches for a stellar year and claiming the title once again!

One Last Article

The Haddonfield boys basketball team may not have won the South Jersey Group 2 title (and neither did Middle Township, who was, as expected, blown away by Camden two nights after their escape from Haddonfield’s clutches), but they had a tremendous year, finishing with a record of 27–3. That seems more than worthy of a final article that will take a look at some of their biggest wins and highlight as well individual player accomplishments.

HMHS Boys Basketball: NJISAA Group 2 playoffs: Round 1

By Lauree Padgett / Exclusive to Haddonfield[dot]Today

Dawgs Hang on to Clip Hawks

Manchester Township at Haddonfield: February 21, 2024

Not that readers of my wrap-ups cling on every word I write, but you may recall that in my NJISAA preview last week, I said that the 10-15 overall record of Haddonfield’s first opponent, the Hawks of Manchester Township, should not make Dawg fans overconfident of the game’s outcome. That ended up being one of my more accurate predictions for the season thus far. Although the Dawgs prevailed, it by no means proved to be an easy W.

The game started out as well as possible. Phil McFillin swooshed in a 3 pointer and got fouled in the process. His foul shot put the Dawgs in front 4–0 with only 4 seconds gone in the game. That was quicky followed by a 2 from the Hawks. Nate Rohlfing got fouled in the paint and made 1–2 from the line with 6:29 on the clock. After getting surrounded by three Dawgs, the Hawks’ ball carrier committed a travel during Manchester Township’s next possession. The Dawgs took full advantage of the turnover as Sam Narducci knocked down a 3, putting the Dawgs up by 6, 8–2.

At the other end, Rohlfing’s defensive rebound set up Narducci’s second trey in less than a minute, and in less than 2 minutes, the Dawgs had jumped out to a 11–2 edge. Patrick Ryan pulled down his first defensive board of the game, and the Hawgs picked up their third foul of the quarter. Haddonfield put up four shot attempts and none dropped, however, and after a pickoff by Ryan, the Dawgs missed another shot, before the Hawks ended their 3-minute drought with another 2.

In the Dawgs’ next possession, somehow a very open Ryan was missed under the basket. Instead, Daire Roddy got fouled attempting to score. He made the first foul shot but not the second, which Rohlfing rebounded. The Dawgs missed two more scoring chances, but the Hawks were robbed of their next attempt by Roddy’s steal. While the Dawgs’ defense was looking solid, the offense was having trouble getting the ball in the net, and again failed two times to score this time down the floor. Finally after a defensive rebound by Rohlfing, Narducci got the ball and went cross court and up and in to make it 14–4, Haddonfield with 1:35 left in the quarter. The last points of the quarter came on foul shots. Manchester Township made 1–2 at the 1:29 mark, and Narducci dropped in both shots with 3.7 on the clock. As the horn sounded, the Dawgs were on top by double digits, 16­­–5.

The Hawks got to the foul line after the Dawgs did not score when they inbounded the ball to start the second quarter. Not only were both foul shots good, the Hawks then got the next two field goals, and with 6:09 left in the half, the Dawgs’ 11-point lead had been whittled down to 5, 16–11. Matt Morris’ ball on a hard drive in the paint did everything but drop in, but after Narducci secured the defensive board under the Hawks’ basket, Morris’ next shot from behind the arc hit nothing but net, pushing the Dawgs’ lead to 8, 19–11.

Rohlfing pulled down another defensive board and then brought down the house at the other end, slamming the ball through the basket off a feed from Mike Douglas. That gave the Dawgs’ back their double-digit lead, but not for long, as the Hawks got a 2 under their basket, although it was not quite as exciting. The Dawgs did not score, the Hawks did, and with 2:41 on the clock, they were back to within 6, 21–16. The Dawgs lost the ball on a bad pass (this has been an uncharacteristic problem the past few games, and if the Dawgs hope to advance further into the playoffs, they will need to cut down on this type of turnover), but Narducci’s steal set up a Morris drive for 2 in the paint. Morris nearly picked off the ball, but instead, Manchester Township hit a 3 from way out, and with 1:33 on the clock, they were within 5, 23–18.

The Dawgs picked up a few fouls and then got called for a held ball with 42.3 remaining in the half. The Hawks’ bucket made it a 3-point game, but after running down the clock under their basket, the Dawgs got the last 2 ahead of the buzzer on a pass from Roddy to Ryan. Although the Dawgs left the court up by 5, 25­­–20, the Hawks had outscored them in the second 8 minutes by 6, 15–9. How would the Dawgs respond in the final two quarters?

Offensively, the Dawgs wouldn’t light up the scoreboard in the third or fourth quarters, but their defense did keep the Hawks at bey. In the third, the Dawgs didn’t score off the inbound, but the Hawks’ quick response also failed. Rohlfing got the defensive board and Roddy drove in for a basket to make it 27–20, Dawgs. All that happened in the first 7 seconds! Two-plus minutes would go by before there was another basket. With 3:41 on the clock Dawg coach Paul Wiedeman called a 30-second timeout. The Lady Dawgs, who had been in the stands, began to make their way down to the girls’ locker room. That pause in action was all our clever announcer and music man Mark Hershberger needed to start playing “The Lion Sleeps Tonight,” a sly reference to the fact that the girls’ first-round opponent would be their Colonial rivals, the Gloucester City Lions. (Hershberger’s song selection foreshadowed the girls’ 61–21 pounding of the Lions later that night.)

But back to the boys’ game. After the quick timeout, the Dawgs came back on the court and set up another slam by Rohlfing, this one coming off a dish by Roddy. That upped the Dawgs’ lead to 9, 29–20, with 3:31 on the clock. Almost 60 more seconds would tick off the clock before another basket, this one by the Hawks, who also got a foul shot opportunity and made it. Rohlfing and Roddy combined again for another Rohlfing basket, and he also stepped to the foul line. His shot kept it a 9-point, 32–23, Haddonfield advantage. After a pilfer by McFillin, Narducci was fouled in the act of shooting. His first shot missed, but his second one dropped in with 1:03 on the clock and the Dawgs back to a 10-point edge.

The Hawks were trying to run down the clock to take the last shot, by Roddy foiled that plan, and fed the ball to Narducci, whose basket made it 35–23 with 13 seconds left. The Hawks last-second attempt at a 3 hit the backboard and dropped in, so as the buzzer sounded, Manchester Township had cut its deficit down to single digits and were trailing by 9, 35–26.

In the fourth quarter, the Dawgs maintained a safe lead throughout, so their fans weren’t holding their breaths after each possession. It helped that Haddonfield actually was able to score after inbounding the ball to start the quarter. It was off a pass from Ryan to Rohlfing and once again gave the Dawgs a double-digit, 37–26, lead. (While it was good to see Rohlfing strong under the basket throughout the game, Ryan needs to be getting in the paint and scoring, not just passing and rebounding, as the South Jersey playoffs progress.) After the Hawks scored, Rohlfing scored again, keeping the Dawgs lead at 11, 39-28, with 6:48 on the clock.

After a sideline scuffle a few plays later that gave the Hawks the ball, a Dawg foul sent them to the foul line. Both shots were good, making it 39–30, Dawgs.  Rohlfing was fouled at the Dawgs’ end. He made 1–2 at the 5:15 mark. In the next 50 seconds, the Dawg got fouled, lost a pass, got it back, missed a shot, but the ball went out of bounds off Manchester Township. Rohlfing got his last basket of the game off the inbounds, and with 4:15 left in the game, the Dawgs had their biggest lead, 12 points, up 42–30.

A drive by Roddy a few plays later made it 44–30. The Hawks got those 2 points back from the foul line, but were still down by 12, 44–32, with 3 minutes and change left in the game. Neither team would score for a good chunk of those 3 minutes until the Hawks got to the foul line with 33.9 seconds on the clock. One foul shot went in, making it 44–33, and that would be the final score. Nate Rohlfing finished with 15 and Sam Narducci added 13.

Quarter scores:

1st: Haddonfield 16, Manchester Township 5

2nd: Haddonfield 9, Manchester Township 16

Halftime: Haddonfield 25, Manchester Township 20

3rd: Haddonfield 10, Manchester Township 6

4th: Haddonfield 9, Manchester Township 7

Final score: Haddonfield 44, Manchester Township 33

South Jersey Group 2, Round 2 Monday, 2/26

The Dawgs will face an even tougher opponent in today’s round 2 game. The Tigers of Lower Cape May, in the United division of the Cape Atlantic Conference, sport a 21–6 overall record and are 12–0 in their division. They have won three out of their last five games compared to the Dawgs, who have gone 4–1. It should be another “paw” biter!

Fans who are planning to attend the game, take note: Although there were tickets still available at the door for last Wednesday’s contest, you might want to “play” it safe and order them in advance. (If not, make sure your cellphone has the capacity to order them online when you get to the Haddons Pavilion.) Here is the overall ticketing link: You will see options to buy tickets for both the boy’s 5 p.m. game and the 7 p.m. girls game versus Haddon Township. (It is rumored that this may be Hawk coach Tom Mulligan’s last game. If so, it will be against an opposing coach who just happens to be married to his assistant coach and brother!)

HMHS Boys Basketball: Onward!

By Lauree Padgett / Exclusive to Haddonfield[dot]Today

Camden County Tournament Rounds 3 and 4

To mix my sports metaphors again, playing in the third and fourth rounds of the Camden County tournament resulted in a split decision for the Haddonfield boys basketball team last week. Both games, one versus Cherry Hill West, the other a rematch against Camden Catholic, were close, competitive matches, with the victor only pulling away in the final minutes of each contest. The upside was that two players whose statuses had been in question for the Dawgs, seniors Sam Narducci and Nate Rohlfing, contributed significant minutes out of a combined eight quarters of action. The downside was that the intense schedule of three, and sometimes four, games per week with starters not always in the lineup or able to play full throttle, seemed to catch up with the team in their second bout versus the  Irish.

Cherry Hill West vs. Haddonfield: February 12, 2024, at Eastern Regional High School

After taking care of the Winslow Eagles from the Patriot division of the Olympic conference rather easily with a 67–31 win in round one of the Camden County Tournament the previous week, the Dawgs would go up against another Patriot team, the Lions of Cherry Hill West. The Lions would give the Dawgs one of their toughest battles of the season from end to end.

Off the tip-off, the Lions got the basket but did not score. Patrick Ryan pulled down the defensive board, and Dawgs would get their first bucket off a feed from Phil McFillin to Nate Rohlfing that took its sweet time rolling off the rim into the basket. It took the Lions three tries (and two offensive boards) to tie it at 2 all with 6:48 on the clock. Neither team would score for almost 2 minutes until McFillin dropped in a 3 to make it 5–2, Dawgs, at the 4:52 mark. The Lions answered with a 3 to even it at 5 all and would go ahead by 2 after taking advantage of a turnover by Haddonfield.

Daire Roddy’s drive in the paint evened the score again, and after Ryan helped corral a loose ball, McFillin went up and in to put the Dawgs in front by 2, 9–7, with 2:44 left in the first. Another mini scoring draught ensued, and this time Cherry Hill West would break it with a 3 to retake the lead by 1, 10–9, with 1:27 to go. A Rohlfing-to-Narducci pass set Narducci up for a 3. This seemed a positive sign that Narducci was at close to full power after a reinjured ankle had kept him on the bench for the Dawgs’ previous three games. Now it was 12–10, Dawgs, with :49 on the clock. The Lions made 1–2 from the line, but Rohlfing’s 2 would finish out the quarter’s scoring and put the Dawgs ahead by 3, 14–11 going into the second.  

Haddonfield inbounded but failed to score, and at the other end, the Lions hit a 3 to bring the game to yet another tie, 14 all, with about 30 seconds having ticked off the clock. After a shooting attempt that left Roddy on the floor (with no foul called), Rohlfing made a huge block—Rohlfing, who had been averaging about 2.1 blocks per game would put on a defensive display and end up with 11 total—but a play later, a Haddonfield foul sent Cherry Hill West to the line, making 1–2. A jumper by Narducci switched the l-point lead back to the Dawgs’ favor. A block by Rohlfing, a defensive board by Ryan, and then an offensive board by Matt Morris set up a Mike Douglas-to-Ryan score, making it 18–15, Dawgs, with just under 6 minutes until the half.

The Lions responded with a 2, keeping it a 1-point game. The Dawgs had two scoring attempts that did not go in, Ryan stole the ball, but the Dawgs again could not get the ball in the net. Good “D” by the Dawgs ended with a Rohlfing block and saw the ball go out of bounds off the Lions. Still, the Dawgs’ shots were not dropping, but a pickoff by Narducci kept the Lions from going ahead. Finally, Douglas drove into the paint, scored, and was fouled in the process. His foul shot went in, and with 4:17 on the clock, the Dawgs were up by 4, 21–17.

More pressure defense by the Dawgs produced a backcourt violation by the Lions, but a bad pass gave the Lions back the ball. Rohlfing blocked a shot, the Lions got called for a foul, and the Dawgs were moving the ball, looking for an opening. From waaaay out, Narducci found it and nailed a 3, giving the Dawgs’ a 7-point, 24–17, lead with 2:49 to go until the half. After Douglas blocked a shot, Cherry Hill West called a timeout. The Lions would get a trip to the foul line after Rohlfing was assessed a foul from what looked like a clean block and would hit 1–2, making it a 6-point, 24–18, game with about 2:30 left on the clock.

The Dawgs lost the ball again on bad passing—a portend of what was to come two days later with more deleterious overall results—Douglas picked up his second block, but the ball went out of bounds off Haddonfield. Rohlfing’s defense led to a rebound by Douglas and somehow even though he was way off-balance, Narducci got the ball to go in the net, giving the Dawgs’ their biggest lead, 8 points, with about 90 seconds until the half.

A foul sent the Lions to line yet again, but this time, both shots went in, making it 26–20, Haddonfield. At the other end, Zack Langan went down but no foul was called (this would also be part of the story in Haddonfield’s game against Camden Catholic). When the Dawgs got the ball back with 16.8 on the clock, the plan seemed to be to hold the ball until the last shot, but a misfired pass enabled Cherry Hill West to get the last basket of the half, and when the teams left the court, the Dawgs were only up by 4, 26–22.

Cherry Hill West had the inbounds to start the second half and wasted no time in scoring, but just as quickly, the Dawgs scored on a Roddy-to-Rohlfing setup. However, the Lions would get back to within 2, 28–26 at the 7:26 mark. A jumper by Roddy pushed the lead back to 4, 30–26, but a 3 by the Lions at the other end tightened it to 30–29, Dawgs, with 5:42 on the clock A hard drive in the lane by Rohlfing gave the Dawgs some breathing room, and his blocked shot gave the Dawgs back the ball, which McFillin sailed into the net behind the 3-point arc, making it 35–29 with 4:29 to go in the third.

Back-to-back baskets by the Lions, with the second basket including a made shot from the line, deflated the cushion down to 1 point, 35–34. After the Dawgs couldn’t connect ball to net, the Lions had the chance to go ahead, but a block by Rohlfing prevented that. The Lions picked the ball off, but also did not score. At the Dawgs’ end, Narducci found a wide open McFillin, who hit a 3 and was fouled. Although his foul shot did not go in, it still meant that the Dawgs were up by 4, 38–34, with 3:02 on the clock.

The Lions were not going away, however, and after both teams did not score for a few possessions, made 2 from the foul line to get back to within 2, 38–36, with 1:29 to go in the quarter. The Dawgs turned the ball over, but the Lions also did not score. This time, the Dawgs made a shot but it did not go in. With 8.1 on the clock Cherry Hill West was called for an offensive foul, giving the Dawgs the last possession of the quarter, but their shot did not go in. So, with 8 minutes left in the game, the Dawgs were only up by 2.

Haddonfield inbounded the ball to start the fourth, but did not come away with a basket. Cherry Hill West was also unsuccessful. Douglas, who has shown a lot of poise when he comes into games, got a 2 on a jumper, and after Rohlfing blocked another shot and secured the rebound, scored at the other end. In a blink, the Dawgs got the ball back, and Rohlfing scored again. With 6:26 left in the game, the Dawgs had gone back up by 6, 42–36.

That lead went back down to 4 on a basket by the Lions. Douglas got fouled and made his first but not second shot, so with 5:56 remaining, the Dawgs were ahead by 5, 43–38. The Dawgs didn’t score, the Lions did, being fouled in the process. The foul shot did not go in, but the Lions got the rebound and the basket, and suddenly, it was only a 1-point Dawg advantage, 43–42, with 5:26 on the clock. Rohlfing got fouled, missed the first shot, but made the second. At the other end, the Dawgs fouled off a 3-point attempt, which meant the Lions had three chances at the line. Although the first shot missed, the second two went in, and with 4:55 left in the game, it was knotted at 44.

A nice setup in which Rohlfing passed the ball to Ryan broke the tie, and with the Dawgs up a basket, 46–44, Haddonfield called a timeout. A non-shooting foul by Haddonfield gave Cherry Hill West another scoring opportunity, but Rohlfing took care of that with a block, and down at the Dawgs’ basket, Ryan fed Narducci the ball, and he knocked down a 3. With 3:03 left in the game, the Dawgs had gotten back to a 5-point, 49–44, advantage. The Lions got 2 of those points back their next possession, and with 2:25 to go and a 3-point lead, Haddonfield called another timeout.

Rohlfing got another feed from Ryan, missed the shot, but got his own rebound and scored, making it 51–46, Haddonfield. Narducci grabbed a defensive board under the Lion basket, and then set McFillin up for a 3, which gave the Dawgs an 8-point, 54–46 lead with only 1:31 left in the game. Cherry Hill West got 2 from the foul line, cutting that down to 54–48, but Haddonfield got the ball to Narducci, who was wide open under the Dawgs basket to make it an 8–point lead again, 56–48, with 1:02 on the clock. The last point for either team would come from the line after Morris was fouled and made 1–2. Narducci would get the last rebound of the game and bounce down the clock. When it hit 0:00, the Dawgs had prevailed 57–48, and Dawg fans heaved a collective sigh of relief. Sam Narducci led the Dawgs with 15, and McFillin added 14. In addition to his 11 blocks, Rohlfing scored 13.

Quarter scores:

1st: Haddonfield 14, Cherry Hill West 11

2nd: Haddonfield 12, Cherry Hill West 11

Halftime: Haddonfield 26, Cherry Hill West 22

3rd: Haddonfield 12, Cherry Hill West 14

4th: Haddonfield 19, Cherry Hill West 12

Player scores:

Sam Narducci 15

Phil McFillin 14

Nate Rohlfing 13

Mike Douglas 6

Patrick Ryan 4

Daire Roddy 4

Matt Morris 1

Record-Breaking Season for DePersia

I had to share this amazing stat with Dawg fans. This past Saturday, the men’s basketball game between the Le Moyne University Dolphins and the Stonehill Skyhawks was televised on the YES network, which is part of my cable sports package. I was quite excited to watch these two Division 1 teams from the NEC (Northeast Conference) because it meant I could root for my favorite Dolphin, Mike DePersia, who was a huge part of Haddonfield’s back-to-back state championships in 2018 and 2019. (In case you were wondering, because COVID-19 hit during Mike’s freshman year at IUPUI, he had 2 years of eligibility remaining when he enrolled at grad school at Le Moyne in 2022, and he was able to keep playing hoops.) Throughout the broadcast, the announcers were talking about Mike’s ball-handling skills and how he was able to take care of the basketball while setting up his teammates to score.. During one such rave, they said Mike was “shattering” the NEC’s all-time assist-to-turnover ratio. In fact, as they explained, no one in the history of the conference had come close to what he has been averaging this season: a 3.65 ratio. That means as of that game, he had only committed 23 turnovers, which translates into about one per game, while dishing out 73 assists. The previous record was a 2.95 assist-to-turnover ratio. Whoop, whoop, Mikey!!

Camden Catholic vs. Haddonfield: February 14, 2024, at Camden Eastside

Haddonfield’s fourth-round opponent in the Camden County Tournament would be a familiar one from early on in the season: Camden Catholic The two teams had met in the Dawgs’ second game of the season back on December 16 as part of the Jimmy V Classic at Cherokee High School. The Dawgs had led after every quarter and held off the Irish to win by 6, 48–42. Dawg fans were hoping for a similar outcome.

And at the outset, that prospect was looking promising. The Dawgs rattled off the first 6 points of the game. Daire Roddy got the offense going, then Nate Rohlfing got the next two baskets, the first off an offensive rebound and the second off a feed by Roddy. With about 90 seconds gone, the Dawgs were up 6–0. Camden Catholic’s first point came from the foul line, and a few plays later, Roddy added a pair from the line, making it 8–1, Haddonfield with 3:19 left in the game.

Before Dawg fans could start feeling too cocky, the Irish hit a 3 to make it 8–4, but after a timeout, Phil McFillin hit the first of his treys and put the Dawgs back up by 7, 11–4 with 2:07 on the clock. The Irish got 2 back before Narducci’s jumper returned the Dawgs’ advantage to 7 points, 13–6, with 1:33 to go. The Dawgs had a few more chances to score in the remaining 90 seconds of the quarter, but sloppy play, which would plague them the whole game, kept them at 13 and enabled the Irish to get an easy bucket right ahead of the buzzer.

Haddonfield inbounded to start the second quarter up by 5, 13–8. They did not score, but a foul by Camden Catholic gave the Dawgs back the ball. This time, Rohlfing was fouled as he went up and in, and his shot from the line gave the Dawgs an 8-point, 16–8, advantage with less than a minute off the clock. Unfortunately, the Dawgs would only get 2 more points, again from Rohlfing on the foul line, the rest of the quarter. His shots with 2:31 remaining in the half temporarily put the Dawgs back in front 18–17. The Irish regained the lead a few possessions later from a 3, with 1:44 on the clock. Neither team could score after that, and when the halftime horn sounded, the Dawgs were trailing by 2, 18–20.

Certainly a 2-point deficit did not seem insurmountable as the third period began. When McFillin got the first basket of the second half to tie the game at 20, I think the Dawg fans who had made the 4 p.m. game at Camden Eastside (formerly Woodrow Wilson) thought, “OK, here we go.” But Camden Catholic would score the next two baskets to push their lead to 4, 24–20, at the 5:35 mark. A Ryan-to-Narducci pass made it a 2-point game with 4:55 left in the quarter. The Dawgs lost the ball on a travel, but after holding the Irish scoreless their next possession, failed to score again. An offensive board gave Camden Catholic another chance to score and they knocked down a 3 to go up by 5, their biggest lead of the game, 27–22, with 3:05 on the clock. Mike Douglas drove in the paint for a much-needed Dawg basket with 59 seconds left in the quarter. Camden Catholic then got fouled with 49 seconds to go. The two shots from the line were good, putting the Irish up by 5 once more, 29–24, which is how the quarter ended.

Douglas got the Dawgs’ first bucket of the 4th, but Camden Catholic answered with a 2 to keep their lead at 5, 31–26. Matt Morris made it 28–31 with 6:52 on the clock. The Irish would score the next 4 points, two from the line and a 2 from the field, and at the 5:55 mark, the Dawgs were behind by 7, 28–35. The two teams traded buckets twice, with Douglas and Narducci scoring for the Dawgs, but the second score by Camden Catholic earned them a trip to the line. That made foul shot put the Irish up by 8, 40–32, with 4:23 to go in the game.

Although they were playing hard, the Dawgs just weren’t able to get the ball in the basket. The effort was there, but fatigue was taking its toll, especially on the offensive end. Sure shooters were missing the mark. Narducci did get a ball to drop with 4:02 left, getting the Dawgs to within 6, 34–40, but the Irish got a point back from the line their next possession. Narducci attempted to score again but was knocked to the ground. When no foul was called, I joined the Dawg faithful in booing the fact that all three refs failed to see that Narducci didn’t fall down on his own. This might be a good time to note that many Dawgs fans were gripping rather loudly throughout the game about the fact that the three-ref team was calling fouls left, right, and center on the Dawgs but not making the same type of calls against the Irish. I would say they had some cause for complaint, but in the end, the Dawgs were hurt more by their own inability to put the ball in the net than they were by foul calls.

Of course, to add insult to (hopefully not) injury, after the no call on Narducci, the Irish scored and got a trip to the foul line, giving them a 3-point play that also gave Camden Catholic its first double-digit lead, 44–34, with 2:19 remaining in the game. A Dawg turnover on a travel call led to another basket by the Irish, and with less than 2 minutes to go, the Dawgs were now down by 12, 34–46. A 3 by McFillin got the Dawg fans cheering, and after 2 by Camden Catholic, McFillin launched another 3. (He would be the only Dawg to score behind the arc this game, making four treys.) That 3 got the Dawgs to within 8, but there were only 50 seconds left on the clock. After the teams went 1–2 from the line (Narducci got the basket for Haddonfield), McFillin hit his third 3 in about 70 seconds. The Dawgs were now down 5, 44–49, but time was not on their side. The scoring ending with Camden Catholic making 2 from the line. When the buzzer sounded, the Dawgs had been defeated for only the second time in 27 games, losing by 7, 44–51.

Quarter scores:

1st: Haddonfield 13, Camden Catholic 8

2nd: Haddonfield 5, Camden Catholic 12

Halftime: Haddonfield 18, Camden Catholic 20

3rd: Haddonfield 6, Camden Catholic 9

4th: Haddonfield 20, Camden Catholic 22

Final: Haddonfield 44, Camden Catholic 51

Player scores:

Phil McFillin 14

Sam Narducci 9

Nate Rohlfing

Mike Douglas 6

Daire Roddy 4

Matt Morris 2

Patrick Ryan 2

NJISAA Tournament

The Dawgs, seeded fourth behind Middle Township, Camden, and Cinnaminson in that order, will take to the court this Wednesday night in a 5 p.m. home game that starts the South Jersey Group 2 playoffs. Their opponent will be Manchester Township, seeded 13, with an overall record of 10–15. Those in the know, however, say the Hawks will be a tougher opponent than their record indicates. Hopefully, with 7 days between games, the Dawgs will have had time to recuperate from nagging injuries and full up their tank again. After the boys game, stay on to root for the Lady Dawgs, who will be playing a Colonial Conference opponent, the Gloucester City Lions, at 7 p.m.

Let’s go DAWGS!            

HMHS Boys Basketball: Senior Dawgs: The Elite 8

By Lauree Padgett / Exclusive to Haddonfield[dot]Today

When trying to come up with a term to describe the senior Dawgs—Mike Feinstein, Zach Langan, Phil McFillin, Matt Morris, Sam Narducci, Daire Roddy, Nate Rohlfing, and Patrick Ryan—I wanted something to reflect both their number and their value. It took some time and some pondering, but finally “the Elite Eight” came into my head. This is what the teams from the NCAA basketball tournament are called that have made it through the earlier rounds to get to the quarter-finals. These teams are the cream of the crop. For many reasons, several which I’ll mention, this nomenclature seemed to fit.

I had the fun job of interviewing these eight young men during halftime of the JV’s game versus Paulsboro on 2/6. When I reached out to their coach Paul Wiedeman about the prospect, he quickly replied that he would set it up for us to meet in the cafeteria. As I saw the boys, who had been sitting up in the bleachers behind the Haddonfield bench, start to head down and out, I did the same. We met up a few minutes later and gathered around a big round table. In years’ past, I had the chance to get to interact with the players a bit, greeting and congratulating them on the court after games, so by the end of a season,  we knew each other a little. COVID, as it did for many things, changed all that, and those on-court meetups stopped. That meant this was literally the first time I had talked to any of them. It seemed fair that if they were going to share some info about themselves and each other, I should give them a bit of my backstory. I told them that I’d been coming to games since I was about 6 and that I had started covering the games, first for local town paper, The Haddon Gazette, which morphed into The Suburban, By the time the name changed again (to what I can’t recall),  I was back to just being a fan in the stands. During the mid-2000’s, while Haddonfield was winning back-to-back-to-back Group 2 state titles, David Hunter, publisher of What’s on in Haddonfield, had me write up some NJISAA tournament games,and then I migrated to Haddonfield Online. In those days, I often came home from games, wrote up the summary, and it was posted the next morning. Now, as you know if you are reading this, I do a mostly weekly recap for Haddonfield Today.

I told the seniors that I’d been to every state final game since 1973 and told them a funny story (well, the story itself isn’t funny, as it still sticks in my crawl 35 years later) about how Haddonfield had gone 31–0 en route to the state title Paul Wiedeman’s senior year only to lose in the first round of the inaugural Tournament of Champions game due to outrageous (I told you I’m still bitter) refereeing in the final minutes. They listened and responded appropriately to the parts about a technical and an offensive charge, both being called against Haddonfield, that cost us the game. Then I said, “Enough about me.”

All eight seniors have been playing together since their days in the HBYA (Haddonfield Youth Basketball Association), which starts in middle school, i.e., 6th grade. I first asked if that seemed like 7 years ago or not. Just like it would take them a while to warm up on the court a little while later, it took a few minutes for them to give me more some nods and smiles. As he often does on the court, Daire got the ball rolling, so to speak, acknowledging how cool it was that they had all stuck with the game and were still playing together as seniors.

My next question got them going and really illustrated how comfortable they are with each other on and off the court. I wanted them to describe their teammates with a word or phrase, and the answers I got made us all laugh, as often the terms they gave me could have been taken an entirely different way and resulted in me writing a different kind of story that could have piqued the interest of the Haddonfield PD.

For example, Matt was called “shifty” and “elusive,” as well as “goofy and fun.” What his friends meant by the first two words was that Matt has the ability to change direction on a dime and avoid the opposition so he can drive in, pass the ball, or, as he did a few games later, stop short and drop in a 3. Nate labeled many of his teammates “shooters,” which is quite true. (Looking at stats in the 2/11 edition of, which reflected games up through 2/8, Haddonfield has three players, with Sam number 1 despite all his missed games, in the top 10 for 3’s made. Together, their numbers add up to more than 160. Daire, Zach, Nate, and Mike have also hit their share of 3’s during the season.)

As for Nate, he got called “tall,” “strong,” “beast,” and “grizzly.” But my favorite word was given by Zach, who used his arms to emphasis what he meant by “Loooong.” At 6-8, Nate has quite a wingspan, which explains why he’s leading the Colonial Conference in blocked shots, averaging just under 2 per game. He is one of several Dawgs that have missed some games due to injury, and he confirmed that while he felt a bit out of shape his first few games, he is “back.” His ”strong” showing in the paint later that night echoed that statement.

While his teammates have all taken turns starting this year, I told Mike that I suspected he might love basketball more than anyone for sticking with basketball even though he does not get as much playing time. He gave me a big smile and said it is “always fun” to be a part of the team with his buddies. And when one of the adjectives shared for him was “underrated,” all seven of his mates nodded vigorously that this was an understatement. Their mutual appreciation of and respect for Mike came out during that night’s game, when they made sure everyone in the stands knew what he could do with a ball in his hand. Whenever he was on the court, they fed him so he could shoot. Thanks to their unselfishness, Mike finished with 14 points along with Nate.

Unselfishness is part of the Dawgs’ mantra, part of Coach Wiedeman’s core belief that every player wearing the Haddonfield uniform is part of the team, an important part. If you look at the Colonial Conference assists leaderboard, you wouldn’t likely be surprised that Daire is in the top spot. But proving how well they mesh on the court, several other Dawgs are in the top 20 for “dishes” per game. No one has to be, or seems to want to be, the “star.” Sam’s had a few monster games, but on any given night, three players will finish in double digits, usually only separated by a point or two.

“Unselfish” is also the word that when doled out for Daire, got his fellow senior Dawgs pounding the table in agreement. He was also called “talented” and “clutch.” “Clutch” was certainly the word to use when as a freshman and not the tallest Dawg on the court, Daire intercepted a pass with the Dawgs down 2 with about 2 seconds left in the game. Even then, he had the calmness on the court to plant his feet so he was centered before he let go a 3 that swooshed in and won the game (and an appearance on ESPN). I had noticed that in the past few weeks, Daire had started taking shots instead of just setting up his teammates to score. Was that intentional? Daire said that both he and Coach Wiedeman had decided he needed to take shots when open. It’s been paying off.

Patrick is “tough,” a “Dawg” (which I interpreted to mean he does not give up trying to get the rebound or score in the paint), and “physical.” But apparently this young man, who is among the Colonial Conference leaders in rebounds, also has a “silly” side.’s Kevin Minnick has also ID’d Patrick as one of the conference’s unsung heroes. In the 2/11 online issue, he writes that Patrick “does all the dirty work and generally makes the paint his home.”

What did his teammates have to say about Zach? They cited his defense, that he has a hand in everything going on, and that he is “the glue guy.” He was also sidelined with a calf injury for quite a while, but also says he is feeling good again. His on-court play also indicates that this is the case.

Phil has a reputation among his teammates of being cool on the court, nonchalant, and sneaky. He is sneaky because you never know what he’s going to do: Drive hard into the paint to score, make a great pass, or knock down a 3 just when it’s needed. And no matter which of these actions he takes, he demeanor does remain cool as a cucumber. (Although, I have to admit that after sinking a few of his trademark corner 3’s, he was playing to the crowd—the Sterling student section specifically—a few nights later. But, to quote a line in the Drama Club’s upcoming spring musical, Chicago [check out the drama club page,, for the March dates], “they had it coming.”)

Sam had been sitting directly across from me—with his right ankle and foot in a boot—during our interview session. He has very intense eyes. It’s probably one of many reasons the senior squad had a lot of superlatives for him: “basket,” “sniper,” “that guy,” “consistent,” and  “leader.” Even when he’s been sidelined, now for the second time, Sam still conveys that leadership quality. The good news is that the MRI he had the next day enabled Sam to get out of the boot. According to his dad Gary, Sam really wants to be on the court for today’s 4 p.m. Camden County tourney game versus Cherry Hill West, because he knows his teammates will need him. But whether he is on the court or not, Sam is a big part of the heart and soul of the team.

How, I asked, have all their years together, made them better on the court? Sam spoke up first, saying it has given them trust in each other. It’s also helped them almost instinctively know each other’s moves on the court. “We’re good friends on and off the court,” Phil added, saying that is why their chemistry is so natural. Daire expanded on Sam’s comment about trust, explaining that they can speak to each other freely during a game if a situation arises and no one gets upset. I saw a perfect example of this during the Winslow Township game on Saturday when Nate got called for a foul he didn’t commit and got a bit riled, since it was his fourth and he had to leave the game. A quick word from Daire and a pat on the back helped to calm Nate down.

Finally, I wanted to know what the Dawgs’ legacy means to them. Daire called it a “culture,” and being expected to win. Each team each year wants to keep that going. Phil also said there are different aspects. It’s about being on the court, but it’s also about what you do in the classroom and outside of it.

I can’t express how impressed I was by these eight young men. They were attentive, engaging, and polite, but above all, they were the definition of all the parts that make a team not just successful but special. As I made my way back to my seat in the stands, I was weaving in and out of a passel of current HYBA’ers. (It was also HYBA night at the high school.) While many of these boys may end up playing varsity hoops on this hallowed court and serve their team and school well, I suspect none will quite match the qualities exemplified by this elite group of eight.

HMHS Boys Basketball: Dawgs have a good bounce-back week

By Lauree Padgett / Exclusive to Haddonfield[dot]Today

After their first loss of the season on 2/3 to Central Regional, the Haddonfield boys basketball team got back on the winning side with three victories this past week. Two finished off Colonial Conference play—the Dawgs were 15–0 overall and 10–0 in the Liberty division. The last was the start (for Haddonfield, who had a first-round bye) of the Camden County Tournament. In addition to looking at the three victories, which bring the Dawgs’ record to 24–1, I also have a separate post on the Dawgs who are nearing the end of their careers on the hardcourt, titled “Senior Dawgs: The Elite Eight.”

Paulsboro at Haddonfield: February 6. 2024

In their first game of the new year away against the Red Raiders, the Dawgs won by 18, 43–25. This game, which was also Senior Night, would not be that close.

As is tradition, Coach Paul Wiedeman started five seniors, and even with Sam Narducci out of the lineup as his ankle healed, that still meant two additional seniors were watching from the bench when the game tipped off. On the court at the outset were Patrick Ryan, Daire Roddy, Zach Langan, and Nate Rohlfing, all who had started many of the Dawgs’ previous 22 games, and Mike Feinstein, who got his first start of the season. He also got the biggest cheer when he was introduced by Dawgs’ announcer Mark Hershberger.

It would take the Dawgs a little time to really warm up offensively (or maybe shake off the game that ended their winning streak), but Paulsboro never got past lukewarm, so it didn’t really matter. Langan got the Dawgs on the board going 1–2 from the foul line with only 30 seconds gone in the first quarter. Then the crowd went wild as Feinstein, who has a pretty stroke, swooshed in a 3 to put the Dawgs up 4–0. Ryan would score in the paint to make it 6–0 with 4:15 on the clock. The Red Raiders’ first field goal came off a steal at the 3:40 mark.

Ryan hit a bank shot (off the backboard), the Dawgs pressed at the Raiders’ end keeping them from scoring, Rohlfing got a shot to roll around the rim and drop in, and after the Raiders failed to score again, Roddy also got a roll-in bucket. And with 2 and change left in the quarter, the Dawgs were up 14–2,  and that would be the final basket of the first 8 minutes.

In the second quarter, the Dawgs’ kicked it up a notch offensively. The Red Raiders got their second 2 points of the game from the foul line, and senior Phil McFillin sent in a basket from behind the arc, making 17–4, Haddonfield, with less than a minute having ticked off the clock. Paulsboro got 2 and Langan followed with his first basket from the field, pushing the Dawgs’ lead up to 13, 19–6, with about 5 minutes until halftime.

Paulsboro got another point on the board from the foul line and after some missed scoring opportunities on both sides, McFillin nailed another 3. After neither team scored a few more times, McFillin hit his third trey of the quarter, making it 25–7, Dawgs, with about 2 minutes left in the half. In those 2 minutes, senior Matt Morris would get a basket off an offensive rebound. At the other end, Rohlfing would pull down a defensive board, and back under the Dawgs’ basket would score off a feed from Morris. The last basket came with about .05 seconds showing on the scoreboard as sophomore Mike Douglas found nothing but net from outside. As the teams left the court, the Dawgs were stealing the game from the Raiders, up 23, 32–9.

In quarter 3, the Dawgs put up 4 times as many points as the Raiders, outscoring them 20­–5. To the credit of his teammates and to the delight of the fans (both young and old), Mike Feinstein showed why his fellow seniors described him as “underrated”: He netted another two 3’s and also got a 2 on a floater. This also emphasized why, in the first week of February (after 21 games), Haddonfield had three players—Roddy, who was, and still is, on top, Narducci, and Ryan—in the Colonial Conference list of top 10 assist-makers. In these 8 minutes, Morris and Ryan contributed a pair of buckets each, and Roddy and Rohlfing both scored once more.

So, doing the math for you (and remember, math is not my strongest suit), that meant that as the fourth quarter commenced, the Dawgs were rolling, ahead by 37 points. And while their opponents would score 14 in the fourth—a point shy of their total points in the first three quarters, that differential would only widen for the Raiders in the last 8 minutes of the game. Feinstein, Langan, and Douglas added to the Dawgs’ trey count. (The Dawgs would finish with 10.) Rohlfing, who looked strong in the paint, scored three more times, and sophomore Jack McKeever came in and got a pair of buckets as well. When the horn sounded, the Dawgs had probably made the Raiders see red, beating them by 44 points, 73–29. Mike Feinstein and Nate Rohlfing shared the scoring honors with 14 points apiece.

Quarter scores:

1st: Haddonfield 14, Paulsboro 2

2nd: Haddonfield 18, Paulsboro 8

Halftime score: Haddonfield 32, Paulsboro 10

3rd: Haddonfield 20, Paulsboro 15

4th: Haddonfield 73, Paulsboro 29

Player scores:

Mike Feinstein 14

Nate Rohlfing 14

Phil McFillin 9

Patrick Ryan 8

Zach Langan 8

Matt Morris 6

Mike Douglas 6

Jack McKeever 4

Haddonfield at Sterling: February 8, 2024

Two nights later, the Dawgs headed down Warwick Road to Stratford to finish out the regular season and finish off the Silver Knights of Sterling. At least that was the plan, but the Silver Knights had other ideas, at least for the first 10 minutes of the half.

For the initial few trips up and down the court, neither team got the ball into the basket. However, Haddonfield did pick up two quick fouls. Matt Morris got the Dawgs on board first with a 2, but Sterling answered with a basket. After losing the ball on a traveling call, the Dawgs got assessed foul number 3, which was number 2 on Phil McFillin, at the 5:24 mark and people who don’t usually complain out loud (including me) started to do so. (I must have been out of earshot of the usual suspects who are vocal about perceived bad ref calls.) Mike Feinstein entered the game for McFillin and instead of what looked like a great pass to Nate Rohlfing, he was issued a traveling violation.

At the other end, Daire Roddy got a defensive board and Morris connected for a 3 to put the Dawgs up by that many with 3:51 left in the quarter. Sterling scored and got to go to the line when Haddonfield picked up foul #4. The made foul shot tied the game at 5.

Haddonfield failed to score, as did Sterling, and after another missed shot by the Dawgs, the Silver Knights hit a 3 to go up 8–5 with 2:18 on the clock. Rohlfing scored on a feed from Patrick Ryan to get the Dawgs to within 1, but Sterling got another bucket to go back up by 3, 10–7. Ryan got fouled and dropped in both shots to again whittle Sterling’s lead down to 1 with 1:13 showing on the scoreboard. A pickoff by Ryan and then a nifty bounce pass to Rohlfing gave the Dawgs back the lead, 11–10, with 50 seconds to go. Neither team scored ahead of the quarter-ending buzzer.

The second quarter started with yet another foul being called on Haddonfield. (This was one game when I appreciated the new rule of 5 fouls per quarter, not 7 per half, before the 1+1 foul opportunity comes into play.) Sterling sank both to retake a 1-point, 12–11, lead with not even 15 seconds gone. Haddonfield couldn’t blame the score all on some iffy foul calls, though. They were making some bad passes and losing the ball out of bounds. One such bad pass set up a 2-point Silver Knights’ basket, which gave them a 3-point, 14–11, advantage, with 6:35 left in the half. After the “shifty” Morris got his second 3 of the game to bring it even, Sterling got a 2 to pull back out in front 16–14.

Zach Langan earned a trip to the foul line after pulling down an offensive board, and his shots tied the game at 16 with 5:14 on the clock. A few plays later, Langan recovered a loose ball and scored to switch the edge back to the Dawgs, 18–16. But almost immediately, Sterling hit a 3. After a missed shot, the Dawgs stole the ball back only to lose it—an event that happened more than once this game. Sterling got fouled but this time did not get any points from the foul line. Langan, who wasn’t kidding when he said he felt good after recovering from his injury, knocked down a 3 to seesaw the lead back to the Dawgs, 21–19. Sterling was called for 5 seconds so did not get a chance to score and then got a foul called (to the cheers of the Dawgs’ fans). The Dawgs missed a shot, got the board, missed again, got the board, and on the third try, Rohlfing got the ball in the net, putting the Dawgs up by 4, 23–19, with 1:38 to go.

After a timeout with 1:21 left in the half, Rohlfing brought down another board, setting up Langan for his second 3 of the quarter, and the Dawgs were now up by 7, 26–19, with about 49 seconds remaining. Sterling scored and got to the line for a chance to make it a 3-point play, but the foul shot didn’t drop. But Morris’ trey attempt just ahead of the buzzer did, so when the Dawgs headed off the court at the half, they had built up, in the final few minutes, an 8-point, 29–21, lead.

After the break, the Dawgs came back energized. Haddonfield inbounded and McFillin used the backboard to knock in a 2 to give the Dawgs their first double-digit, 31–21, lead. Haddonfield got charged with a shooting foul, but Sterling could not take advantage from the line, keeping it a 10-point differential. A Roddy dish to Rohlfing made it 33–21, and a trey from McFillin put the Dawgs up by 15, 36–21, barely a minute into the third. Not surprisingly, Sterling called a timeout.

That didn’t do too much to help the Knights, as Ryan got a defensive board and McFillin scored on an easy layup.  A blocked shot by Ryan was called a foul by the refs, and Sterling’s 2 from the line broke their scoreless drought, but the Knights were still trailing by 15, 38–23. That turned into 20 points on a 2 by Rohlfing and a 3 by Morris, and with 4:51 on the clock, the Dawgs had put up 17 points in less than 4 minutes and were now in control, up 43–23.

Sterling didn’t score, Morris pulled down the board, and McFillin, who was feeling the magic, rained down another 3 and gave the Sterling high school fans a bit of a salute as he upped the lead to 23 points, 46–43. (If you had seen the clip Sterling played off their admittedly cool video screen before the game, a video that included fans storming the court after an upset win at Haddonfield, you would have understood where some of that attitude was coming from.) Although the Dawgs scored 5 more points, on 2’s by Roddy and Ryan and foul shot from Rohlfing, in the quarter, they also got a bit sloppy again, or they likely would have been ahead by more than 51–29 when the third came to an end.

In the last 8 minutes, the Dawgs put up 16 more points. Morris added 5, three from the foul line; McFillin made a final 3; Rohlfing and Langan each added one more bucket; and Mike Douglas and Chris Beane also hit 2’s. When the clock wound down to 0:00, the Dawgs had defeated the Silver Knights by a score of 67–38. The Dawgs had four players in double digits. Morris led the way with 20; McFillin and Rohlfing had 13 each; and Langan, who got 10 points in the second to help the Dawgs take control of the game, finished with 12.

Quarter scores:

1st: Haddonfield 11, Sterling 10

2nd: Haddonfield 18, Sterling 11

Halftime: Haddonfield 29, Sterling 21

3rd: Haddonfield 22, Sterling 8

4th: Haddonfield 16, Sterling 8

Player scores:

Matt Morris 20

Phil McFillin 13

Nate Rohlfing 13

Zach Langan 12

Patrick Ryan 4

Daire Roddy 2

Mike Douglas 2

Chris Beane 2

Camden County Tournament—Winslow Township at Haddonfield: February 10, 2024

Haddonfield’s first opponent in the Camden County Tournament was Winslow Township—another flock of Eagles. This game was pretty much over from the first period thanks to Nate Rohlfing, who scored three times in the paint and made 3 foul shots, and Patrick Ryan, who scored twice under the basket and once from the line. Matt Morris and Daire Roddy hit 3’s and all total, put the Dawgs up by 14, 20–6 by the quarter’s end.

Super soph Mike Douglas came into the game in the second quarter and connected on a pair of treys and also made 2 from the line. (He may have been the only Dawg who didn’t have to take extra shots from the foul line if there was practice Sunday.) Rohlfing barreled up and in two more times, and Morris and Ryan each scored again. At the half, the Dawgs were tar and feathering the Eagles, ahead by 23, 36–23.

While McFillin’s pair of treys with a 2-pointer in between fueled the Dawgs’ third quarter offense, that was marred by what happened with 3:08 on the clock. Rohlfing was rammed going after a rebound and left the court clutching his left shoulder and in visible pain. As he was being attended to on the bench, I’m sure the collective thought in the crowd was, “Oh no! Not Nate again too!” I did get some good intel after the game that while Nate had injured that shoulder during football season (he played tackle), the word from the Haddonfield trainer was that it looked as if Nate was going to be OK. I guess we’ll find out tomorrow if he’s in the starting lineup or not … For his sake and Haddonfield’s, I sure hope this “beast” is ready to go against the Cherry Hill West Lions.

The Dawgs got 16 points to finish out the game. Douglas got three more baskets, Morris had one more, and Langan knocked down a 3. Chris Beane, who always plays hard when he gets into the game, scored 5 quick points to close out the offense for Haddonfield, who won the game handily 67–31. Mike Douglas led the Dawgs with 16. He edged out Nate Rohlfing, who only scored 2 from the line in the third before having to exit the game and finished with 15.

Quarter scores:

1st: Haddonfield 20, Winslow Township 6

2nd: Haddonfield 16, Winslow Township 7

Halftime score: Haddonfield 36, Winslow Township 14

3rd quarter: Haddonfield 15, Winslow Township 10

4th quarter: Haddonfield 16, Winslow Township 8

Player scores:

Mike Douglas 16

Nate Rohlfing 15

Phil McFillin 8

Patrick Ryan 8

Matt Morris 7

Daire Roddy 5

Chris Beane 5

Zach Langan 3

The Week Ahead

It’s playoff time, so all that’s known for certain is that Haddonfield squares off against Cherry Hill West today at 4 p.m. at Eastern Regional High School. If they advance, the next game would be Wednesday at (but not against) Camden East Side. Stay tuned.

Next week, the NJISAA tournament begins, and while we are waiting for the brackets, it’s at least a safe assumption that the first game, slated now for Wednesday, Feb. 21, would be at home.

HMHS Boys Basketball: Streak comes to an end at 21–0

By Lauree Padgett / Exclusive to Haddonfield[dot]Today

January 30–February 3

The Haddonfield boys basketball team played three games this past week, two versus Colonial Conference rivals and one against a nonleague opponent. The first two saw the Dawgs extend their unbeaten streak to 21. The last resulted in the Dawgs’ first loss of the season. I was at the matchups against Haddon Township and West Deptford, but was unable to attend the Holy Cross Academy Showcase contest against Central Regional High School. However, I will share some comments from two of my on-site reporters.

Haddon Township at Haddonfield: January 30, 2024

The Dawgs and the Hawks first took to the court on Dec. 19. That game the Dawgs won by nearly 50 points, 67–19. While the point spread wouldn’t be quite that much in round two, the result was still the same.

That was partly due to the sluggish start the Dawgs had in the first 8 minutes of the game. While senior Phil McFillin hit a 3 with a little more than a minute gone, it would take more than 2 minutes for senior Matt Morris to add to the Dawgs’ tally with a 2. Since the Hawks had only managed a 2 (that would be their only basket of the quarter), it wasn’t cause for alarm. In fact, most fans in the Dawgs’ section no doubt realized the team had played four games the previous week and were just a bit worn down. Senior Sam Narducci followed Morris’ 2 with a 3, at the 2:40 mark, and that was actually the last basket for the home team before the first buzzer sounded.

Quarter two, the Dawgs shook off that hint of lethargy and began taking better shots that consequently began to drop. Senior Nate Rohlfing, although he did not start, saw some minutes in the first quarter and was on the floor at the outset of quarter 2. And he immediately scored. After McFillin grabbed a defensive rebound, sophomore Mike Douglas sunk a 3 off a feed from senior Patrick Ryan, and with barely a minute gone, the Dawgs had already put 5 on the board and were now up 13–2.

With 5:45 on the clock, a cheer went up in the crowd as senior Zach Langan, who had not played since the Sterling game at home on Jan. 5, came onto the court for Ryan. Langan, who had been sidelined for almost a month with a calf injury, would score the Dawgs’ next basket off a feed from Narducci and then at the other end, contributed to a traveling violation being called on the Hawks. Rohlfing went into the paint for another 2 with McFillin picking up the assist. Under the Hawks’ basket, Douglas’ blocked a shot and the ball went out of bounds off Haddonfield. Rohlfing got the defensive rebound and Douglas did a sideways drive to the hoop, putting the Dawgs ahead by 17, 19–2, with just under 4 minutes to go in the half.

After a timeout by Haddon Township, Morris picked off the ball, threaded it to McFillin, whose basket made it 21–2, Haddonfield. At the other end, McFillin picked up a foul and then a rebound, which led to another basket by Rohlfing. The Hawks broke their close to 9-minute scoring drought with a 3-pointer and then scored a 2 less than a minute later. Even so, when Rohlfing got his fourth bucket of the quarter after pulling down an offensive board, the Dawgs still had an 18-point, 25–7, lead with 1:31 left in the half. Narducci would collect the Dawgs’ last two baskets, the first off a feed from Rohlfing, the second off his own steal. When the halftime horn sounded, the Hawks were trailing by 22, 29–7.

The second quarter would prove to be the Dawgs’ best offensively. In the second half, they recorded 14 points in both the third and fourth periods, while the Hawks put up 10 and 7, respectively. For the Dawgs in the third, Ryan went up and in three times, Narducci hit a 3 and 2 foul shots, Douglas made 1 from the line, and Rohlfing had another 2. Speaking of 3’s, perhaps one other sign that the Dawgs were not quite going at full throttle was their below-average number of 3’s. While the team usually combines for close to double digits in the trey department, this night, they only hit 4: Narducci’s two, and one each from McFillin and Douglas.

In the fourth, Rohlfing kept finding the basket, making two from the field and one from the foul line. Narducci got one more from the line, and Douglas got another from the floor. Senior Mike Feinstein and sophomore Chris Beane came in and each scored a basket, and sophomore Chase Stadler added a pair from the foul line. When all was shot and done, the Dawgs had beaten the Hawks by 27, 58–28. In this lower-scoring game, only two Dawgs reached double digits: Nate Rohlfing put up 15 and Sam Narducci finished with 13.  

Quarter scores:

1st: Haddonfield 8, Haddon Township 2

2nd: Haddonfield 21, Haddon Township 5

Halftime score: Haddonfield 29, Haddon Township 7

3rd: Haddonfield 14, Haddon Township 10

4th: Haddonfield 14, Haddon Township 7

Final score: Haddonfield 57, Haddon Township 28

Player scores:

Nate Rohlfing 15

Sam Narducci 13

Mike Douglas 8

Patrick Ryan 6

Phil McFillin 5

Matt Morris 2

Zack Langan 2

Mike Feinstein 2

Chris Beane 2

Chase Stadler 2

Haddonfield at West Deptford: February 1, 2024

While the Dawgs should have been enjoying their 79–44 victory over the Eagles that notched them win number 21, something that happened early on in the game left players and fans feeling more apprehensive than celebratory.

The game started out well enough, with the Dawgs seeming more energized than they had appeared two nights earlier. Sam Narducci’s 3 put the Dawgs on the board and after a blocked shot by Patrick Ryan off an Eagles’ offensive rebound, Narducci hit another 3. The Eagles missed another shot, Daire Roddy got the rebound, and this time Narducci drove into the paint off a pass from Patrick Ryan. With 2 minutes gone, it was Narducci 8, West Deptford 0.

The Eagles’ first points came at the 5:42 mark from the foul line. After the Dawgs did not score, Ryan got a defensive rebound, Narducci got the ball, was fouled, and hit the floor. With 5:09 on the clock, Narducci was helped off the floor, limping and in pain. Nate Rohlfing entered the game as Narducci left to shoot what should have been Narducci’s foul shots. He made 1–2 to make it 9–2, Dawgs. Because I happened to be sitting closer to the Haddonfield bench than I had been all year, I had a good view of Narducci and kept an eye on him for the rest of the game. (I’ll write more on him shortly.)

From where I was sitting, I could hear also hear a lot of Coach Paul Wiedeman’s comments, as well as the players who were watching from the sidelines. At this point, Wiedeman yelled out “Loose, loose” to make sure all the Dawgs knew no one had control of the ball. A scramble followed, and West Deptford came up with the ball. Their effort was to no avail, as they did not score, Rohlfing pulled down the rebound, and after he passed the ball to Matt Morris, Morris fed it back to Rohlfing, who slammed it home.

After another missed shot by the Eagles, Ryan secured the rebound and Phil McFillin hit a 3, making it 14–2, Dawgs. (With not quite 5 minutes gone in the game, the Dawgs already had three 3’s, compared to only four total from two nights earlier. They would finish with 11.) The Eagles answered with a 3 to make it a 14–5 game. A few plays later, Zach Langan entered the game for Ryan and immediately scored off a pass from Roddy. The Eagles again responded, keeping it a 9-point Haddonfield advantage. Roddy’s jumper pushed that to a double-digit, 11-point, 18–7 edge with 18 seconds on the clock and that was the score when the buzzer sounded.

West Deptford inbounded the ball to start the next 8 minutes and got a bucket. Haddonfield committed a turnover, but Mike Douglas, who was on the floor to start the second, pulled down a defensive board, and McFillin followed with his second trey of the game to make it 21–9 with about 67 seconds having ticked off the clock. The Eagles got a point from the line, the Dawgs didn’t score, but Matt Morris pilfered the basket and then after some nice passing set it up, he nailed a 3, boosting the Dawgs’ lead to 24–10 with 5:44 left in the half.

The Eagles scored, then Rohlfing scored. The Eagles scored again and Rohlfing scored again. With 4:23 to go in the half, the Dawgs were still up by 14, 28–14. Langan came in once more for Ryan and once again made his presence known, getting fouled after Rohlfing had pulled down a defensive rebound. He made 1–2, then at the other end, grabbed a rebound. He passed it to Douglas, who scored. West Deptford got the next 4 points of the game, 2 from a basket and 2 from a pair of foul shots, and with 2:08 on the clock, it was 31–18, Haddonfield.

After a missed shot by Haddonfield, Rohlfing got the offensive board and scored. He then blocked an Eagles’ shot, Langan got the rebound, and after pulling down an offensive board, McFillin was fouled. He made both his shots with 1:06 on the clock. About 10 second later, West Deptford made 2 from the line, making it 35–20. Morris knocked down a 3, West Deptford responded with a 3 at their end, and with 3 seconds left, Douglas swooshed in a 3, giving the Dawgs an 18-point, 41–23, lead as the teams exited the court.

While the game was going on, the West Deptford athletic trainer had been taking very good care of Narducci. First, she gave him an ice pack that he could wrap around his right ankle. (I would find out later that while it was the same ankle he’d hurt earlier in the season, the sprain was in a different place.) Then she wrapped it. Narducci sat sideways on the bench with his right leg bent and I’m guessing trying to put as little pressure on his foot as possible. Needless to say, he looked pretty downcast to have injured his ankle again, but his buddies on the team took turns checking in on him and trying to keep his spirits up. At the half, the trainer came back to check on him. She unwrapped the bandage, removed the ice pack, and Narducci put his shoe (not his sneaker) back on. He then got up and walked across the court, which seemed like a good sign. However, a short time later, he was back on the bench, and when I checked again, the bandage was back on minus the ice pack.

In the third quarter, Morris went on a scoring frenzy. He started the period off with a 3 and would hit another pair of treys as well as a 2-pointer for 11 points McFillin got his third 3 of the game, as well as another 2. Rohlfing scored two more buckets, and Ryan and Landan each scored in the paint. In case you weren’t just doing math in your head, that barrage added up to 24 points for the Dawgs, who held the Eagles to 10.

In the fourth, Rohlfing picked up where Morris left off. He could not be stopped in the paint, and went up and in five times. One of those baskets resulted in a 3-point play, as he was fouled and made the basket from the line. Douglas would get the Dawgs’ last 3 of the game, sandwiched between all Rohlfing’s 2’s. When the buzzer sounded, the Dawgs had landed the Eagles on the losing side again, beating them soundly, 79–44. Thanks to his fourth quarter efforts, Nate Rohlfing finished with 24 points. Matt Morris, with his five treys, had 17, and Phil McFillin added 13.

As for Narducci, he left the court on crutches and was headed for another X-ray. In an update from Coach Wiedeman today, he told me there was no timetable for Narducci’s return. I’m sure we are all hoping he can rest that ankle and be able to come back for the Dawgs’ Group 2 run, which begins in a few weeks.

Quarter scores:

1st: Haddonfield 18, West Deptford 7

2nd: Haddonfield 23, West Deptford 16

Halftime score: Haddonfield 41, West Deptford 23

3rd: Haddonfield 24, West Deptford 10

4th: Haddonfield 14, West Deptford 11

Final score: Haddonfield 79, West Deptford 44

Player scores:

Nate Rohlfing 24

Matt Morris 17

Phil McFillin 13

Sam Narducci 8 (in 2 minutes’ time)

Mike Douglas 8

Zach Langan 5

Patrick Ryan 2

Daire Roddy 2

Holy Cross Prep Showcase—Haddonfield vs. Central Regional: February 3, 2024

Well, it took 22 games before Haddonfield would come out on the losing end, to a very tough opponent who came into the game with a 17–3 overall record and a 6–0 record in their Shore B South Conference division. I was unable to attend the game due to a fun family event (the second birthday of my twin great-nieces Ana and Gwen), but I did have a few people, aka my on-site reporters, keeping me updated. Both said that this was the first team that Haddonfield played who had the same kind of defense. And both said the absence of Sam Narducci was felt.

In his halftime text, Reporter #1 also told me the Eagles (finally a team with wings that the Dawgs couldn’t clip) did not miss a 3 in the first 2 quarters, which is probably a big reason they were up by 6 at the half. Reporter #2 gave me some short texts during the game, but came home and texted me a much more thorough report. Here are some of the highlights Reporter #2 “passed” along:

In quarter 1, Daire Roddy got the Dawgs’ first basket on a 3, and Phil McFillin followed that with a 3 of his own. At the 4:43 mark, the Dawgs were looking pretty good, up 10–3. After a Roddy pickoff, Patrick Ryan was fouled and made 1-2. However, the Eagles came back with two quick 3’s. At one point toward the end of the first, Roddy was knocked out of bounds but no fouls were called. And I quote, “Defense by both teams intense.” At the end of the quarter, the Dawgs were up by 2, 15–13.

Before starting their second quarter summary, Reporter #2 stated, “First I would like to credit Patrick Ryan for getting to the right place for a large percentage of shot rebounds today.” (The box score on confirmed that assessment, recording 12 rebounds for Ryan.) Unfortunately, in less than 2 minutes, the Eagles had pulled ahead by 2, 19–17, meaning they had outscored the Dawgs by 4. A foul shot and a 3 added 4 more points to Central Regional’s score before McFillin got his third 3. The Dawgs added 3 on foul shots by Ryan and Zach Langan. Ryan got the Dawgs’ last bucket of the half, pulling down three tough rebounds before he finally got the ball in the net.

From Reporter #2’s accounts, the first part of third quarter was pretty ugly all the way around. With just under 4 minutes left, it was 32–29 in favor of Central Regional, which meant the Dawgs had scored 5 points and the Eagles only 2. About 3 minutes later, the tide had turned: The Eagles had gone on a 7–0 run and were up by 10, 39–29. That was the score when the quarter came to an end.

In the fourth, Haddonfield would manage only two baskets, both in the first 4 minutes: a 3 by Matt Morris and a final 3 by McFillin. This was due to Central “keeping us … from getting in under the basket.” When the buzzer sounded, the Dawgs’ 21-game winning streak had been ended by a really tough, really good West Regional team, who won by 17, 52–35. Phil McFillin was the only player for Haddonfield in double digits, with 11. Patrick Ryan added 9 points to go with his 12 rebounds.

The Week Ahead

Haddonfield finishes out the regular season with a home game Tuesday, 2/6, versus Colonial Conference Liberty opponent Paulsboro. It is Senior Night, so come out at 7 p.m. to show your appreciation for our seven senior starters—in numerical order—Matt Morris (#2), Phil McFillin (#3), Patrick Ryan (#4), Sam Narducci (#10), Daire Roddy (#12), Zach Langan (#15), and Nate Rohlfing ($21)—and our great player off the bench, Mike Feinstein (#11). Thursday is an early (5:30) away game versus another Liberty rival, Sterling.

Saturday starts (for Haddonfield) the Camden County Tournament. Seeded third behind Camden and Eastern, the Dawgs had a bye in the first round and will host Winslow at home on Saturday, time to be determined. After the Camden County Tournament, now in its second year, the NJSIAA tournament starts. Haddonfield’s first game is currently scheduled at home on 2/28.

I want to close out with a big thanks to all my eyes in the stands from game to game, but especially Reporter #2, who did a top-notch job keeping track of the contest this past Saturday in my absence. But as always, my sources remain anonymous!

HMHS Boys Basketball: Four more games. Four more wins.

By Lauree Padgett / Exclusive to Haddonfield[dot]Today

The Haddonfield boys basketball team had a long week, playing three conference games before competing once again in the Jeff Coney Classic at Rancocas Valley Regional High School (RVRHS) on Saturday. While each conference opponent—Woodbury, Audubon, and Haddon Heights—gave the Dawgs a bit of a challenge, the most competitive game would prove to be the nonconference match versus Nottingham High School, the game I did not get to stream or see live. (The RVRHS AD, who told me last week via email that the game would be streamed on the school’s YouTube channel has some “splainin’ to do, because it wasn’t.) So while I’ll give recaps from the Colonial contests I saw (two via live stream and one, Audubon, in person), I alas won’t have too much to tell you about the Nottingham game beyond what two “on-site” reporters passed along.

Haddonfield at Woodbury: January 22, 2024

The varsity game’s 4 p.m. start time on Monday made streaming it later a much better option for me. Plus, my recliner chair is a bit more comfy than seating in most schools’ gymnasiums.

From the outset, Woodbury, members of the Patriot division of the Colonial Conference, made their presence “Herd,” scoring the game’s first basket. While senior Sam Narducci’s trey put the Dawgs out in front on Haddonfield’s first possession, the Woodbury players made it clear the Herd was going to run with the Dawgs. After a 3 by senior Phil McFillin made it 6–2, Dawgs, with 5:45 on the clock, the Dawgs had a chance to add to their score after a combined pickoff by senior Daire Roddy and Narducci. Ensuing foul shots did not drop, however, and the Herd answered with a 2. Senior Patrick Ryan went in for a bucket off a feed from Narducci, putting the Dawgs up 8–4, and after Woodbury lost the ball, Ryan scored again, this time off a pass from senior Matt Morris.

The Dawgs’ 10–4 lead was short-lived, as the Herd hit a 3. Ryan, who was a scoring machine in the first 8 minutes, scored once more, with Roddy getting the assist, making it 12–7, Haddonfield, but Woodbury scored back-to-back 2’s. With 3:46 on the clock, the Herd were within 1, 12–11. Narducci, who would score 9 points on a trio of 3’s in the first, hit his second to push the Dawgs’ edge to 15–11, but Woodbury got a 2, and with 2:17 left in the quarter, they were hanging around, only down by 2, 17–15.

After pulling down an offensive board, Ryan’s shot made it 17–13 with about 90 seconds to go in quarter 1. Neither team scored their next possessions, but with 1:06 on the clock, Woodbury’s 2 got the Herd back to within 2, 17–15 before Narducci swooshed in his third trey of the quarter, making it 20–15, Haddonfield, which was the last basket for either side before the horn sounded.

In the second quarter, the offense cooled a bit under both baskets. After Woodbury got the first basket of the second quarter to make it 20–17, Haddonfield, with less than a minute gone, the Dawgs had some miscues and missed shots that resulted in no baskets. Woodbury found the net again and, with 5:52 left in the half, had gotten to within 1, 20–19. A possession later, after the Dawgs had once more failed to score, the Herd had a chance to tie the game or go up by 1 from the foul line. Neither shot dropped, and a few plays later, Narducci dropped in a 3, putting the Dawgs up by 4 again, 23–19.

Woodbury’s next shot attempt was blocked, and Ryan scored in the paint and was fouled. His shot from the line went in, and with 4:34 remaining in the second, the Dawgs were now in front 26–19. About a minute later, Narducci upped that lead to double digits, 29–19. After a much-needed Woodbury time out, the Herd came back and got a basket, but Narducci responded with yet another 3, which gave the Dawgs an 11-point, 32–21, advantage.

Woodbury would not score again in the half, but the Dawgs added 4 more points on baskets by Narducci and McFillin. As the teams headed to their locker rooms, the Dawgs had put some space between them and their hosts and were ahead by 15, 36–21.

Narducci, who scored 20 of Haddonfield’s 36 first-half points, stayed hot in the remaining two quarters. He made five 2’s in the third. Meanwhile, Woodbury as a team, which had done a good job of keeping the game close for a good part of the first half, only managed two baskets in the third, both coming after the midway point. For Haddonfield, sophomore Mike Douglas knocked down a 3, Ryan made another basket, Roddy scored twice, and senior Nate Rohlfing, who is playing significant minutes but not starting yet after returning from his injury, also added a bucket. When the third ended, the Dawgs had really pulled away from the Herd and were leading by 28, 57–25.

Narducci had himself quite a night, and even though Haddonfield coach Paul Wiedeman would sit all the starters (I count seven Dawgs’ players as starters this year, by the way) before the game ended, Narducci still managed to sink another 3, go up and in for a pair of 2’s, and drop in 2 from the foul line. A 3 from senior Mike Feinstein and two baskets from freshman Ryan Guveiyian accounted for the other 7 points of the fourth. When the game was over, the Dawgs had left the Herd in the dust, winning by a score of 73–38. Sam Narducci was responsible for more than half of Haddonfield’s points, besting Woodbury’s score by 1, with 39.

Quarter scores:

1st: Haddonfield 20, Woodbury 15

2nd: Haddonfield 16, Woodbury 6

Halftime: Haddonfield 36, Woodbury 21

3rd: Haddonfield 21, Woodbury 4

4th: Haddonfield 16, Woodbury 13

Final: Haddonfield 73, Woodbury 38

Players scores

Sam Narducci 39

Patrick Ryan 13

Phil McFillin 5

Daire Roddy 4

Ryan Guveiyian 4

Mike Feinstein 3

Mike Douglas 3

Nate Rohlfing 2

Haddonfield at Audubon: January 23, 2024

The Audubon Wave’s gym has gone through a transformation. In fact, if you so desire, you can buy a piece of the old floor, that is framed with its dates of 1958–2023, as a souvenir. (One set of Haddonfield parents, who met 33 years ago when the now husband and dad was scouting the game for Haddon Heights and the wife/mom was in attendance cheering for Haddonfield, purchased a piece to commemorate the start of their “court”ship.) The Wave motif, seen in a few locations in the gym, has been depicted artistically as a mascot that has a bit of a resemblance to the Flyers’ Gritty.

Audubon is also in the Patriot division of the Colonial Conference, so this would be Haddonfield’s only meeting with them. Patrick Ryan tipped the jump ball to Daire Roddy to begin the game, but the Dawgs could not score on their first attempt. After the Wave lost the ball out of bounds, Roddy hit a 3 to give Haddonfield an early 3–0 lead. A traveling violation was called against Audubon, and at the other end, Phil McFillin was fouled. His two shots from the line were good, making it 5–0, Dawgs, before Audubon scored its first basket of the game.

After a 3 from Narducci, Ryan grabbed a defensive rebound, and Audubon, applying good pressure, knocked the ball out of bounds. So, the Dawgs stepped behind the arc, with Narducci setting up Roddy for another 3, and with 4:46 on the clock, the Dawgs were up 11–2. Audubon answered with a 3, and then after the Dawgs did not score, made a 2 to get back to within 4, 11–7 with just under 4 minutes left in the quarter. Audubon blocked a shot, Matt Morris pulled down a defensive board, and at the Dawgs’ end, McFillin hit a 3 to make it 14–7, Haddonfield.

Neither team scored their next trips up and down the court, then the Wave made a bucket. Ryan got fouled pulling down an offensive rebound. After making the first shot, he missed the second, got his own rebound, but the Dawgs lost possession out of bounds. Morris collected the defensive rebound under the Wave basket, and Roddy nailed his third trey of the quarter, which doubled Audubon’s score, making it 18–9 with 1:35 left in the quarter. The last basket of the quarter would be a 3 by McFillin ahead of the buzzer after the Dawgs got an offensive board. This gave Haddonfield a 21–9 lead going into the second period.

Audubon chipped away at that 12-point deficit, scoring the first two baskets of the second quarter, a 2 and a 3, respectively, to get to within 7, 21–14, with 6:40 on the clock. McFillin got his third 3 of the half, and after Audubon lost the ball out of bounds, Narducci got 2 off an offensive board. A pair of foul shots from the Wave made it 26–16, Haddonfield with 5:21 to go in the half.  More than a minute ticked off the clock before another ball found the net. This time it was Audubon who scored from the field and followed with 1 from the line. With 4:01 remaining in the second, Audubon had taken away the Dawgs’ double-digit lead and were within 7, 26–19.

Unfortunately for the Wave, those 3 points would be their last of the quarter. The Dawgs went on a 16-point run that went like this: Narducci hit a 3, McFillin did the same, Ryan went in for a basket off a Roddy pass, then he scored again on another pass from Roddy, and Narducci ended the run with another 3. When the teams exited the court for halftime, the Dawgs had shored up their lead and were out in front of the Wave by 23, 42–19.

That lead grew in the third. Audubon only got two baskets, a 3 with 5:35 on the clock and a 2 with 3 and change left in the quarter. Haddonfield’s offense slowed a bit, and in fact, the third would be its lowest-scoring of the game, as they “only” put up 17. Morris, Narducci, and Roddy added 3’s, Morris and McFillin both scored a 2, and Ryan added a pair of buckets. Going into the final 8 minutes, the Dawgs were making quite a splash in the Wave’s new gym, up by 35, 59–24.

Rohlfing got some extra time on the court in the fourth and made the most of it, going up and in for four baskets in the paint. Morris got one more 3, and Roddy got his fifth bucket of the game—the only one that wasn’t a trey—but the rest of the scoring came from the bench. Mike Douglas scored three times, Mike Feinstein hit a 3,  and Ryan Guveiyian made 1–2 from the foul line. When the horn sounded, the Dawgs had sunk 10 3’s on the way to sinking the Wave 82–39. Four starters finished in double digits and nine Dawgs scored altogether: Phil McFillin led the Dawgs with 16, Sam Narducci and Daire Roddy both had 14, and Patrick Ryan had 12.

Quarter scores:

1st: Haddonfield 21, Audubon 9

2nd: Haddonfield 21, Audubon 10

Halftime: Haddonfield 42, Audubon 19

3rd: Haddonfield 17, Audubon 5

4th: Haddonfield 23, Audubon 13

Player scores:

Phil McFillin 16

Sam Narducci 14

Daire Roddy 14

Patrick Ryan 12

Matt Morris 8

Nate Rohlfing 8

Mike Douglas 6

Mike Feinstein 3

Ryan Guveiyian 1

Haddonfield at Haddon Heights: January 25, 2024

Thursday night was the first rematch for Haddonfield against the teams that are also in the Liberty division of the Colonial Conference. In the first game of the season back in December, the Dawgs had hosted the Garnets, winning by 5, 41–36 in what so far has been their second-closest final to date. This second meeting would have a slightly different outcome.

In the first few minutes of the game, the lead shifted back and forth. Matt Morris got the Dawgs on the board for the first basket of the quarter, but the Garnets responded with one of their own. Phil McFillin hit a 3 to make it 5–2, Dawgs, but Heights got a point back from the foul line, and with a little more than 2 minutes off the clock, it was briefly 5–3, Haddonfield, before Heights got its first 3 of the game to go up by 1, 6–5. Patrick Ryan snatched the lead back with 2, and at the other end, grabbed a defensive board after the Garnets’ shot did not go in.

Under the Dawgs’ basket, Ryan then pulled down another board, which set up another 3 from McFillin. A turnover by Heights turned into a basket by Narducci, and with 3:51 on the clock, the Dawgs’ mini run had put them up by 6, 12–6. McFillin got the defensive board when Heights again did not score and passed the ball to Daire Roddy, who drove into the paint for 2 to make it 14–6, Haddonfield, leading to a timeout called by Heights with 3:23 left in the first.

Neither Heights nor Haddonfield scored on their first possessions after play resumed. McFillin got a defensive board but again the Dawgs could not get the ball in the hoop. Ryan’s block of a Garnet shot sent the ball airborne, but the Dawgs still couldn’t score. Finally after Ryan hauled down one more defensive rebound, Narducci’s attempt at a 3 dropped in, giving the Dawgs a double-digit, 17–6, advantage with 1 minute and change to go. Heights’ several minute drought ended with 52 seconds left, but a drive into the paint by McFillin with 39 seconds remaining boosted the Dawgs’ lead back up to 11, 19–8. That would be the final basket of the quarter, as Heights let the clock run down to almost 0 before taking a shot that did not go in.

The next 8 minutes would produce the biggest offensive output for both teams. McFillin made five baskets: a pair of 3’s, a pair of 2’s, and was 1–1 from the line. Narducci got another 3 and another 2, in reverse order than in the first. Matt Morris had 2 field goals and was also 1–1 from the line. Ryan and Roddy each scored a basket, and so while Heights added 13 to its total, the Dawgs added 25 and had more than doubled the Garnets’ score by the half, ahead by 23, 44–21.

Morris went on quite a tear in the third, knocking down two 3’s and three 2’s, meaning he tripled the Garnets points, outscoring them on his own 12–4. Mike Douglas, Roddy, and Narducci all scored 2’s as well.

Then with about 4 minutes to go in the quarter, things got a bit rough-and-tumble on the court. With the Dawgs cruising along 56–23, Narducci, as he does at least a few times per game, stole the ball and was on his way to a cross-court basket when a Heights player pushed him into the student section under the basket. I was streaming the game, and there wasn’t much of an explanation. I couldn’t tell exactly what had happened from the angle I saw Narducci go down, but my on-the-scene pair of eyes told me later that Narducci was knocked into the stands, which was no doubt an (unsportsmanlike) act of frustration by the guilty Garnet. However, instead of Heights getting assessed with a technical, Ryan almost had one called on him for coming to Narducci’s rescue and pulling the offending Garnet off of him. When all was said and done, Heights was charged with a regular player foul. Narducci made 1–2 before limping off the court. (Luckily, Coach Paul Wiedeman confirmed later that night that Narducci, who had already missed several games due to a high ankle sprain, was OK.)

At that point, the Dawgs were up 57–23. The period ended with Morris getting his last 2 baskets, Douglas getting his, and Heights making one. When the clock hit 0:00, the Dawgs were tarnishing the Garnets, ahead by almost 40, 63–25.

In the 4th, McFillin got one more basket before heading to the bench, Nate Rohlfing got his first, and then JV squad took over. Mike Feinstein, Chris Beane, and Ryan Guveiyian came in back-to-back-to-back and promptly hit back-to-back-to-back 3’s. A few plays later, sophomore Chase Stadler came in and got in on the 3-point fun. Mike Douglas scored a 2, and Beane followed his trey with a 2 as well. When the final horn blasted, the Dawgs had blasted the Garnets out of the gym, beating them by 51, 83–32, which was a bit more than the 5-point differential of the first game. McFillin and Morris supplied much of the Dawgs’ offense, pouring in 21 and 19, respectively. Narducci finished with 13.

Quarter scores:

1st: Haddonfield 19, Haddon Heights 8

2nd: Haddonfield 25, Haddon Heights 13

Halftime score: Haddonfield 44, Haddon Heights 21

3rd: Haddonfield 19, Haddon Heights 4

4th: Haddonfield 20, Haddon Heights 7

Final score: Haddonfield 83, Haddon Heights 32

Player scores:

Phil McFillin 21

Matt Morris 19

Sam Narducci 13

Daire Roddy 6

Chris Beane 5

Patrick Ryan 4

Mike Douglas 4

Mike Feinstein 3

Chase Stadler 3

Ryan Guveiyian 3

Nate Rohlfing 2

Jeff Coney Classic—Haddonfield versus Nottingham: January 27, 2024

The Dawgs never trailed during a quarter in this game their fourth game in 6 days. Their opponent, from the Colonial Valley Conference, was 10–4 overall coming into the game. That being said, according Reporter #1, Haddonfield got off to a slow start, missing “a lot of shots early,” which is not the norm for the Dawgs’ high-octane offense. Reporter #1 credited sophomore Mike Douglas, who came in off bench and “turned the game around.” Reporter #2 confirmed this assessment, citing Douglas’ “exceptional rebounding and getting to the hoop.”  Their off shooting is no doubt one reason the Dawgs had only put up 25 points to Nottingham’s 14 at the half. 

In the second half, the Dawgs put a few more points on the board, finishing with 55 to Nottingham’s 43. This was only the sixth time all season that the Dawgs were held to less than 60 points. I didn’t have a Kevin Minnick game wrap-up to get more details this time, but I can give you quarter scores and some individual stats for the Dawgs’ players.

Quarter scores:

1st: Haddonfield 11, Nottingham 8

2nd: Haddonfield 14, Nottingham 6

Halftime score: Haddonfield 25, Nottingham.14

3rd: Haddonfield 12, Nottingham 8

4th: Haddonfield 18, Nottingham 21

Final score: Haddonfield 55, Nottingham 43

Player stats:

Matt Morris scored 21 points, five from behind the arc. Phil McFillin finished with 14, making four treys and two steals. Patrick Ryan had another solid game at both ends, scoring 6 points, pulling down 11 rebounds, and dishing out four assists. Sam Narducci also had 6 points. Mike Douglas had 4 points, nine rebounds, and three assists. Nate Rohlfing had 4 points and two blocked shots. Floor general Daire Roddy also had three assists.

The Dawgs are now 19–0 overall and 11–0 in the Colonial Conference (6–0 in the Liberty division).

The Week Ahead

The Dawgs have a bit less of a frenetic schedule in the next seven days. Up first, they finally have a home game, their second Liberty rematch, versus the Haddon Township Hawks. Thursday is their away game versus the Eagles of West Deptford. Both games are at 7 p.m. Saturday, they have an 11 a.m. nonleague game versus Central Reginal High School at what is becoming a familiar setting: Holy Cross Academy in Riverside.

HMHS Boys Basketball: Dawgs 2, Snow 1

By Lauree Padgett / Exclusive to Haddonfield[dot]Today

If you’ll excuse my mixing of sports metaphors, winter threw a curveball to South Jersey basketball this past week. The Dawgs’ basketball game at Woodbury scheduled for this past Monday, 1/15 at 4 has been rescheduled for this Monday, 1/22, at 4. They did get the game in Thursday at home versus Collingswood, and I was wondering what was going to happen Saturday, 1/20, with all the games scheduled at Paul VI for their Winter Classic, but happily, those games went on as scheduled. As the temperatures are supposed to start rising into the 40s and beyond, it’s likely that the three regularly scheduled games will take place this week, but more on them at the end.

Collingswood at Haddonfield: January 18, 2024

After watching the JV squad declaw the Panthers by 60 odd points, I wondered if the varsity game would be more of the same or a bit closer. It turned out to be a little bit of both.

The Panthers came out fighting in more ways than one. After neither team scored on their first possessions, Collingswood got the first basket of the game. Senior Daire Roddy tied it at 2, driving in and going down (no foul called) afterwards with about 1:20 gone in the game. Collingswood lost the ball out of bounds, Haddonfield did not score from the foul line, but the Panthers came back to get the next two baskets to go up 6–2. Senior Matt Morris’ trey cut that lead down to 1, 6–5, with 4:30 on the clock. Good pressure from the Panthers was keeping the Dawgs out of the paint, so senior Phil McFillin stepped behind the arc and swooshed in a 3 to put the Dawgs up by 2, 8–6 with a little less than 4 minutes left in the quarter. A Roddy pickoff led to a 2 by McFillin to put the Dawgs up by 4, 10–6.

Ryan pilfered the ball this time, but it did not result in a score. Collingswood did, to make it 10–8 with 2:42 on the clock. The Dawgs did not score, but Roddy got another steal and went up and in, putting the Dawgs back in front again by 4, 12–8.  He also went down again after apparently being poked in the eye by an opponent. As he came out, time was called on the floor, and Coach Paul Wiedeman did what he rarely ever does: He came out onto the court to voice his displeasure at the refs’ not calling fouls after this play and a few others that involved physical contact. As Roddy headed for the trainer’s table, Nate Rohlfing got a nice round of applause as he entered the game for the first time since the Sterling game on 1/5. He promptly picked off the ball, and after getting his own offensive board, McFillin hit his second trey of the quarter, pushing the Dawgs’ lead up to 7, 15–8 with 1:42 on the clock.

The next possession for each team led to points from the foul line. The Panthers got 1 and senior Sam Narducci got a pair, bolstering Haddonfield to an 8-point, 17-9, advantage with 90 seconds to go. Collingswood did not score its next trip up the court, but after Rohlfing pulled down two offensive boards, he scored on a feed from McFillin. Morris grabbed a defensive board under the Panthers’ basket and this time, Rohlfing was fouled. He made 1–2 with 10.8 left, and that was the last score of the quarter. When the buzzer sounded, Haddonfield was up 20–9.

In the second quarter, even though the Dawgs put up 24 to the Panthers’ 14, it felt like they were making Haddonfield work a little harder for their points. Haddonfield wasn’t just running down the court and shooting. They had to put a little more into setting up plays. The result was that Morris, McFillin, Narducci, and Ryan spread out the points, scoring 5, 4, 6, and 7, respectively, in those second 8 minutes. Sophomore Mike Douglas, who came in off the bench in the quarter, added 2 from the foul line ,and Rohlfing, showing no rustiness from having been out for a few games, got another basket in the paint. When the teams headed off the court at the half, the Dawgs were up 44–23.

The third quarter , which saw Roddy back on the floor, was the tightest of the four scoring wise. The Panthers got the first 4 points off two trips to the foul line. The Dawgs started out a little cold after failing to score in their first three attempts. Cue Roddy to turn into the Artful Dodger (you can Google it if you aren’t familiar with Oliver!) and make a pretty pass to Ryan for Haddonfield’s first 2 of the second half, making it 45–27 at the 6:20 mark. Neither team scored for more than a minute until Ryan turned an offensive board into another 2 points Another pickoff by Roddy meant another 2 for Ryan, and with the Dawgs up by 23, 50–27 with 4:21 on the clock, Collingswood called a full time-out.

After some good defense under the Panther basket, McFillin got 2 under the Dawgs’ basket, and the Panthers answered with a basket. Ryan got fouled in the act of shooting and hit both from the line, and again Collingswood got a basket. With 3 and change left in the quarter, it was 54–31, Dawgs. Haddonfield finally got two baskets in a row, one by Morris, one by Roddy, without Collingswood scoring in between to go up by 27, 58–31 with just under 2 minutes on the clock. However, Collingswood turned the table and scored a pair of unanswered baskets, and with :37 to go in the third, it was 48–23. Rohlfing got the last point of the quarter from the foul line, and as the horn sounded, even though the Panthers had put up 12 to the Dawgs’ 15, the Dawgs were still comfortably in control, ahead by 24, 59–35.

Narducci wasted no time in making that 62–35 on a 3 pointer after Haddonfield inbounded to start the fourth. He would add a 2, along with Roddy and Rohlfing; Morris got his third trey of the day; and Douglas got another pair from the foul line, as did sophomore Chris Beane, in off the bench. Also seeing some playing time in the fourth was sophomore Jack McKeever, who pleased his teammates watching on the sidelines and the fans in the stands by scoring two baskets. When the final horn sounded, the Dawgs had won by the score of 79–48.

Quarter scores:

1st quarter: Haddonfield 20, Collingswood 9

2nd quarter: Haddonfield 24, Collingswood 14

Halftime score: Haddonfield 44, Collingswood 23

3rd quarter: Haddonfield 15, Collingswood 12

4th quarter: Haddonfield 20, Collingswood 13

Final score: Haddonfield 79, Collingswood 48

Player scores:

Phil McFillin: 14

Patrick Ryan: 14

Matt Morris: 13

Sam Narducci: 12

Daire Roddy: 8

Nat Rohlfing: 8

Mike Douglas: 4

Jack McKeever: 4

Chris Beane: 2

Paul the VI Winter Classic—Pitman vs. Haddonfield: January 20, 2024

I was a bit surprised that the snow did not derail this multi-team tournament. Haddonfield’s game against the Pitman Tigers, who were 10–3 overall, 4–0 in the Classic division of the Tri-County Conference coming into the game, was a later afternoon game. That’s why the parking lot was packed by the stands weren’t: People were next store going to Mass.

Just from the Tigers’ record, I was expecting a close game. My brother-in-law, Wayne Grear (HMHS class of 1970, who missed playing for Dave Wiedeman by a few seasons), came with my sister Carol to see the Dawgs for the first time so far this season. I was sharing the stats with him as the teams were warming up, and from what he saw, he predicted Haddonfield would win by 30.

Sure enough, it seemed Wayne was, ahem, on point, as the Dawgs raced out to a 11–0 lead. Sam Narducci got the first basket off a feed from Daire Roddy after Patrick Ryan sent the ball his way during the jump. A pickoff led to a 3 by Phil McFillin. In the next score, Roddy sent a cross-court pass to Narducci, who went up and in. That was followed by Roddy passing the ball not quite so far to Ryan, who got his first basket of the game. For the last basket of the run, Roddy, who was fully engaged from second 1, passed to Ryan, who flipped it to Narducci, who found the net. And just like that, with 4:51 on the clock, the Dawgs had put 11 on the board while the Pitman players must have gotten a bit of whiplash.

After the Tigers finally scored, Narducci hit his first 3 of the game ,and Morris got his first basket, also a 3. The Dawgs were also picking up a lot of fouls, and after the Tigers made 1–2 from the line, McFillin got his second trey of the quarter. With almost 3 minutes left in the quarter, the Dawgs were up by 17, 20–3. Pitman got another point from the line, and a few plays later, Narducci made a nice move to get to the rim. After a defensive board by Ryan (according to the box score on, Ryan finished with 11 rebounds), Narducci got fouled and made 1–2. Pitman got another 2 from the floor, and after getting his own rebound off a missed shot, Nate Rohlfing scored the Dawgs’ last basket of the quarter. Pitman would get one more and as the quarter ended, the Dawgs were up 25­–8.

Narducci was on a tear in the first half. In the second quarter, he added two more 3’s and another pair of 2’s. On his own, he equaled Pitman’s halftime score of 22. Aiding and abetting Narducci were Mike Douglas, who got a 2 and a 3; Chris Beane and Ryan, who each got a 2; and in the most acrobatic score of the game, Morris almost lost his dribble, kept it alive, and then drove in for a basket. At the half, the Dawgs had more than doubled the Tigers and were up 46–22.

Quarter 3 belonged to Ryan and Morris. They combined for seven baskets, Ryan with four and Morris with 3. Narducci knocked back another 3 and another 2, and his 5 points, along with the 14 from Ryan and Morris, accounted for the Dawgs’ 19 points. Pitman scored 14, as they did in the second quarter and would in the fourth.

In the fourth, Ryan went up and in four more times in the last 8 minutes of the game. Narducci added one more 3 and one more 2. Douglas, who is proving to be steady at the line, got 2 there and one from the floor. Senior Mike Feinstein and junior Jake Dewedoff, who came into the game in the fourth along with the rest of the JV squad, both got baskets as well. When the horn sounded, the Dawgs had defeated the Tigers by 38, 88-50. (Hey Wayne, you were off by 8.)

Ryan and Narducci had monster games, finishing with 20 and 32 points, respectively. And worth noting as well, even though he did not score, recorded that Roddy had seven assists.

Quarter scores:

1st quarter: Haddonfield 25, Pitman 8

2nd quarter: Haddonfield 21, Pitman 14

Halftime: Haddonfield 46, Pitman 22

3rd quarter: Haddonfield 19, Pitman 14

4th quarter: Haddonfield 23, Pitman 14

Final score: Haddonfield 88, Pitman 50

Player scores:

Sam Narducci: 32

Patrick Ryan: 20

Matt Morris: 11

Mike Douglas: 9

Phil McFillin: 6

Nate Rohlfing: 4

Mike Feinstein: 2

Jake Dewedoff: 2

The Week Ahead

The Dawgs, who are now 15–0 overall and 8–0 in the Colonial Conference, have a busy week on the road. Monday, 1/22, is the 4 p.m. makeup game at Woodbury. Tuesday, they go to visit the Audubon Wave, and Thursday, they have a rematch with the Garnets of Haddon Heights. Those last two games both start at 7 p.m. Finally, the Dawgs will be in another tournament on Saturday, 1/27, this time at Rancocas Valley High School, taking on Nottingham High School at 7:30.

HMHS Boys Basketball: Dawgs continue to roll along

By Lauree Padgett / Exclusive to Haddonfield[dot]Today

The HMHS boys varsity basketball team had quite the week, playing three games between January 8 and the 13. Not only did they easily keep their winning streak alive, now 7–0 in the Colonial Conference and 13–0 overall, they did one leg of it in quite an historic fashion.

Lindenwold at Haddonfield: January 8, 2024

This was the game that would have left everyone who was rooting for Haddonfield a bit stunned in a good, but very unexpected, way. Even with two senior starters nursing minor injuries (forwards Nate Rohlfing and Zach Langan), to say that the Dawgs steamrolled the Lions would be a gross understatement.

In the first quarter, after the Dawgs got the first bucket on a 2 from senior forward Patrick Ryan, senior guard Sam Narducci knocked down a  3. The Lions got on the board with a basket to make it 5–2, Dawgs, with just under a minute gone. The Dawgs would put 17 unanswered points on the board (a 3 by senior guard Matt Morris; a 3 by Narducci; a 3 by senior guard Phil McFillin; a 2 by Ryan from Morris; a 2-point drive by Narducci followed by a foul shot; and another 3 from Morris). When the Lions got that second basket, 4:02 was showing on the scoreboard, and the Dawgs were up 22–4.

Lindenwold did not take nearly as long to get its third basket and finished the quarter with 10 points. But the Dawgs would finish with 38 points, with 21 coming off three-pointers: Morris hit 3 and Narducci and McFillin each made two.

The next 8 minutes were much more competitive. Lindenwold started making more baskets and added 18 to its total. Narducci swooshed in two more 3’s, McFillin got another, and sophomore guard Mike Douglas got his first trey of the game. Sophomore forward Chris Beane came in and made a trio of 2’s, including the last bucket of the half; Morris drove in for a pair; and Narducci made a 2 as well. At the half, the Dawgs were up by 34—more than Lindenwold had put on the board—62–28.

Five Dawgs combined for 16 baskets from the field and three foul shots in the third quarter on the way to scoring 37 points. Here’s how it broke down: Morris made 2 shots from the line, a 3, and a 2; McFillin had a trio of 2’s; Ryan kept driving into the paint, scoring five times, and added 1 from the foul line; Narducci nailed his fifth (and final) 3 and also scored three times from inside the arc; and senior point guard Daire Roddy, who is usually too busy directing traffic, actually took a shot and scored. While all this offense was going on, the Dawgs still held the Lions to 11 points, and with 8 minutes left in the game, were up by 60, 99–39.

As I’m sure most people in the stands were, I was sitting in my normal perch trying to remember what the biggest scoring game was Haddonfield had ever had. I knew one thing for sure: Never had the team started the fourth quarter a point away from 100. On those rare occasions when the Dawgs were getting close to the triple-digit mark, it was the end of the game and our coach, who would never run up the score just because he had the players who could do it, would be directing those on the court—who would most definitely not be his starters or even his first-off-the-bench players—to spread the ball and make a lot of passes before taking a shot. Usually this tactic worked and the Dawgs would exit the court without reaching 100. Monday night, this was not going to happen …

Seven players, all of whom played in the JV game beforehand, got into the last 8 minutes. Twenty-two points were scored. Mike Douglas got two more treys; freshman forward Ryan Guveiyian matched Douglas with a pair of 3’s; Beane got one more basket; and sophomore forward Jack McKeever made three 2’s. When the horn sounded to end this contest, the Dawgs had put 121 points on the board to Lindenwold’s 50, beating them by 71 points. Ironically, those 50 points are more (counting the two games that followed) than any other team has scored against Haddonfield this season.

Four Dawgs were in double digits: Sam Narducci led the way with 30; Matt Morris had 22; Patrick Ryan contributed 19; and Phil McFillin finished with 17. Before I list the quarter scores and list all of the players’ points, I want to address what the “old-timers” in the stands (including Dave and Vic Wiedeman, Tom Betley, and yours truly) were huddled together talking about afterwards: While we were 99.99% sure between us that no Haddonfield team had gotten 121 points in one game before, we were trying to remember what the biggest point total before that night had been. Dave and I were thinking around 104 or so.

When I got home, I made a beeline to my stack of Dawg scrapbooks (they go back to the 1973 state championship and go up through 2006, Brian Zoubek’s senior year; clearly, I am a bit behind, but I do have “archives” safely collected). I had a hunch that it would be the 1989 team, coached by one Wiedeman (Dave) and led on the floor by another (Paul) that would have scored more than 100 points over four quarters, and I knew I had, from the program of the year Dave went into the HMHS Athletic Hall of Fame (1999) a list of every game the team played en route to a 31–0 season that culminated with Haddonfield bringing home the school’s second boys basketball state title.

Sure enough, that year while blowing out most of their opponents by 20, 30, or more points, Haddonfield had three games (until I looked again just now, I missed the first one) in which they scored more than 100 points. First, they beat Woodbury 102–45 seven games into the season. In the last third, they put up 100-plus in back-to-back games. They outscored Eastern 104–68 (Eastern would get sweet revenge, eliminating Haddonfield in the first round of the inaugural Tournament of Champions several weeks later, but I still don’t like to talk about that game and two bad calls that cost us the win, not that I’m still bitter), and then put up 108 to Haddon Township’s 63. So, yes, Haddonfield fans, in their game versus Lindenwold, the Dawgs bested their previous best by 13 points. I think it is fairly safe to say that no other Haddonfield squad had reached 62 points by the half or 99 by the end of the third.

Well done, boys and coaches. I added “and coaches” because it isn’t a stretch to say that Haddonfield could have won by even more were our coaches the kind who like to run up the score at any cost with no regard to the opposing team.

Quarter scores:

1st Quarter: Haddonfield 38, Lindenwold, 10

2nd Quarter: Haddonfield 24 Lindenwold 18

Halftime: Haddonfield 62, Lindenwold 28

Third Quarter: Haddonfield 37, Lindenwold 11

Fourth Quarter: Haddonfield 22, Lindenwold 11

Final score: Haddonfield 121, Lindenwold 50

Player scores:

Sam Narducci: 30

Marr Morris: 22

Patrick Ryan: 19

Phil McFillin: 17

Mike Douglas: 9

Chris Beane: 8

Jack McKeever: 8

Ryan Guveiyian: 6

Daire Roddy: 2

Haddonfield at Gloucester City: January 10, 2024

Before I do a recap of this game, I want to apologize to any fans, like me, who did not go to the game and were trying to stream it off the Gloucester City’s Hudl page. Although it listed the game as upcoming, giving the impression it would air live, this was not the case. It took at least a day for a final score to appear, and a few days later, nothing was showing up when I would click the View button. Just now, I went to the page and finally it’s showing “highlights” of the game, and for some reason, they weren’t showing the Dawgs’ taking care of yet another group of Lions. What I discovered too late to watch it live was that Gloucester City has a YouTube channel and that’s where I was finally able to see the game a few days later.

I also want to take the time to talk about the depth of this Dawg squad. Sam Narducci missed a few games in a row, and for three games in a row, starting with the Lindenwold contest, Nate Rohlfing and Zach Langan have been on the bench nursing minor injuries. With no disrespect meant at all to these three young men, who all contribute offensively and defensively every game, I want to tip my hat to Matt Morris and Phil McFillin and the coaching staff. The two games that Narducci sat out, Morris and McFillin each took a turn starting. With both Rohlfing and Langan out, Morris and McFillin have both been in at the outset of the last three games. And there has been no downtick because these seven players, who also include Daire Roddy and Patrick Ryan, are all starter-worthy. These seniors, who have been on the court together since they were in elementary school, play hard at both ends of the court. They can score inside the paint or knock down a 3. They can cause a world of trouble defensively for their opponents. And they are unselfish. Although I haven’t gone back to verify this, I am pretty confident that a good chunk of the Dawgs’ points per game come off of assists.

The Dawgs’ coaching staff, led by head coach Paul Wiedeman, includes JV coaches Brian Stafford and Antony Parenti (another former Dawg); Scott Kupersmit, assistant JV coach; and Travis Murphy, the freshman coach. They not only work with the players on offense and defense, they teach them how to be a cohesive unit. That’s why these young men don’t just play together, they play for each other. Watch the bench sometimes during a game. Lately, I have seen Narducci, Rohlfing, and Langan engaged with what’s happening on the court, even when they haven’t been able to play. And at the end of the game, when a starter’s night is done, watch how much each one enjoys cheering on the up-and-coming players. If you want to know how and why Haddonfield has stayed a premier team in Camden County, not to mention the state, for decades, this will give you a big clue.

OK, now back to the Gloucester City game. While the Dawgs did not make it to 100, they still won handily. The first quarter begin with McFillin, Narducci, and Morris hitting three’s before Gloucester got on the board with a 2. Ryan’s offensive board led to the first 2 of the game for the Dawgs, and then on the Dawgs’ next possession, the second 2, which put the Dawgs up 13–2 with 4:32 on the clock. After another 2 by the Lions, Narducci launched back-to-back treys. McFillin then scored twice in a row, putting up a 2 off a steal and then hitting his second trey of the night. Narducci closed off the scoring for the quarter with his third 3 of the game, which put the Dawgs up 27–4.

The Dawgs’ output the second quarter dropped to three baskets, two by Morris and one by Mike Douglas. Even so, and even though the Lions put 14 on the board, going into the half, Haddonfield was still up by 15, 33–18.

And then the reverse happened in the third. Lindenwold managed 4 again, 2 from the foul line and one from the field, while the Dawgs’ offense kicked in again thanks to Morris and Ryan. The Dawgs’ first three buckets of the second half were treys by Morris. His next 5 points came from the foul line. Ryan scored four times, twice off offensive rebounds. Narducci’s 3 came in the middle of the quarter.

In the fourth, McFillin kept up the offensive pace. He hit two 3’s sandwiched in between a pair of 2’s. Chris Beane made 5 foul shots and a bucket, and Douglas hit 2 from the line and put two in the net from the field. Gloucester City had its best quarter, putting up 19, but Haddonfield still outscored them by 6 points and won 83–41..

Phil McFillin and Matt Morris combined for 43 points, scoring 22 and 21, respectively. Sam Narducci added 15.

Quarter scores:

1st Quarter: Haddonfield 27, Gloucester City, 4

2nd Quarter: Haddonfield 6, Gloucester City 14

Halftime score: Haddonfield 33, Gloucester City 18

3rd Quarter: Haddonfield 25, Gloucester City  4

4th Quarter: Haddonfield 25, Gloucester City 19

Final score: Haddonfield 83, Gloucester City 41

Player scores:

Phil McFillin: 22

Matt Morris: 21

Sam Narducci: 15

Patrick Ryan: 8

Mike Douglas: 8

Chris Beane: 7

Jake Dewedoff: 2

Delsea Regional High School at Haddonfield: January 13, 2024

Before I write about this game, I wanted to share a few facts from a short writeup from the NJ Advance Media boys basketball staff that Haddonfield’s topnotch play-by-play man Mark Hershberger shared in a Facebook post:

After beating Haddon Heights and Camden Catholic by single digits, 5 and 6 points, respectively, in the first two games of the season, in their next 10 games, Haddonfield has bested the opposition by an average of 36.6 points. Not only are the Dawgs averaging just under 70 points per game, they have only trailed after the first quarter twice: to Egg Harbor Township and Moorestown. Phil McFillin, Matt Morris, Sam Narducci, and Nate Rohlfing have double-figure averages. Rohlfing and Patrick Ryan have been combining for more than 20 rebounds per game.

Woof, woof, woof!!!

So, in the original schedule for the week, Williamstown was supposed to be playing at Haddonfield on Friday, January 12. I’m not sure what happened, but that game was cancelled and has not yet been rescheduled (and may not be). Instead, a replacement game was quickly set up, and on Saturday, January 13, the Crusaders of Delsea Regional High School came to the Haddons Pavilion for an afternoon game. The Crusaders are in the Liberty division of the Tri-County Conference, with a 2–1 conference record. The night before, Delsea won a non-conference game to extend their overall record to 9–3 as prepared to face Haddonfield.

For the first part of the game, it appeared as if the Dawgs’ week of wide margin victories was going to put to the test. The Crusaders got the first bucket of the game, a 3, which would be their first of many, to go up 3–0. Daire Roddy got the Dawgs on the board with a 2, but the Crusaders came right back with another 3 to go up 6–2 with 5:25 on the clock. Matt Morris and Sam Narducci responded with back-to-back 3’s to put Haddonfield up 8–6 at the 4:30 mark, but Delsea tied it on a basket and retook the lead from the foul line.

Narducci drove in for a bucket, and Roddy, who I am happy to see is taking some more shots again, hit a 3, and with 3:22 left in the quarter, the Dawgs were up by 4, 13–9. Delsea got its third trey of the quarter to get to within 1, 13–12, but a basket in the paint by Morris pushed the edge back to 3, 15–12 with 1:16 left. A 3-pointer by Phil McFillin increased the lead to 6, 18–12, with about 43 seconds showing on the scoreboard. After stealing the ball and being fouled, Narducci made both shots from the line to make it 20–12, Dawgs, but Delsea got the last basket of the game to get back to within 6, 20–14.

Even though the Crusaders got as close as 22–17 with 6:27 to go in the half, the endless barrage of baskets by Ryan and Narducci in 2nd quarter (both scored four times from the field, with Narducci hitting a pair of 3’s in between two 2’s) started to wear Delsea down. A Ryan basket off a feed from Roddy made it 24–17. It was followed by a nice jumper from Narducci to give the Dawgs’ their biggest lead of the game, 9 points, at 26–17, with 5:36 to go. Narducci got his first 3 of the quarter off a Haddonfield pickoff, making it 29–17 at the 4:36 mark. Delsea got 3 straight points on a foul shot and a 2-pointer, but those points were basically erased by a 3 by McFillin. After the Crusaders failed to score, Narducci got his second trey of the quarter, and with 2:14 showing on the scoreboard, the Dawgs had extended their lead to 35–20. After pulling down a defensive rebound at one end of the court, Ryan scored at the other end off a pass from Mike Douglas, and a few plays later, Ryan would finish out the quarter scoring as Roddy picked up another assist. As the half ended, the Dawgs had broken open what had begun as a close contest and were up by 21, 411–20.

The Crusaders had their biggest offensive quarter in the third, putting up 19 points, but the Dawgs would add 23. Morris had the hot hand, swooshing in two 3’s, a 2, and a pair from the foul line. Narducci scored 5 on a 3 and a 2, Ryan had two more buckets, and Roddy scored again. Going into the last 8 minutes, the Dawgs were in Crusader control, up by 25, 64–39.

In the fourth quarter, the players who had been in a 9:30 a.m. JV game, which they won 74–36, took over after Morris, Ryan, and Narducci got their last baskets of the game. Douglas, Ryan Guveiyian, and Jack McKeever each got a 2, and Mike Feinstein hit a 3. The final score was 79–45. Sam Narducci finished with 25, Matt Morris had 16, and Patrick Ryan added 14.

Quarter scores:

1st Quarter: Haddonfield 20, Delsea 14

2nd Quarter: Haddonfield 21, Delsea 6

Halftime score: Haddonfield 41, Delsea 20

3rd Quarter: Haddonfield 23, Delsea 19

4th Quarter: Haddonfield 15, Delsea 6

Final score: Haddonfield 79, Delsea 45

Player scores:

Sam Narducci: 25

Matt Morris: 16

Patrick Ryan: 14

Phil McFillin: 8

Daire Roddy: 7

Mike Feinstein: 3

Mike Douglas: 2

Ryan Guveiyian: 2

Jack McKeever: 2

The Week Ahead

The Dawgs have an early 4:00 p.m. away game versus the Thundering Herd of Woodbury on Tuesday, 1/16, and that game will be streaming on Woodbury’s YouTube channel. Another Colonial Conference matchup follows as the Dawgs host Collingswood on Thursday, 1/18, at 7 p.m.. Saturday is another non-conference game This one, against Pitman High School is part of  Paul the VI’s Winter Classic tournament. Game time is scheduled for 5:30 but keep in mind there will be games ahead of this one, so it is likely to start a bit later.