Without the two big men, the guards have taken over. Junior Tre Gardner, a 5-9 point guard who played on the junior-varsity squad last year, leads the team in scoring, averaging 16.8 points.
``Tre has been all over the court and he has been an excellent defender,'' said Lou Papa, a West assistant who is coaching the team in the summer league. ``Tre is averaging six steals a game.''
Also playing well have been 6-1 senior Nasir Dukes and 6-1 junior Ed Taylor, who has been the Lions' three-point specialist.
``If all our kids were healthy, I think we'd be pretty good this summer,'' Papa said. ``In the absence of Quinn and Jeff, others have stepped up, and that will only help us down the line.''
Surprise team. One of the summer's most pleasant surprises has been Holy Spirit. The Spartans, who were 14-9 during the high school season, are 6-0 in the Cherry Hill Rec League.
``There are a lot of people who are still underestimating us,'' said 6-0 junior Blake Morgan, averaging 20.8 points in four games this summer. ``We have everybody back from last year and we have good size. We expect to be competitive.''
Size is provided by 6-5 seniors Bill Penman and Kyle Dhyne, and 6-6 sophomore Brian Hiltner. The other two players in the six-man rotation are senior point guard Jim Hiltner and 6-3 junior Wayne Nelson.
Camp tidbits. Word out of the ABCD camp last week at Fairleigh Dickinson was that Burlington's 6-5 senior point guard, Kyle Williams, more than held his own against some of the country's top players.
``He looked very good there,' said one college coach. ``Kyle certainly helped himself.''
St. Joseph's is among the schools that have shown interest in Williams.
Palmyra's 6-6 Clayton Brown also attended the ABCD camp. Brown played well, but not as well as Williams, according to the college coach.
Three South Jersey players attended the Nike camp in Indianapolis - 6-6 1/2 Dan Miller of Rancocas Valley, 6-8 Jim Clinton of St. Augustine and 6-5 Andre Williams of Bishop Eustace.
Clinton, who was already being heavily recruited, made the biggest impression.
A handful of colleges that hadn't been recruiting Clinton called St. Augustine coach Paul Rodio after seeing Clinton at the Nike camp.
* It might not be as high-profile as the Nike or ABCD camps, but the Atlantic Cape Camp in Williamstown had a pretty impressive collection of talent, including athletes from 10 different countries, during its three all-star games on Friday.
Sixty of the 165 players at the week's camp were picked for the all-star games, with the top 20 pitted against each other, players ranked 21 to 40 in a second matchup, and those ranked 41 to 60 in a third.
The camp included many of South Jersey's best players. Of them, only Chris Duckrey of Shawnee, a 6-6 senior, was picked for the top group. But he didn't get to show much in the game, which developed into a one-on-one show with little passing and even less defense.
Among the most impressive players in the top-20 game were DeMaija Stewart, a 6-5 senior from London, and Rasual Butler, a 6-7 senior dunking machine from Philadelphia's Roman Catholic.
South Jersey products in the second-tier game were 6-2 senior twins Sean and Keith Gorman of Gloucester, 5-11 senior Tom Pippet of St. Augustine, Holy Spirit's Blake Morgan, 6-6 senior Terrance McNeal of Middle Township, and 6-0 point guard Sean Mulholland of Shawnee.
Mulholland, the only sophomore in the game, looked very comfortable. All-star games are usually a haven for gunners, but Mulholland managed to actually run the offense, and he made a number of excellent passes while also penetrating freely to the basket.
In the the third game, there were three South Jersey athletes: Tim Cotta, a 6-5 junior from Vineland; Jon Crispin, a 6-1 junior from Pitman; and Ron Myers, a 6-4 senior from Pitman. Crispin showed good range and one college coach called him, ``one of the best looking guards in the camp.''
Leading scorers. At the midway point, here are the leading scorers in the 26-team Cherry Hill Recreation League:
1. Dan Miller, Rancocas Valley, 22.5. 2. Blake Morgan, Holy Spirit, 20.8. 3. Chris Duckrey, Shawnee, 19.0. 4. Kyle Williams, Burlington, 17.5. 5. Mitch McGovern, Lenape, 17.2. 6. Jason Brooks, Triton, 17.0. 7. Tre Gardner, Cherry Hill West, 16.8. 8. Jim Clinton, St. Augustine, 16.4. 9. Keith Gorman, Gloucester, 16.0.
Coming attractions. Tomorrow, two undefeated teams will meet in the Cherry Hill Rec League when Bishop Eustace (7-0) faces Holy Spirit (6-0) in an 8:50 p.m. game at Cherry Hill East.
And finally. Saturday and Sunday, a two-day showcase at Bishop Eustace will feature many of the top players in South Jersey and beyond. The games begin at 9 a.m. on Saturday.