For Camden County, A Year Of Champions

Posted: March 20, 2000

The state tournament was a showcase for Camden County schools, which won three of the six South Jersey boys' basketball crowns.

The titlists were Highland in Group 4, Camden (Group 3), and Haddonfield (Group 2). The other South Jersey champions were Parochial A's Christian Brothers Academy of Monmouth County, Parochial B St. Augustine (Atlantic County), and Group 1 Florence (Burlington County).

Thanks to Florence, Burlington County has the longest current streak of sectional champions. Since 1991, at least one Burlco school has won a South Jersey title in each year. That string began with Florence. Burlington County has had 16 sectional champions in that time, led by Shawnee, which has won five since 1991.

All-tournament teams. There have been some outstanding performers eligible for all-tournament teams, based on games through the state championships.

Based on statistics and performance, these players merit consideration.

(Tournament of Champions statistics are not included and a minimum of two games were considered.)

Arthur Barclay, 6-8 senior, Camden (26.3 ppg.); Dajuan Wagner, 6-3 junior, Camden (38.3); Kevin Hutchinson, 6-3 senior, Florence (15.6); Sean Wilson, 6-3 junior, Haddonfield (18.8); and Mark Groark, 6-1 senior, Highland (20.6).

Ernest Turner, 6-2 junior, Sterling (26.0); Olu Babalola, 6-7 junior, St. Augustine (15.0); Eric Tickles, 6-1 junior, Highland (14.2); Pat Deveney, 6-8 senior, Cherokee (23.5); and Marquis Gaston, 6-2 senior, Willingboro (21.6).

Sakeen Wright, 6-3 junior, Glassboro (18.0); Tory Cavalieri, 6-foot senior, Atlantic City (15.3); Najee Lundy, 6-foot senior, Florence (13.0); Kurtis Scott, 6-1 senior, Haddon Heights (27.5); and Pat Betley, 6-1 sophomore, Haddonfield (12.2).

Mikal Lundy, 5-11 senior, Florence (13.9); Jamal McLeod, 6-3 senior, Sterling (17.0); Terrence Holmes, 5-10 sophomore, Glassboro (17.0); Ben Gibson, 6-3 senior, Shawnee (19.5); and defensive specialist Dorjan Brown, 6-foot junior, Camden (6.1).

Local state title streak. With Camden and Florence winning state titles, teams from the seven-county South Jersey area have won at least one state championship each year since being shut out in 1990.

During that period, Shawnee is the only South Jersey team with three titles, in 1992, '95 and '96. Pleasantville, Middle Township, Pitman, and Rancocas Valley have all won two titles in this span.

Coaching feat for Warrick. Burlington City's Bryan Warrick continued an impressive coaching streak this season when he guided the Blue Devils to the Burlington County League Freedom Division title.

Warrick, who spent four seasons in the NBA, has won at least one title in each of the five years that he has been a head coach at Burlington City. In each of his first three years, the Blue Devils won the Freedom Division, and last season they captured the South Jersey Group 1 championship.

Warrick is now 93-33 in his five years at Burlington City.

All-star action in Pittsburgh. Bishop Eustace's Sean Mulholland has been selected to play the Born to Run all-star game, which will be played April 9 at Pittsburgh's LaRoche College.

Last year, Pitman's Jon Crispin, now a freshman at Penn State, played in this game. The 6-1 Mulholland, who has earned a basketball scholarship to La Salle, averaged 13.4 points per game this season for the 16-8 Crusaders.

Mulholland will also play in Saturday's state all-star game at Monmouth University. The other South Jersey players in the game will be Cherry Hill East's Marcus Bullock, Atlantic City's Tory Cavalieri, Overbrook's Jamar Smith, and Rancocas Valley's Mike Van Kline.

Burlington City's Warrick will be one of the assistant coaches

Recruiting report. Atlantic City guard Tory Cavalieri is beginning to draw more recruiting interest. Cavalieri was offered a scholarship by Virginia Military Institute in the fall, but decided to wait until after the season to make a college decision. Now more schools are showing interest.

On Thursday University of Maine basketball coach John Giannini, the former coach at Rowan University, visited Cavalieri at his home. Cavalieri will visit Maine on Sunday and has a scheduled visit on April 14 to Boston University.

Cavalieri, who averaged 19.2 points and 7.3 assists, said that William and Mary, Fairfield, and Towson have also been in recent contact.

"I took a chance by not committing early and it looks like it has paid off," Cavalieri said. "Dealing with recruiting has been very stressful. It's something that I didn't worry about during the season. I'll be glad when I made my decision."

Smith to JC. Jamar Smith, Overbrook's imposing 6-8 center, says that he will likely continue his education and basketball career at a junior college.

A Division I talent, Smith said he was considering two powerful junior colleges, Tallahassee and Vincennes of Indiana. Smith said he would visit Vincennes on April 6 and 7. He has yet to set a date for visiting Tallahassee.

"They are big-time programs and I wanted to play at a high level," said Smith, who averaged 24.7 points and 15 rebounds for the 12-11 Rams, who tied Highland for the Olympic Conference Patriot Division title.

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