Haddonfield shuts down Wildwood Cath.

Haddonfield's Nick DePersia goes up for two points past Wildwood Catholic's Jordan Robertson. APRIL SAUL / Staff
Haddonfield's Nick DePersia goes up for two points past Wildwood Catholic's Jordan Robertson. APRIL SAUL / Staff
Posted: January 27, 2014

If you think Haddonfield plays tough defense on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays, you should see the Bulldogs on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

"Our practices are battles," coach Paul Wiedeman said.

Haddonfield's depth and defensive diligence were the difference in a 53-38 victory over Wildwood Catholic on Saturday at the Jeff Coney Classic boys' basketball showcase at Rancocas Valley.

Nick DePersia's hot hand helped, too. DePersia scored a season-high 25 points, making six three-pointers, as Haddonfield improved to 12-0.

Jordan Robertson scored 18 and Eddie McWade added 11 with eight rebounds for Wildwood Catholic (9-4).

"We fought back in the second half," Wildwood Catholic coach David DeWeese said. "But we had too far to come back against a very good team. They made things very difficult for us."

Nick DePersia and his twin, Rob (eight points, four assists), each played 32 minutes for Haddonfield, the No. 4 team in The Inquirer's South Jersey rankings.

But the rest of the Bulldogs rotated in and out of the game, with Ted Stavetski, Jake Robinson, Abby Bah, Tyler Klaus, Tom Kadar, Luke Leverick, and Rich Bond making contributions at both ends - especially on defense.

"This is the first team I've had in 15 years that plays full-court, man-to-man defense," Wiedeman said. "We feel like we can wear you down. We're going to play hard over 94 feet for 32 minutes."

Haddonfield broke to a 33-16 lead at halftime as Nick DePersia scored 18, making four three-pointers. Two of the jumpers were deep behind the arc, and he pumped his fist and yelled in celebration when the ball stabbed the bottom of the net.

"When I'm hitting deep threes, I get so excited," Nick DePersia said. "It gets us all fired up because we can get right into our full-court defense."

Wildwood Catholic rallied behind Robertson and McWade in the second half, but the Crusaders got no closer than nine points.

Wiedeman said the Coney Classic, with a big crowd on hand to see 11 games in two gymnasiums, offered an opportunity for his team to validate its high ranking.

"I think maybe there were some neutral fans in the stands who wanted to see if this team is for real," Wiedeman said.

Wildwood Catholic 8 8 13 9 - 38

Haddonfield 13 20 8 12 - 53

WC: Jordan Robertson 18, Eddie McWade 11, Clint Freeman 7, Kevin McWade 2.

H: Rob DePersia 8, Nick DePersia 25, Ted Stavetski 3, Abby Bah 4, Tom Kadar 9, Jake Robinson 2, Luke Leverick 2.

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