Haddon Twp. rolls into final

Morgan Lenahan (left) and Katie Burns embrace after Haddon Township's 70-42 victory over Metuchen. The Hawks will play Shabazz in the final.
Morgan Lenahan (left) and Katie Burns embrace after Haddon Township's 70-42 victory over Metuchen. The Hawks will play Shabazz in the final. (ELIZABETH ROBERTSON / Staff Photographer)
Posted: March 15, 2014

Bella Preziosi and Morgan Lenahan think there will be more fans next year.

Lenahan had 24 points and Preziosi scored 23 in Haddon Township's 70-42 win against Metuchen in the state Group 1 girls' basketball semifinals Thursday night at Deptford.

The Hawks were spurred on by a raucous crowd and a chanting student section. To the casual observer, it seemed the fans had been there all season.

But the players say the large crowd isn't a usual occurrence. They say the fans have started to show up to their games only since the Haddon Township boys' team was done.

However, a trip to the state finals from the girls' team might change that in the future.

"This might have proved to them that they should stick with us all season next year," said Preziosi, a junior guard and forward.

Haddon Township (27-2) jumped on Metuchen (19-9) early, taking a 27-12 lead in the second quarter. The Hawks continued to increase the lead, topping out at a 66-21 advantage early in the fourth quarter. Metuchen never led.

"We thought of it as just a regular game, and we all came out strong," Lenahan said. "I think all of us making our shots helped us a thousand times more."

The Hawks advanced to play Shabazz in the final at noon Sunday at Pine Belt Arena in Toms River.

Haddon Township's starters are four sophomores and a junior. The same group started last season and is slated to start next season, too.

Coach Tom Mulligan said the difference between last year, when the Hawks lost to Gloucester in the South Jersey Group 1 final, and this year is that the team meshes better now.

"If you were to ask me a year ago at this time, 'Were we going to get to the state finals?' I'd say, 'We have a lot of individuals,' " Mulligan said.

"That's how I would have phrased it. I'd say probably not, because you don't get to these games with individuals. That's been the difference this year. We really are a team."

Haddon Township 17 20 27 6 – 70

Metuchen 8 13 10 11 – 42

HT: Katie Burns 7, Morgan Lenahan 24, Alayxiah Carr 10, Bella Preziosi 23, Sarah Getzinger 6.

M: Liane Cifrodelli 5, Alexa Craft-Zaletel 3, Kelly Beck 3, Cassie Smith 27, Samantha Streckfuss 4.


ecross@philly.com

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