Bishop Eustace Prep senior Matt Kempter scored 10 points in the first quarter of a scrimmage against Woodbury the other day, making a deep three-pointer and breaking loose out for a pair of layups in transition.
“He’s a scorer,” Bishop Eustace coach Bob Falconiero said. “He had eight threes the other day.”
The return of Kempter from an injury that ended his junior season after just seven games plus the addition of sophomore transfers such as Will Humer and Christian Tomasco have hopes running high in the Crusaders’ field house.
With veterans such as senior Mattia Morini and juniors David Cross and Mike McCaffrey, Bishop Eustace projects as a strong contender in loaded fields in both the Olympic Conference’s National Division and Non-Public South A.
The 6-foot-3 Kempter was a starter and perhaps the team’s top outside threat last season when he landed on his left wrist during an early January game against Cherokee.
“I felt something weird when I went to the foul line, but I played rest of game,” Kempter said. “I got up the next morning and I couldn’t move my wrist.”
Kempter sat on the bench as his broken wrist healed and watched the remainder of the season as Bishop Eustace finished 18-10, with a heartbreaker of a 56-53 loss to St. Joseph of Metuchen in the Non-Public South A quarterfinals.
“We had bunch tough games second half of the year, especially the last one,” Kempter said. “I wish I could have been there with my team. We did win a lot of games, but not as much as we would have liked to win.”
Falconiero said Kempter’s return should provide a big boost to the Crusaders.
“He loves the game -- he’s a junkie,” Falconiero said. “He’s a kid we want to get looks. He can really shoot.”
Kempter, who lives in Voorhees, plans to attend Muhlenberg College, an NCAA Division III program in Allentown, Pa., that competes in the Centennial Conference with schools such as Franklin & Marshall, Gettysburg, and Johns Hopkins.
Kempter said missing most of last season has added to his urgency to make the most of his senior year.
“It motivates me more to help us win more games,” Kempter said. “This team is like a band of brothers. I just feel like this team is one of the closest teams I’ve ever played for.”