West Deptford basketball becoming a contender
Justin Hansen knows what people think of West Deptford in boys' sports. Football school. Soccer school. Baseball school. Wrestling school.
Justin Hansen knows what people think of West Deptford in boys' sports.
Soccer school. Baseball school. Wrestling school.
Anything but a basketball school.
"It's time to change that," said Hansen, a sophomore guard.
West Deptford is 2-0 and looking like a possible contender in the Colonial Liberty after Saturday's 60-28 victory over Audubon.
Hansen scored 21 and senior Tom Jakubowski added 10 as the Eagles followed up Friday night's impressive overtime victory over Colonial Liberty rival Sterling with an imposing triumph over the Green Wave, a rebuilding Colonial Patriot team.
"I'm not saying we're Haddonfield or Haddon Heights," West Deptford coach Don Clark said of the two favorites in the Colonial Liberty race. "But I think these kids can compete. I know they will play hard."
Sophomore Eric Schorr scored 10 and senior guard DeSean Mundell added eight points and seven rebounds for Audubon, which was playing its season opener.
"I was proud of how hard the kids played," Audubon coach Dave Ricci said. "We're a work in progress. We don't have much experience. Hopefully, if these kids keep improving, we'll be a much better team at the end of the season."
West Deptford was 6-20 last season and 2-24 in 2009-10. But the Eagles have an experienced team with seniors Jakubowski, Tim Fair (five points, nine rebounds), and Ryan Flaherty (nine points) at forward and seniors Kyle Redrow (five points) and Tim Krott (five points, two steals off the bench) at guard.
The 5-foot-11 Hansen is the team's best pure basketball player. He hit three three-pointer jumpers, had two assists and two steals, and controlled the tempo of the game.
"He's so much stronger than last year," Clark said. "He probably put on 20 pounds. It's the weight room. We must have six or seven kids who stay after practice for an hour and lift. That's the football influence."
The Eagles played sturdy, active defense against the Green Wave, forcing 21 turnovers. The Eagles also committed just five turnovers and shot 9 for 11 from the foul line.
"They're very good," Ricci said. "They were where we are now a couple years ago, and you can see how far they've come."
Clark said the team's defense has been the biggest area of improvement from previous seasons.
"We don't give anything easy," Clark said. "If we lose because the other team hits a bunch of shots, that happens. But these kids are so determined on the defensive end."
Hansen said he nearly attended Gloucester Catholic after eighth grade, but he changed his mind in the summer. He said he wanted to be with his friends, and he also wanted to be a part of a revitalized West Deptford basketball program.
"Last year was hard," Hansen said. "But as soon as we played our last game, we started preparing for this year. The whole team is more committed, more motivated.
"We think we can make a statement."
West Deptford 12 17 12 19 – 60
Audubon 12 2 7 7 – 28
WD: Justin Hansen 21, Tim Fair 5, Kyle Redrow 5, Tom Jakubowski 10, Ryan Flaherty 9, Tim Krott 5, Brandon Flacco 3, Brian Kuda 2.
A: DeSean Mundell 8, Trevor Tassi 4, Eric Schorr 10, Austin Tassi 2, Josh McShane 4.