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Kendall Green scores 23 points as Lenape outlasts Camden

When the game begins, Kendall Green is on the bench, plotting ways to help the Lenape basketball team.

When the game begins, Kendall Green is on the bench, plotting ways to help the Lenape basketball team.

The senior guard maps out his likely contributions: playing sturdy defense, making the extra pass, slowing the game's pace to the Indians' liking.

Setting a career-high for points is never high on his list.

But that's what happened on Tuesday night. Green, a 5-foot-10 lefthander, bounced off the bench to score 23 points to lead Lenape to a 59-53 victory over Camden in an Olympic Conference inter-division clash.

"It was just one of those nights when I got into the flow," Green said. "I usually don't think about scoring."

Lenape (2-0) needed Green and classmate Tabu Gaither to step up in the fourth quarter, as Camden rallied from a 38-19 deficit to close within 43-40 on a drive by senior forward Amir Maddred with five minutes remaining.

Camden (1-2), the No. 10 team in The Inquirer Top 10, was a step slow for three quarters. But the Panthers staged a furious comeback behind Maddred (11 of his 13 in the fourth) and junior guard Tavaris Headen (10 of his 25 in the fourth).

"We knew Camden was going to make a run," Green said. "We just needed to settle down."

Green hit a jumper early in Camden's comeback, buried a bunch of free throws and scored 11 of his points in the fourth. Gaither, a 6-5 forward, scored six of his 18 points, including four in a row on a drive and pair of free throws to make it 47-40 at the 4-minute, 23-second mark.

"Those are the guys who have experience," Lenape coach Chuck Guittar said of Green and Gaither. "They settled us down."

Green's levelheaded approach is an overarching factor for the Indians. He's a senior who has paid his dues in the program. He clearly has the talent and experience to be in the starting lineup.

But he prefers to come off the bench.

"I actually like it," Green said. "I can watch tendencies, look for ways I can help the team when I get in there.

"There's so many little things you can do to help the team. I try to watch the game and figure out how I can help when I get in there."

Guittar knows there are seniors with less talent and know-how than Green who would bristle at a seat on the bench.

"He's so mature," Guittar said of Green. "He's our spark. He knows it's not who starts but who finishes, and how many minutes you play."

Green couldn't remember the last time he scored 23, although he knows it happened "when I was a little kid."

He knows he'll begin Lenape's early-season showdown with No. 3 Eastern on Thursday in his usual spot: on the bench.

But he swears he won't be thinking about dropping 23 on the Vikings.

Camden   8 11 5 29 – 53

Lenape   10 17 14 18 – 59

C: Tavaris Headen 25, Rasool Hinson 5, Amir Maddred 13, Will McCants 3, Jamal Holloway 5, Oamri McEady 2.

L: Tabu Gaither 18, Paul Mostak 1, Cameron Green 11, Kendall Green 23, Dylan Chudoff 2, Jesse Spitznas 4.