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Lenape looks good in win over Sterling

At halftime, there wasn't much Maddie Sims could say to her teammates. And in these situations, sometimes less is more anyway.

At halftime, there wasn't much Maddie Sims could say to her teammates. And in these situations, sometimes less is more anyway.

"I just told them, 'I don't know what you ate for breakfast this morning before the game, but it worked,' " Sims said. "I told them whatever you're doing, keep doing it."

Sims, a 6-foot-2 forward on the Lenape girls' basketball team, is one South Jersey's premier players. She's tall, athletic, fast, and powerful.

But she's especially dangerous this season because of her teammates.

In her senior year, Sims appears to have the perfect supporting cast. Lenape has the talent to surround the perimeter with capable scorers for Sims to kick the ball to.

Saturday afternoon, Lenape hit 10 three-pointers, all in the first three quarters, in a 67-31 win over Sterling at Paul VI's Carol Stutzer-Harris Holiday Tournament.

The Indians controlled all facets of the game against a talented opponent. They played aggressive man-to-man defense and displayed excellent passing and strong movement off the ball - the type of sound basketball that gives Sims space to be the most aggressive player on the court.

"I give my teammates a lot of credit," said Sims, who scored the 1,000th point of her career in a win over Bishop Eustace on opening night of the season. "We've really clicked recently and I can't put into words how great they did today."

Sims, a Siena recruit, scored a game-high 18 points while displaying her typical versatility. She generated eight rebounds, four assists, three blocks, and three steals.

She was aided by a 15-point performance from guard Shane Holmes, who drained four three-pointers in a first quarter that ended with Lenape (3-0) ahead by 19-9.

In the second quarter, guard Kendall Keys got hot from beyond the arc and hit three three-pointers. Point guard Sapphire Brown was solid with seven points, including a three-pointer at the third-quarter buzzer, and six assists.

The performances were especially encouraging considering those three players have taken on significantly more important roles for Lenape than they had last season.

Their development has been aided, according to coach Rob Hummel, by Sims' leadership.

"Maddie's been doing that each year she's been on the team, but this year her leadership is even more evident on and off the court," Hummel said. "On the court, she's doing everything for us: She's playing inside, she's playing outside, she's guarding centers, she's guarding guards. She's not holding back."

Sims said the only thing she wants this season is a Group 4 title. Her team advanced to the South Jersey championship in each of the last two seasons but fell short both times. The losses, Sims said, serve only as motivation.

"I don't want to leave South Jersey basketball without a championship," Sims said. "It's not going to be easy, but that's what we're working hard for everyday. We know what it takes."

Lenape 19 20 20 8 - 67

Sterling 9 7 7 8 - 31

L: Maddie Sims 18, Amanda McGrogan 2, Kendall Keyes 9, Shane Holmes 15, Sapphire Brown 7, Caroline Kovacs 3, Shannon Mulroy 3, Skyla O'Connor 6, Izzy Schwartz 4.

S: Ke'alohilani Naone-Carter 4, Jordan Wallace 12, Taylor Carter 2, Sabrina Shinkowitz 4, Leila Zapata 6, Ke'ahilani Naone-Carter 1, Jessie Klenk 2.