Skip to content
Link copied to clipboard

Mike DePersia, Will Bond power Haddonfield past Haddon Heights

The guards combined for all 16 of the Bulldawgs' points in the fourth quarter of the Colonial Conference clash with their arch-rivals.

Junior guard Mike DePersia drives to the basket for Haddonfield against Haddon Heights.
Junior guard Mike DePersia drives to the basket for Haddonfield against Haddon Heights.Read moreElizabeth Robertson/Staff photographer

The biggest play of the game might have been Mike DePersia's three-pointer that gave Haddonfield a 47-46 lead over Haddon Heights.

Or maybe it was Will Bond's banked runner that snapped a 47-47 tie.

Or maybe DePersia's backdoor cut for a layup for a 53-48 lead off a dish from Dan Fleming.

Or maybe Bond's reverse layup for a 55-50 lead at the 1-minute, 27-second mark.

You get the idea. It was DePersia doing this and Bond doing that in the final six minutes as Haddonfield emerged with a hard-fought 58-50 victory over Haddon Heights on Saturday in a Colonial Conference Liberty Division game.

"They've been through a lot of battles," Haddonfield coach Paul Wiedeman said of his backcourt. "They seized the moment, made plays when we needed it the most."

DePersia, a 6-foot junior, and Bond, a 6-foot-4 senior, combined to score all 16 of Haddonfield's points in the fourth quarter, and all of them after Haddon Heights took a 46-42 lead on a bucket by sophomore TayShawn Pressley.

DePersia scored seven of his 17 and Bond scored nine of his 14 in the fourth quarter for Haddonfield (4-0), the No. 7 team in the Inquirer Top 25.

Senior guard Jared Latane led all scorers with 24 and junior guard Jabari Higgs added 11 for Haddon Heights (2-2).

"I told the kids, as disappointed as I am with the loss, I'm so proud of the effort," Haddon Heights coach Mike Ricci said. "We dove on the floor for loose balls, we took four charges. We just didn't finish."

Wiedeman thought Haddon Heights played with more intensity in the clash of old rivals.

"They took it to us," Wiedeman said. "They carved our [1-3-1] zone up and nobody else has done that. They had a lot more energy. We were a half-step slow."

DePersia said Haddon Heights' players always seem fully engaged in games against Haddonfield.

"They always give us their best," DePersia said. "On paper, you might think we have a big advantage on them, but they always give us their best game."

The game was played at Cherry Hill East, which will serve as Haddonfield's home court while the Bulldawgs' gymnasium is refurbished over the next year.

The teams were tied, 27-27, at the half and at 42 after three quarters, with players from both sides hitting the floor in pursuit of loose balls.

"They play us so hard," Bond said.

DePersia and Bond took over after Haddon Heights surged in front early in the fourth quarter.

DePersia scored five straight on a driving layup in traffic and a deep three-pointer.

"I knew I needed to step up," DePersia said.

Bond scored nine of his team's final 11 points, starting with that banked runner for a 49-47 lead. He made three more layups, one off a sweet feed from DePersia, and a free throw.

"We have a connection," Bond said of his on-court relationship with DePersia. "We've been together for three years. We knew we needed to step up."

Wiedeman credited his backcourt with making the difference in a game that could have slipped from the Bulldawgs' grasp.

"In crunch time, sometimes you just have to make a play," Wiedeman said. "This was a case where those guys just made basketball plays."

Haddon Heights 14 13 15 8 – 50

Haddonfield 18 9 15 16 – 58

HH: Jared Latane 24, Jabari Higgs 11, Jared Bolling 2, Jake Campbell 1, TayShawn Pressley 7, Patrick Campbell 2, Isaiah Turner 3.

H: Mike DePersia 17, Will Bond 14, Dan Fleming 9, Aiden Blake 8, Ben Schroeter 3, Dylan Heine 2, Sam Heine 3, Ben Cerrato 2.