At the St. Augustine Open Invitational this weekend, the 2012-13 Collingswood High School boys' basketball team got its first crack at this year’s action, and emerged from pool play with a 2-1 record.
According to assistant coach Michael McKeown, the Panthers gave a good accounting of themselves. They blew out an inferior Cumberland team 71-42, dropped a narrow decision to Clearview Regional, 47-42, and slid past Wildwood Catholic 44-43 on a last-second layup.
For their efforts, the boys earned camaraderie, pizza and a chance to reorganize under newly appointed coach Patrick Dorney.
Dorney replaced Joseph McLoughlin, the long-serving special education teacher has been a focal point for the team and the community at large .
But if that distracted the players, they didn’t show it at the tournament, McKeown said in an email.
“The kids played their tails off,” he said. “They played very hard and with a lot of passion.”
McKeown says the strength of the team this year are the rising sophomores, who made an impact at the tournament.
Jordan Wallace led the Panthers in scoring in all three games; Steve Copeland led the team in rebounding. Tyree Mann-Barnes added three-pointers, Shaq Maynard “give the team great balance and versatility inside and out,” and De'ron Maxwell sparked the group as the sixth man, McKeown said.
“The game we lost we probably played the best of all three,” he said. “Clearview’s whole team is back from last year. We were down by 16 and cut the lead to one with 30 seconds.”
Through McKeown, Dorney added a statement that "the kids played with a lot of intensity and emotion," exceeding his expectations "with only six hours of total practice time to put a whole new system in."