Vic Carstarphen was nervous.
“I’m always nervous,” Carstarphen said.
Camden’s new boys’ basketball coach saw both reasons to relax, and cause for concern, during his team’s 67-59 victory over Millville on Saturday in the Jimmy V Classic at Cherokee.
Carstarphen’s debut featured balanced scoring, some stretches of strong defense and flashes of brilliance from junior wingman Lance Ware.
There also were a fair share of miscues and miscommunications.
“We have the talent to be good,” Carstarphen said. “But it’s a matter of getting everybody to play together.”
Ware, a 6-9 junior, generated 16 points with four blocks and five rebounds. He showed a smooth touch in his mid-range and also threw down a thunderous dunk in traffic.
“It’s a new team and we’re getting to know each other,” Ware said. “That’s our only excuse, we’re getting to know each other.”
Camden also got strong games from senior guard Ethan Tarte, who scored 15 with seven rebounds, and sophomore forward Jerome Brewer, who finished with 15 points and eight rebounds.
Brewer is a transfer from West Catholic. Sophomore guard Nasir Lett is a transfer from Roman Catholic.
In addition, sophomore forward TaQuan Woodley is expected to be an impact player for the Panthers. Woodley, a transfer from Neumann-Goretti, is not playing pending the finalization of his paperwork, Carstarphen said.
“We have a lot of new guys and we’re figuring out how to play together,” Tarte said.
Senior guards Rynell Lawrence and Eddie Jamison each scored 15 points, and senior center Little John Green added 13 with eight rebounds for Millville (1-1).
Senior guard El Khana Hidalgo, who was Camden’s fourth player in double figures with 12 points, is another relatively new player after seeing limited action last season.
“I’m still figuring out who’s who,” said Carstarphen, a 1988 Camden graduate. “I have to see what guys can do when the lights come on.”
Millville 9 17 14 19 – 59
Camden 15 16 18 18 – 67
M: Rynell Lawrence 15, Little John Green 13, Eddie Jamison 15, Randy Butler 2, Colby Etter 2, Aundrey Green 5, Solomon DeShields 7.
C: Ethan Tarte 15, El Khana Hidalgo 12, Lance Ware 16, Jerome Brewer 15, Nasir Lett 6, Duce Chestnut 3.