Saturday, December 20, 2014

Basketball: Lundy leads Paulsboro past Haddonfield

Basketball: Lundy leads Paulsboro past Haddonfield

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By Phil Anastasia

Xavier Lundy pays attention to the clock.

He tries to ignore the calendar.

Lundy seized command of the fourth quarter of the final regular-season game of his career, leading Paulsboro to a 61-55 victory Haddonfield in a Colonial Conference clash of Top 10 teams on Thursday night.

Lundy knew it was the fourth quarter of a tight game between the Red Raiders, the No. 2 team in The Inquirer Top 10, and the No. 9 Bulldogs.

He was less focused on the fact that it was the last regular-season game in an iullustrious varsity career that began when he was a skinny freshman in December, 2009.

"It's kind of scary," said Lundy, a 6-5 senior forward. "I'm going to miss high school basketball so much. I'm trying not to think about it too much."

Lundy generated 15 points, 10 rebounds and five assists as Paulsboro finished the regular season with a 24-2 overall record and a 16-0 mark in Colonial Conference play.

Lundy took control in the fourth quarter before a large crowd in Haddonfield's gymnasium. He scored five unanswered points on two dunks and a free throw to give the Red Raiders a 49-41 lead with five minutes, 25 seconds to play, and also collected three rebounds, two assists, a steal and a block in the final period.

"They play off his lead," Haddonfield coach Paul Wiedeman said of Lundy. "He's a four-year starter, he's going to make good decisions. They look to him in those situations."

Paulsboro played without sophomore Saleem Little, a starting forward who likely is out for the remainder of the season with a stress fracture in his right foot. The Red Raiders got 23 points off the bench, with reserves Kane Segar (11 points, three steals) and Derrick Burgess (eight points) leading the way.

"We think we're deep and in a game like this, we had to prove it," Paulsboro coach Sean Collins said.

Senior swingman Chris Biddle  scored 23 points with five rebounds and three assists for No. 9 Haddonfield (23-3, 15-1 in the Colonial).

"This was a good game for us," Wiedeman said. "We pushed them (Paulsboro)."

Lundy has been a four-year starter during one of the more accomplished eras in Paulsboro basketball history. He recently collected his 2,000 career point, although his scoring average is down about five points this season to around 18 per game.

"He's as unselfish as any player I've ever around," Collins said. "His scoring average is down this year and he has not said a word. Not a peep."

Collins said Lundy's play in the fourth quarter was fitting for an athlete who has led the Red Raiders to a combined record of 54-3 in the last two seasons.

"That says who is he -- wrapping up his regular season career by stepping up in the fourth quarter," said Collins, whose team will be the No. 1 seed in the South Jersey Group 1 tournament, which starts next week.

Collins said after the game that No. 16 seed Maple Shade pulled out of the tournament on Thursday. Unless another team is added, Paulsboro will get a bye to the second round, facing the Wildwood-Woodbury winner on next Thursday night.

Lundy has not made a decision on college. He said his main concern at this point is to lead Paulsboro to the second state title in the history of the program, and first since 1996.

"That's been my top priority since I've been here," Lundy said. "That's the goal. I'm a little anxious now that it's here and it's my senior year and this is our last chance.

"But hopefully we can get on a good run in the tournament and make this last a long time. I don't want it to end."

Paulsboro 17 11 14 19 -- 61
Haddonfield 13 14 12 16 -- 55

P: Xavier Lundy 15, Julien Davenport 10, Theo Holloway 5, Keenan Williams 6, Derrick Burgess 8, Cassius Carter 2, Brandon Hamilton 4, Kane Segar 11.

H: Rob DePersia 6, Nick DePersia 8, Billy Griffin 13, Chris Biddle 23, Ted Stavestski 3, Jake Robinson 2.

Contact staff writer Phil Anastasia at panastasia@phillynews.com or @PhilAnastasia on Twitter.

 

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About this blog
Born and raised in South Jersey, Phil Anastasia prefers standing on the sidelines at high school football games on Friday nights to sitting in the press box at Eagles games on Sunday afternoons. He’s a graduate of Rowan University with a degree in English. Reach Phil at panastasia@phillynews.com.

Phil Anastasia Inquirer Columnist
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