Three hours before tipoff, Connor Dickerson was on the court, working on his shot, sharpening his moves, anticipating the possibilities.
Then the game started and the Moorestown senior's performance outpaced his imagination.
Dickerson, a guard averaging just under seven points, scored a career-high 16 as Moorestown stunned top-ranked Camden, 52-48, before a stomping, celebrating crowd in the Quakers' gymnasium on Friday night.
Sophomore forward Hayden Greer bounced off the bench to score 13 and junior guard Vinnie Caprarola added 12 on four three-pointers for Moorestown (19-5), the No. 13 team in the Inquirer Top 25.
"This means so much," said Dickerson, whose floater in the lane gave Moorestown a 47-44 lead with 1 minute, 21 seconds to play. "Everybody knows 'The High' is one of the top teams in the state, plays all the big teams.
"For us to win this game, it says a lot about this team."
Moorestown rallied from an eight-point deficit early in the fourth quarter, as Caprarola hit a pair of three-pointers – including one that Quakers coach Shawn Anstey said was "beyond NBA distance" — and Greer scored nine points, including a three-pointer that gave the home team its first lead of the game at 45-44 with 2:18 on the clock.
Junior guard Jagger Zrada made both ends of a one-and-one with 8 seconds left to seal one of biggest victories in the recent history of the Moorestown program.
"Our guys stepped up big-time," Anstey said. "We could have folded, down eight. But we fought and fought and fought."
Senior forward Myles Thompson scored 15 for No. 1 Camden (16-5).
"I knew what I was getting into, even if these guys [his players] didn't," Camden coach John Valore said. "This is why I scheduled this game. This could be the best thing for us, because it shows we have to be better in our tenacity, in our toughness with our man-to-man defense."
Camden played without senior guards Nasim and Nasir Hinson, who were attending a funeral, according to Valore.
Dickerson said he was coming off a couple of rough outings, so he took to the Moorestown court soon after school on Friday to work on his game.
"I knew I needed to step up for my team," Dickerson said. "I played bad the past couple games. I wanted to work on my shot, my moves, think about the game."
Dickerson, the lone senior who sees regular action for the Quakers, hardly could have envisioned a better scenario.
He was at his best in the third quarter, scoring 10. He made a jumper off the move at the buzzer, cutting Camden's lead to 35-33 and bringing Moorestown's boisterous cheering section to its feet.
"It's so much fun when the crowd is into like that, stomping their feet," Dickerson said.
In the fourth quarter, Greer and Caprarola made huge three-pointers, but Dickerson's floater was a big-time play and a stake in Camden's chances.
The Quakers were protecting the ball with a 45-44 lead, when Dickerson knifed into the lane and lofted a shot over the outstretched hand of the 6-foot-6 Thompson.
"Connor's floater was huge," Anstey said.
Dickerson imagined a lot of shots during his early-afternoon workout. But none quite like that.
"It's like you're playing without any thoughts," Dickerson said. "It's fun and free. It's like you're throwing the ball in the ocean."
Camden 12 3 20 13 – 48
Moorestown 4 10 19 19 – 52
C: Corey Greer 10, Myles Thompson 15, Lance Ware 6, Saleem Brown 8, Ethan Tarte 7, Tyvon Frisbey 2.