HADDON TOWNSHIP – There was never any doubt in Chris Hunt’s mind about the role he would have to fill for the Delran High School basketball team this season.
As the Bears’ lone senior, Hunt knew he would have to be the one to take a leadership role on a team that welcomed some newcomers at the start of the year.
“I feel like I have to go out and set the energy for everyone else,” Hunt said. “Being the only senior, I have to take a leadership role, and be a role-model.”
Behind Hunt’s leadership the Bears are coming to the end of what, to this point, has been a successful regular season.
Delran ran its record to 17-8 with a 50-36 victory over Haddon Township Tuesday in a non-league game.
Glenn Morrison led the Bears with 16 points, while Tom Murphy added 10.
Hunt scored a complementary eight points, but he had a hand in almost everything Delran was able to accomplish.
“We have only one senior leader, but Chris does a nice job for us,” said coach Travis Murphy. “He’s been real upbeat with the guys. He’s a hard worker. Every game he defends the best kid on the other team.
“He doesn’t get a lot of opportunities on offense, but we rely on him to get our offense going through our defense.”
Hunt’s teammates have responded well to his leadership, both on and off the court.
“He brings a lot to the team and it’s more than just basketball,” said Morrison. “He’s a fun guy to be around and he just makes the game better.”
One of the things Hunt has tried to help instill in his teammates is a desire to win. He does that by leading through example.
“Every single day we come to practice ready to play,” he said. “Whatever we’re doing – shooting or running plays -- we’re all doing it at 100 percent.
“I think that translates to the game. I think our record shows our will to win is pretty high.”
Part of the challenge all of the Bears faced at the beginning of the season was welcoming some regulars who had not been part of the team last season.
Troy Wells and Ahmed Johnson are two big, physical players, who are well on the way to finding their roles and becoming steady contributors.
Coach Murphy believes the two may be coming together at just the right time with the post-season approaching.
Asked about what has been the driving force for his team this season, Murphy mentioned that an evolving team chemistry has been a factor.
“I think the combination of guys learning to play together – they’ve started to jell a little bit,” Murphy said. “You start to play well and you start to believe in yourself, and it starts to get a little bit easier.”
Hunt also spoke about the contributions the newcomers have made.
“Troy and Ahmed both came in and they really bang the boards for us,” he said. “They’re two big hustle guys on our team. They’ve put in big minutes for us, and they’ve only helped improve our team talent.”
The Bears controlled Tuesday’s game almost from the outset.
Murphy scored six points in the first quarter to get the Bears off to a 12-6 lead and they never trailed throughout the game.
Delran connected on five 3-point goals in the third quarter, two by Hunt, to begin the surge, to extend lead to 40-29.
Morrison scored eight of his points in the fourth quarter, six from the foul line to keep the game out of the Hawk’s reach.
Brian Burns led the Hawks with 13 points.
Delran 50, Haddon Twp. 36
Delran 12 15 13 10- 50
Haddon Twp. 6 11 12 7- 36
Delran: Tommy Murphy 10, Glenn Morrison 16, Troy Wells 4, Chris Hunt 8, Ahmed Johnson 5, Nick Enoch 7.
Haddon Twp.: Brian Burns 13, Brendan Mulligan 5, Eric Shuttleworth 5, Cavan Narkiewicz 4, Brennan Marsh. 9.