Seniors made Delbarton’s season a special one

By Mark Kitchin

Morriscountyvarsityboysbasketball

Delbarton season review

Respectable is a good word to describe Delbarton basketball this past season. The senior laden team won 18 games. The Green Wave was among Morris County’s top teams last season. They did have their weird stretches, too. Such as suffering losses in all three games during their own J.P. Flynn Tournament, something which had not happened in quite some time. They won a division title and advanced to the Morris County Tournament semifinals, which were worthy exploits.

 Senior leadership:  The Green Wave had plenty of seniors but Dean Brierley stood out prominently. He led Morris Countyin scoring by averaging 24 points per game. He also averaged 10.5 rebounds. He also scored his 1,000th career point during a season and made plenty of clutch baskets during his time at Delbarton.

“He works so hard,’’ Delbarton coach Dan Whalen said. “He is a great leader. He has tremendous toughness. In the last three years he never missed a practice. He has a terrific work ethic.’’

Wade Morgan was smooth at the point. Kevin Dunleavy and Scott Curran became clutch shooters on the perimeter. Doug Jadis led the team in rebounds.

Delbarton coach Dan Whalen and his players won 18 games and a division title this year.

Highlights: No one game could pose as a highlight but they did get some key wins including late season victories over Mendham and West Morris in order to capture the National Division of the Northwest Jersey Athletic Conference.

“It’s an outstanding conference and were very proud of winning it after playing them night after night,’’ Whalen said. “We’re facing good teams and being able to come out of that is special.”

Another highlight was the Green Wave’s state tournament win against DePaul and getting even with an old NHC rival who dealt them a loss in the J. P. Flynn Tournament.

Delbarton will miss Wade Morgan and the skills he displayed while running the Green Wave offense.

Hope for the future: Delbarton gave plenty of players a smattering of experience this season. Brian Hardin, Jon Ramirez, James Bergman, Billy Carroll and Rob Thoma are among the Green Wave players with varsity experience.

“We have seven returning varsity letter winners who got significant time,’’ Whalen said. “Rob Thoma got a lot of time as a sophomore. Billy Carroll got a lot of time as a sophomore so it will be different. We have a lot of new faces. We will have to find a way to replace a lot of scoring, Losing Dean and Wade, we’re going to be different but we are going to be competitive. We have some tough kids who we think will work and who are really good kids.’’

The Delbarton newcomers have a strong defensive background but time will tell how well the team will develop when it comes to putting it in the basket.

“We have a lot of promising guys on the defensive side,’’ Whalen said. “Offense is a question mark. Ramirez is a terrific defender. Carroll is a terrific defender. Rob Thoma is a really good inside presence but we are talking about seven or eight points a game there. We have some question marks but they are great kids and they work really hard.’’

Offseason plans: Delbarton plans on playing in the Morris Knolls summer league. They will also take part in Fairleigh Dickinson University’s team camp. The Green Wave also takes two nights a week to do shooting drills during July. They also find time to work in the weight room and take part in speed and conditioning during the summer months.

“Our offseason approach in the summer is usually about the same,’’ Whalen said. “The only thing that’s different now is that were probably going to have to change some things and put a little different wrinkle in offensively. We have to find some ways to score and we have a lot of guys who can play so maybe we will press and run a little bit.’’

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About mcvbb

Mark Kitchin is a boys varsity basketball writer for the Morris County New Jersey area

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