South Jersey Sports

Power failure haunts Falcons in playoff loss to Ocean City

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Written by Bill LeConey Tuesday, March 03, 2015 11:11 pm

oak1 Bill LeConey/Oakcrest coach Frank Brown talks to his team during a fourth quarter timeout. HAMILTON TOWNSHIP – The scoreboard at Oakcrest High School’s 55-year-old gymnasium went on the fritz just before the start of the fourth quarter Tuesday in a South Jersey Group III playoff game between Ocean City and Oakcrest.

Eight minutes later, when Trevor Little’s 3-point attempt missed by a fraction of an inch at the buzzer, the lights went out on the Falcons’ season.

Ocean City hung on for a 49-46 win that earned the 11th-seeded Red Raiders a spot in the quarterfinal round against No. 3 Toms River South.

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OCHS boys, MRHS girls advance in NJSIAA

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Written by Tom Williams Tuesday, March 03, 2015 10:23 pm

Two Cape-Atlantic League basketball teams advanced and one was eliminated Tuesday in the NJSIAA Tournament.

The Ocean City boys used a 20-point performance by Garrett Jones to defeat Oakcrest, 49-46, in Group 3. The Falcons had beaten the Raiders twice during the regular season. Vernon Burch scored 14 for Oakcrest. Ocean City will now play the winner of Wednesday night's game between Toms River South and Seneca on Thursday night.

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Defense paces Wildwood to first-round win

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Written by Brian Cunniff Tuesday, March 03, 2015 10:17 pm

photo by Jen Marra/Wildwood's Kyion Flanders looks to pass during his team's playoff win over Burlington City. WILDWOOD – This season’s Wildwood High School boys basketball team hasn’t been known for its half-court defense. The Warriors have won most of their games through their offense and a full-court trapping defense that often gets the tempo of games moving in their favor.

Wildwood employed that full-court defense from time to time in its South Jersey Group I playoff opener against Burlington City on Tuesday. But it was the team’s half-court defense – perhaps its best in a game this season – that led to a rather easy victory.

Wildwood, the fourth seed in the tournament, held the No. 13 Blue Devils to the second-lowest scoring output against the team for the season in a dominating 59-38 win.

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Pre-game ritual a winner for McCracken, Lady Warriors

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Written by Brian Cunniff Tuesday, March 03, 2015 10:14 pm

McKenzie McCracken poured in 29 points in Wildwood's state playoff win. WILDWOOD – Mackenzie McCracken gives a lot of the credit for any good game she has to a simple pregame ritual – she uses green-apple Chapstick just prior to tip-off.

It makes sense, too, because many of her shots kiss the bottom of the net.

McCracken, a sophomore who easily is the most improved high school girls basketball player in the county, poured in a game-high 29 points and gathered a game-high 17 rebounds in leading the Wildwood High School girls basketball team to tougher-than-it-should-have-been 65-57 victory over Penns Grove in the opening round of the South Jersey Group I playoffs on Tuesday.

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Clarke is clutch for Absegami girls in OT playoff win

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Written by Bill LeConey Monday, March 02, 2015 11:14 pm

gami1 Bill LeConey/Absegami's Brielle Clarke scored all 11 of her points in the fourtjh quarter and overtime of Monday's playoff win over Williamstown. GALLOWAY – Brielle Clarke had a little talk with her grandfather, Lou Polisano, before the fourth quarter of Monday’s South Jersey Group IV playoff game between Absegami and Williamstown.

It was family talk. It was colorful. And it made an impact.

“My grandpa told me to get my head out of my (derriere),” Clarke said, “so that kind of set a fire. It was pretty good inspiration there.”

Pretty good, indeed.

Clarke held her head high after she scored all 11 of her points in the fourth quarter and overtime, and fed teammate Eva Sodaitis for the tie-breaking bucket, as the eighth-seeded Lady Braves rallied for a 55-52 win in their first home playoff game in seven years.

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Both Middle teams, LCM girls advance

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Written by Brian Cunniff Monday, March 02, 2015 10:13 pm

Corey Greer drops two of his game-high 26 points for Middle Township in a playoff win over Lower Cape May. Three of the area’s high school basketball teams easily advanced past the first round of the state tournament Monday evening.

In boys basketball, Middle Township rolled to a 57-25 win over Lower Cape May in the opening round of the South Jersey Group II Tournament. The Panthers, seeded second in the bracket, led 28-8 at the half and by 40-12 at one point of the third quarter. Freshman Corey Greer paced all scorers with 26 points as Middle improved to 17-9. Lower Cape May finished its season at 5-20.

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Holden to play in state all-star game

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Written by Brian Cunniff Sunday, March 01, 2015 11:36 am

LAUREN HOLDEN Lower Cape May Regional basketball star Lauren Holden has been selected to participate in the NJSIAA North-South all-star game on March 22 at Rider University. The game regularly includes the best senior high school basketball players in the state.

Holden, a 5-6 senior point guard, was leading the state in scoring at a shade less than 27 points per game entering the weekend. Earlier this season, she became just the second player in Cape May County history to score more than 2,000 career points.

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EHT's Agostino wins Region 8 title; D'Arcy headed back to Hall

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Written by Mike Schultz Sunday, March 01, 2015 08:19 am

agostino1 Mike Schultz/Connor Agostino won the 195 pound Region 8 title on Saturday in his home gym. EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP - Unpredictability ruled the 195 pound weight bracket at the Region 8 Tournament this weekend at Egg Harbor Township High School.

When all was said and done, it was the 10th seed - EHT's Connor Agostino - who deservedly walked away with the title in his home gym.

Agostino defeated Mainland Regional's Kolin Roberts 5-0 to claim the title.

"It's a really great feeling, especially since I'm in my hometown and got to do it in front of a lot of people," Agostino said.

Read more: EHT's Agostino wins Region 8 title; D'Arcy headed back to Hall

   

Nelson, Hermits run past Spartans for CAL title

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Written by Bill LeConey Saturday, February 28, 2015 06:24 pm

newnelson Alan Dumoff/St. Augustine Prep's Sa'eed Nelson scores on the break ahead of Holy Spirit's Jordan Taylor in Saturday's CAL championship game at Stockton University. Nelson, an Absecon resident, had a game-high 27 points in the Hermits' 71-60 win. GALLOWAY – Holy Spirit’s “reward” for beating Atlantic City in a thrilling Cape-Atlantic League semifinal Friday night was a matchup with top seed St. Augustine Prep in the CAL boys final Saturday afternoon at Stockton University.

Some reward. More like a torture.

The top-seeded Hermits and silky-smooth point guard Sa’eed Nelson from Absecon blew past the Spartans, 71-60, to win their first CAL title since 2011, eighth overall, in front of a big crowd of 1,479, including plenty of “Richland Rowdies,” at Stockton.

Nelson scored 27 points, dished out 10 assists and grabbed seven rebounds, three short of a triple double. If that wasn't enough, sophomore forward Justyn Mutts scored 21 points, despite spraining his ankle at the end of the first half, and Nate Aldrich sank 6-of-8 shots for 13 points.

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Ocean City claims CAL girls title

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Written by Brian Cunniff Saturday, February 28, 2015 06:17 pm

Ocean City's Nicholl Fenton, Alexis Paone and Karissa Bourbeau celebrate winning the CAL championship game over Lower Cape May. GALLOWAY TOWNSHIP – When the Ocean City and Lower Cape May Regional high school girls basketball teams met twice earlier this season, the team that got off to the best start emerged victorious each time.

That trend continued in the Cape-Atlantic League championship game at Richard Stockton University Saturday afternoon.

Ocean City, the top seed in the eight-team playoff tournament, scored the first five points, led by as many as 11 points in the second half and settled for a 34-26 victory over the Lady Tigers to win the program’s fourth overall CAL title.

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Spartans fend off Vikings rally to reach CAL final

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Written by Mike Schultz Saturday, February 28, 2015 12:36 am

2ACSpirit Mike Schultz/Jordan Taylor led all scorers with 21 points and also gathered eight rebounds. GALLOWAY - The third-seeded Holy Spirit boys basketball team held on to defeat second seed Atlantic City 61-60 in a wild Cape Atlantic League semifinal game Friday night at Absegami.

The win earned the Spartans a spot in the CAL championship game to be held 2 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 28 at Stockton University.

The game had all the components of an intense rivalry.

There were lead changes (seven to be exact), a raucous crowd (1,534), baskets exchanged like punches during a Gatti-Ward match and, of course, a last second shot that would determine the outcome.

Read more: Spartans fend off Vikings rally to reach CAL final

   

Career-high effort helps Reyes net 1K point

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, February 26, 2015 06:44 pm

Leishly Reyes will have her name placed on the Wildwood High basketball 1,000-point board after surpassing the milestone Thursday afternoon. WILDWOOD – Those who attended the Wildwood High School girls basketball team’s contest on a snowy Thursday afternoon witnessed a milestone that came practically out of nowhere.

Leishly Reyes poured in a career-high 38 points and became the school’s latest 1,000-point scorer on her final basket of the fourth quarter as the Lady Warriors blasted Schalick, 76-40, in their regular-season finale.

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Mainland comes up empty in CAL semifinal loss to O.C.

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Written by Bill LeConey Thursday, February 26, 2015 04:19 pm

mainOC Bill LeConey/Mainland's Shea Scannell brings the ball up against Ocean City's Grace Sacco in the first half of Wednesday's CAL semifinal. BUENA VISTA TOWNSHIP – In two previous meetings this season, the Ocean City High School girls basketball team held Mainland Regional to 29 points in December and 15 points in January.

The February matchup - in a Cape-Atlantic League semifinal Wednesday at St. Augustine Prep - was somewhere in between, but still resulted in a loss for the Mustangs.

Top seed Ocean City (20-5) smothered Mainland 35-19 to reach the CAL championship game against Lower Cape May Regional noon Saturday at Stockton University.

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A charged, but civil, atmosphere for MT-WC

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, February 26, 2015 02:02 pm

For about the last month, when it became apparent the Middle Township and Wildwood Catholic high school boys basketball teams were going to play one another in the opening round of the Cape-Atlantic League playoff tournament, fans had eagerly anticipated the game.

These are two programs that are bitter rivals right now. In fact, with all apologies to everyone at Wildwood, Middle now represents Wildwood Catholic’s biggest rival in boys basketball.

Part of the reason is that Wildwood Catholic in recent years has threatened Middle’s reign as the top team in the area year after year. A bigger part might just be, however, that Wildwood Catholic, for the first time ever, really, is beginning to draw very talented players to its school from Middle Township’s sending district.

Read more: A charged, but civil, atmosphere for MT-WC

   

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