South Jersey Sports

Middle seeks district success

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, February 19, 2014 05:47 pm

MTHS junior John Mooers went 23-7 for the Panther wrestling team during the regular season An injury depleted Middle Township High School wrestling team is in its final preparations ahead of this weekend’s District 32 Tournament at Absegami High School.

Most high school wrestlers throughout will have their seasons ended at this weekend’s tournament. The Panthers hope at least a few of their wrestlers can compete into next week.

The District 32 Tournament begins Friday evening at Absegami High School, with preliminary and quarterfinal matches. Quarterfinal winners move on to Saturday morning’s semifinals. Those qualifying for semifinals are guaranteed two more matches, with semifinal winners obviously moving on to championship bouts and losers wrestling for third place. The top three place winners in each weight class qualify for next weekend’s Region 8 Tournament.

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Tigers confident difficult schedule will pay off

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, February 19, 2014 05:42 pm

LCM's Eric Pruszinski went 26-6 during the regular season and is expected to perform well at the District 32 Tournament The Lower Cape May Regional High School wrestling team finished its dual match season at just 9-18 after losing all three matches of a quad at Toms River South last weekend.

But if you’re going to judge the individual wrestlers from the Caper Tigers by the team’s overall record, you’d be making a big mistake.

As in recent past seasons, Lower wrestled against an extremely difficult schedule, one the wrestlers hope pays off when the District 32 Tournament opens this Friday at Absegami High School.

Past history says it will. Last season, after going only 11-14 in dual matches, Lower wrestlers won two championships and sent four other wrestlers through districts and into the region tournament. Later, for the first time in program history, Lower had three wrestlers qualify for the state tournament.

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MTHS senior has scored at prolific rate

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, February 19, 2014 05:36 pm

MTHS senior Lauryn Fields could finish her career as one of the top five scorers in Cape May County high school girls basketball history The first thing that strikes you when thinking about the career point total of Lauryn Fields is that she’s collected this many despite missing 12 games during her career.

Fields is on the brink of becoming the highest scorer among girls basketball players to ever wear a Middle Township High School uniform.

The 5-3 point guard exited Tuesday’s 69-26 win over Oakcrest with 1,579 career points, leaving her 11 away from eclipsing 1985 graduate Jen Snyder’s career total of 1,589.

Technically speaking, Fields will not be considered the all-time leading scorer at Middle Township when she surpasses Snyder’s total, since Fields played her freshman season at Cape May Tech. But after sitting out the first 11 games of her sophomore season due to NJSIAA transfer rules after arriving at Middle, Fields has scored at a very high rate. She could possibly finish her career as one of the top five scorers in Cape May County history.

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Tough task ahead for CAL seeding committee

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, February 19, 2014 05:27 pm

Kim Gawarzewski and the Wildwood Catholic girls basketball team are safely in the field for next week's CAL Playoff Tournament. The committee that selects the wild card teams and determines the seedings for next week’s Cape-Atlantic League Playoff Tournament for boys and girls basketball faces a difficult task when it meets Thursday morning (Feb. 20) at Absegami High School.

For starters, there are games scheduled for Thursday and Friday that could impact both the standings and the selections.

Middle Township athletic director Scott Lodgek, who chairs the seeding committee, said earlier this week that the committee could make selections and create seedings with contingencies in order to await the results of games being played Thursday and Friday. He said an official announcement of the full seedings and schedule could come as late as Friday evening or Saturday morning.

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Role players boost Lady Warriors

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, February 19, 2014 05:18 pm

Freshman Mackenzie McCracken provided Wildwood with 14 points and 9 rebounds vs. Salem Jess Freeman has been lighting up the scoreboard all season for the Wildwood High School girls basketball team. Teammate Leishly Reyes hasn’t been too far behind.

But on Tuesday, a pair of role players led the Lady Warriors to victory.

Sophomore forward Jillian “Bean” Freeman, Jess’ younger sister, and freshman guard Mackenzie McCracken each sank 14 points as Wildwood posted a 54-43 decision over Salem for the team’s third straight victory and fifth in its last six games.

Jess Freeman (11) and Reyes (10) still managed to score in double figures as well.

“That was the first thing that jumped out at me when I looked at the stats,” Wildwood coach Dave Troiano said. “I knew that Jillian and Mack carried us offensively, especially in the first half, on a night when our big guns were held down a little bit. That’s the first time we’ve had four kids in double figures all year.

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Reale gives Spartans a solid Crilley complement

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Written by Bill LeConey Wednesday, February 19, 2014 03:52 pm

SpiritReale Bill LeConey/Holy Spirit's Amanda Reale, pictured here between AC's Alyvia Essex and Lajerah Wright, had 10 points and 12 rebounds in last Friday's win. ATLANTIC CITY – Every superhero needs a sidekick. For the Holy Spirit Lady Spartans, Amanda Reale has emerged as the one player who can draw some of the attention – and heat – away from top scorer Summer Crilley.

“She’s a great kid,” coach Dennis Smith said of Reale, a junior forward who had 10 points and 12 rebounds in a 49-24 victory over Atlantic City on Feb. 14. "We’ve been preaching to the juniors and sophomores that somebody needs to step up and be that consistent complement to Summer. We had a couple guards step up early, and now Amanda has asserted herself.

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Boardwalk Bullies and fans rekindle hockey memories at Hall

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Written by Bill LeConey Wednesday, February 19, 2014 03:26 pm

boardbullies1 Bill LeConey/Former Boardwalk Bullies Stefan Rivard, front, and Ian Walterson sign autographs for fans at “Hockey History Night” at Boardwalk Hall. ATLANTIC CITY – For a team that lasted only four seasons in this seaside resort, the Atlantic City Boardwalk Bullies certainly made a lasting impression – and planted some hockey roots that still hold strong today.

It was a Boardwalk Bullies reunion of sorts last Friday, Feb. 14, at Boardwalk Hall, where the Albany Devils and Hershey Bears faced off in an American Hockey League game. Former members of the 2003 ECHL Kelly Cup champion Bullies, including captain Stefan Rivard and defenseman Ian Walterson, were on hand to sign autographs for fans.

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Prosecutor's office releases statement on Ray Rice incident

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Written by Staff Reports Wednesday, February 19, 2014 02:21 pm

Rice Baltimore Ravens web site/Ray Rice The Atlantic County Prosecutor's Office released this statement Wednesday regarding Baltimore Ravens and former Rutgers running back Ray Rice, who was arrested after a domestic incident that took place early Saturday morning at the Revel Casino:

"The domestic violence incident in Atlantic City involving Ray Rice has been referred to the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office for review. The Atlantic City Police Department has requested the Prosecutor’s Office review the case to ensure all appropriate charges are considered. The matter remains under investigation by the Atlantic County Prosecutor’s Office in conjunction with the Atlantic City Police Department. At the present time, Mr. Rice remains charged with simple assault, a disorderly persons offense."

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Allen's intensity rubs off on Vikings at crunch time

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Written by Bill LeConey Wednesday, February 19, 2014 01:51 pm

AllenAC Bill LeConey/That's Atlantic City coach Gene Allen, in the middle of the huddle, exhorting his Vikings in the third quarter of a recent game against Mainland. ATLANTIC CITY – Nobody would ever accuse Atlantic City boys basketball coach Gene Allen of not being “into” the game. In fact, most of the time, the always excitable, sometimes manic Allen has to be told when to get out of it – or more specifically, off the court.

“All the refs say it all the time, ‘Get off the court, Gene!’” says Vikings senior guard Isiah Graves, laughing. “He’s into the game just like we’re into it, and when we’re not doing the right thing he’s going to yell until we get it right.”

Lately, the Vikings have been doing a lot of things right. They have won four straight going into Wednesday night's big showdown with Holy Spirit (7 p.m. at ACHS), with the Cape-Atlantic League American Conference title on the line.

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Oakcrest survives scare from Middle to solidify playoff status

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Written by Bill LeConey Wednesday, February 19, 2014 01:14 am

oakmiddle6 Mike Schultz/Jason Cervi (right) and Jordan Brooks attempt to block the shot attempt of Middle's Tanner Kerr. HAMILTON TOWNSHIP – The Oakcrest High School Falcons gave coach Frank Brown some heart palpitations with their shot selection Tuesday night.

But his heart was warmed by the final result.

The Oakcrest boys held off a late Middle Township rally for a 52-49 win that put them on track for second place in the Cape Atlantic League National Conference and an automatic berth in next week's CAL playoff tournament.

Jason Cervi and LaDarrell Dixon each scored 10 points for the Falcons (7-4, 11-10), who can clinch second place with a win at home over Lower Cape May Regional on Friday.

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CAL playoff berths, seedings up for grabs entering final week

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Written by Bill LeConey Monday, February 17, 2014 10:13 pm

ACSpirit Matt Strabuk/Holy Spirit's Leon Daniels goes up for two against Atlantic City last month. The teams meet again Wednesday with the CAL American championship on the line. Call it a mid-February "Hoops Heatwave.” The Cape-Atlantic League playoff races have certainly heated up entering the final week of the regular season.

Both boys and girls basketball teams are looking to win conference titles, earn playoff berths or improve their seedings for the eight-team CAL tournaments which begin Monday, Feb. 24.

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OCHS swimmers won championship together

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Written by Tom Williams Sunday, February 16, 2014 07:20 pm

OCHS swimmers won championship together OCHS swimmers won championship together

The bus ride back from Deptford Township was pretty exciting.

“It was crazy,” said Ocean City High School senior Rachel Chain, who had contributed to three victories in the win over Haddonfield in the South Jersey B Championship Meet. “Noel (Styer) had this amazing speaker and it was beyond loud. We all were so energetic, on a natural high after winning.”

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Middle's upset bid falls short

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Written by Brian Cunniff Sunday, February 16, 2014 09:05 am

CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE – It was a victory that would have catapulted the Middle Township High School boys basketball team toward earning an automatic berth in the Cape-Atlantic League Playoff Tournament.

It also would have sent a few shockwaves through the South Jersey basketball community.

But instead, Middle was left wondering what how it all went wrong.

The Panthers squandered a 10-point third-quarter lead and committed costly turnovers on their final two possessions of the game and fell, 46-41, to St. Augustine Prep Saturday afternoon.

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Vikings beat Millville; NJSIAA playoff pairings announced

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Written by Bill LeConey Saturday, February 15, 2014 07:29 pm

ACMill1 Bill LeConey/Atlantic City's Isiah Graves squares up on defense against Millville's Paris Patterson. ATLANTIC CITY - Atlantic City turned up the defensive intensity in the fourth quarter and pulled out a solid 67-57 victory Saturday afternoon over a very good Millville team in a Cape-Atlantic League American Conference game.

Kevin Allen led all scorers with 20 points, while Lamar Thomas added 19 and Isiah Graves 18 for the Vikings, who won their third straight after an upset by Vineland earlier this week. Khaliq Ford, the CAL's leading scorer, had 18 points for the Thunderbolts.

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