South Jersey Sports

Southern Cape May County boys basketball preview

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, December 13, 2012 10:13 pm

It was a rather successful season in area high school boys basketball last winter.

Middle Township and Cape-Atlantic United Conference co-champion Wildwood Catholic were two of the six teams, out of 22, that qualified for the inaugural CAL playoff tournament. Middle won two games in that tournament to reach the final and both clubs later combined for three state playoff victories.

Wildwood posted its best season in years, winning 20 games and a share of the Tri-County Classic Division title.

Lower Cape May enjoyed a competitive season, earning a handful of exciting wins among its 13 victories.

Even Cape May Tech had its moments despite winning only six times, battling some good teams to close games.

Will this season be as successful? At this point we can only guess. By late February, the picture will become much clearer. In between, expect the unexpected.

The following is a look at each of the area’s high school boys basketball teams:

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Scoop Taylor Tip-Off Classic results

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, December 13, 2012 12:24 pm

The following are results from early games played in the Scoop Taylor Tip-Off Classic grammar school basketball tournament held at the Wildwood Crest Pier Recreation Center. The tournament continues Thursday through Sunday, Dec. 13-16.

THURSDAY, DEC. 6

Junior Varsity Girls – Margaret Mace 29, Cape Trinity 16: Natalia Rulon swished eight points and Maddie McCracken sank six points for the winners. Erin Connelly netted a game-high 11 points in the loss.

Varsity Girls – Middle Township 25, Bishop McHugh 11: Bridget Ruskey pumped in a game-high 17 points and Olivia Nelson added six for the winners. Lauren Moretti scored 10 points in the loss.

Varsity Girls – Margaret Mace 25, Wildwood 9: Mackenzie McCracken tallied nine points and Lily Collier chipped in six for the Falcons. Tatiana Alston scored five points for Wildwood.

Junior Varsity Boys – Upper Township I 47, Cape Trinity 9: Cole Markley and Justin Klemick led a balanced effort with eight points each for Upper, which had all 11 of its players score. Antonio Melendez fired in seven points in the loss.

Read more: Scoop Taylor Tip-Off Classic results

   

LCM lacrosse standout makes college choice official

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, December 13, 2012 11:38 am

ERMA – Surrounded by family members, coaches, school administrators and media members, Lower Cape May Regional High School lacrosse standout Lindsay Lare made her college choice official Wednesday afternoon.

Lare officially signed a National Letter of Intent to accept a partial athletic scholarship from the University of New Haven (Conn.), one of the top Division II lacrosse programs in the country.

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Results from the Scoop Taylor Tip-Off Classic grammar school hoops tournament

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, December 12, 2012 07:19 pm

The following are results from recent games in the Scoop Taylor Tip-Off Classic grammar school basketball tournament in Wildwood Crest:

THURSDAY, DEC. 6

Junior Varsity Girls – Margaret Mace 29, Cape Trinity 16: Natalia Rulon swished eight points and Maddie McCracken sank six points for the winners. Erin Connelly netted a game-high 11 points in the loss.

Varsity Girls – Middle Township 25, Bishop McHugh 11: Bridget Ruskey pumped in a game-high 17 points and Olivia Nelson added six for the winners. Lauren Moretti scored 10 points in the loss.

Varsity Girls – Margaret Mace 25, Wildwood 9: Mackenzie McCracken tallied nine points and Lily Collier chipped in six for the Falcons. Tatiana Alston scored five points for Wildwood.

Read more: Results from the Scoop Taylor Tip-Off Classic grammar school hoops tournament

   

Challenging start for OCHS girls basketball

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Written by Tom Williams Wednesday, December 12, 2012 10:17 am

Challenging start for OCHS girls basketball

The Ocean City High School’s girls basketball program has won seven straight division titles, including three overall Cape-Atlantic League championships. The Raiders have won three South Jersey titles in the last five years and have won 20 or more games in seven of the last eight seasons.

With the seventh-highest scorer in school history returning along with two other starters, OCHS expects to be right in the mix again this year. And they could get an idea right away with Our Lady of Mercy coming to Ocean City on Friday night and defending state champion Cedar Creek on Sunday.

Our Lady of Mercy has three returning starters, plus two international players – 6-4 Maria Ruban and 6-0 Ruta Vetra, who both missed last season after knee surgery.

And Cedar Creek returns every single player from last year’s NJSIAA State Group 1 champions, including 5-11 center Kristine Miller, who has already scored 1,000 career points and committed to a Division I college (Fairfield).

“We wanted to do some different things and challenging things this year,” said OCHS coach Paul Baruffi (233-77 in 11 seasons). “We’ve got some quality players and we want to see them play at their best.”

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Raider boys hoops team an inexperienced bunch

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Written by Tom Williams Wednesday, December 12, 2012 10:14 am

oc senior boys justin moretti ryan laverty joe shrader

John Bruno starts his 24th season with the most inexperienced team he has ever coached. And he opens it at the Paul Rodio Gymnasium on the campus of St. Augustine Prep.

Bruno lost the first six players from last year’s team to graduation – Matt Bosch, Chris Turner, Andrew Kimball, Kieran Keyser, Connor Hart and Ryan Gill. Bosch was the eighth-greatest scorer in OCHS history with 1,163 points and Turner was No. 27 with 750 points. Together, their 1,913 combined career points made them the third-highest scoring duo in school history.

Only three players return with varsity experience. 6-3 senior Ryan Laverty has the most experience, having played in 22 games over the past two seasons. He averaged about six minutes a game. 6-2 senior Joe Shrader and 5-7 junior Jeremy Sullivan have each played in one game, Shrader for less than two minutes and Sullivan just under three.

“There are no experienced leaders to rely on for these guys,” said Bruno (307-278 in 23 seasons). “There is no Matt Bosch, no Chris Turner, no Andrew Kimball. These guys need to play together to get the job done.”

Laverty, who can be very accurate from three-point range, will probably start along with Shrader, Sullivan, 5-11 junior Griffin Grimes and 5-11 jumior Justin Ruggia. Also expected to be in Bruno’s rotation are 6-1 junior Ryan Dougherty and 6-3 sophomore Zach Altieri.

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Pirates' special season ends with playoff loss to West Deptford

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Written by Mike Gill Monday, December 10, 2012 02:46 pm

GLASSBORO - A special season for the Cedar Creek football team came to an end on Saturday at Rowan University when the Pirates dropped their South Jersey Group II title game to West Deptford 42-28 ending their season at 10-2.

West Deptford won the Group II title for the second consecutive year to finish the season 12-0; meanwhile Cedar Creek was playing just its second season of varsity football. Both teams were loaded with talent, but on this day it was junior Gerald Owens, a 6-2, 230-pound running back that was the star of the show for the Eagles, rushing for 206 yards and five touchdowns on 26 carries.

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Sea Isle resident heads to Lake Placid to train for Special Olympics World Games

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Written by Brian Cunniff Saturday, December 08, 2012 11:26 am

Maureen Larsen  Sea Isle City resident Maureen Larsen is one of three New Jersey residents set to attend training camp this week in Lake Placid, N.Y., in preparation for the 2013 Special Olympics World Winter Games in the Republic of Korea.

Larsen, 24, who competes in alpine skiing, will be in Lake Placid to train Dec. 10-14. Larsen will be joined by fellow New Jersey residents Junichi Kusakawa, of West Windsor, and Rebecca Scheick, of Ewing, and more than 200 other Special Olympics athletes during the training sessions in Lake Placid.

Read more: Sea Isle resident heads to Lake Placid to train for Special Olympics World Games

   

Tech nips Catholic in swim opener

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, December 05, 2012 04:42 pm

Gehring  WILDWOOD CREST – The team that won wasn’t particularly happy, while the team that lost was rather pleased with its effort.

The Cape May Tech swim team topped Wildwood Catholic, 91-77, in a coed meet Tuesday in the season opener for both teams, a result that may have been a bit closer than expected.

“We have a lot of improving to do,” Cape May Tech coach Matt McElroy said. “I’m looking forward to that.”

Meanwhile, Wildwood Catholic coach Chris Gamble was very satisfied with his team’s effort.

“I thought it was a great start for us,” Gamble said. “I thought it was a good race and our kids performed well. It was a pretty good start to the season.”

In the end, Tech’s depth was the difference. The Hawks won two relays and got three individual first-place finishes but also earned numerous second- and third-place finishes to rack up points.

Junior Trevor Gehring, certainly one of the Cape-Atlantic League’s top swimmers, led the way for the Hawks. He placed first in the 200 individual medley and the 100 breaststroke and also teamed with Pete Adams, Sean Gerber and Tom Doherty to win the 200 medley relay.

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MTHS field hockey standout earns regional recognition

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, December 05, 2012 04:38 pm

When Ashley Badders first joined the field hockey team at Middle Township High School, she played along the offensive line. But during her sophomore season, she was having difficulty earning consistent playing time.

“Our coach (then Lindsey Tyler) kept benching me my sophomore year, so I went up to her and asked I her if there was anything I could do to play more,” Badders recalled. “We had a huge game against Lower and (Tyler) said, ‘Why don’t we try to play you as a defender?’ I had never played defense in my life but I just wanted to play. Ever since then I’ve never gone back to any position. It just worked for me. My coach opened up a door I never thought I would have gone through.”

Badders didn’t just go through it. She knocked it off its hinges as she did so.  Ashley Badders

Fast forward- two years later, and Badders has recently finished off a two-year run as one of the best high school defenders in South Jersey. A center back for the Lady Panthers, Badders helped Middle Township to back-to-back Cape-Atlantic National Division I titles and a first-round state playoff win this fall. She is a two-time CAL National Conference all-star. This season, she led Middle’s defense to nine shutouts.

Badders recently earned major recognition for her efforts by being selected to participate in the South Jersey field hockey all-star game, which was played a few weeks ago at Shawnee High School.

“I found out at the end of the season,” Badders said of being selected. “(Game organizers) called my coach (Janina Perna) and told her I was picked and she texted me right away and explained how big of an accolade it was. It was all very exciting.”

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Kristine Miller signs with Fairfield University, provides another first for Cedar Creek

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Written by TYLER DONOHUE Thursday, November 29, 2012 03:32 pm

Kristine Miller signs with Fairfield University. Cedar Creek star will continue career in college.

Cedar Creek basketball standout Kristine Miller completed her college recruitment process by signing a National Letter of Intent to attend Fairfield University on an athletic scholarship. The school competes in the Metro Atlantic Athletic Conference.

Miller, a resident of the Lauderdale section of Hamilton Township, helped lead the Pirates to a Group I State Championship last season. It was just the second season of varsity girls basketball at Cedar Creek, which made the remarkable run one of the most unique sports stories in South Jersey last school year.

Read more: Kristine Miller signs with Fairfield University, provides another first for Cedar Creek

   

Egg Harbor Township youth football squad caps comeback with trip to title game

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Written by TYLER DONOHUE Wednesday, November 28, 2012 06:33 pm

EHT reaches title game EHT youth football

EGG HARBOR TOWNSHIP – Despite stumbling out of the gate to start the season, the Egg Harbor Township Youth Organization varsity football team turned things around. The squad of seventh- and eighth-grade athletes never stopped putting in the effort and overcame a 0-3 start to reach the Cape Varsity Championship game Saturday, Nov. 24 at Veterans Memorial Park.

“It was a big turnaround,” EHT coach Dominic Branca explained. “A lot of people thought we wouldn’t win a game and we became the league underdogs. Things started to click for us and the team came together to improve.”

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Absegami alum Devon Barber earns conference honors at Muhlenberg College

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Written by TYLER DONOHUE Wednesday, November 28, 2012 12:46 pm

Devon Barber earns conference honors. Absegami grad excels at Muhlenberg.

ALLENTOWN, Pa. – Galloway native Devon Barber enjoyed a tremendous fall season on and off the playing field. The Absegami High School graduate earned Centennial Conference honors for her efforts as a senior collegiate student-athlete.

Barber, who serves as co-captain of the Muhlenberg College field hockey team, was named to the Centennial Conference Academic Honor Roll for excellence in the classroom and on the field. To be named to the Academic Honor Roll, a student must be a sophomore or higher in class standing, a starter or key reserve on her team, and carry at least a 3.40 cumulative grade-point average.

Read more: Absegami alum Devon Barber earns conference honors at Muhlenberg College

   

Raffa paces nation in scoring

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, November 28, 2012 08:05 am

We all knew Anthony Raffa could score.

Anthony Raffa  We saw him dominate the basketball courts on JFK Boulevard in Sea Isle City as an intrepid, brash young kid, defiantly challenging and regularly outplaying the much older and more experienced street ballers.

 We watched him in high school at Wildwood Catholic, when he fearlessly took the ball to the rim against taller opponents, when he drove hard into the top of the lane only to stop on a dime and raise up to make a 10-foot jump shot and when he sank the deep jump shot over defenses trying anything they could to shut off his lanes to the basket.

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