South Jersey Sports

Teammates, then rivals, now teammates again

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Written by Brian Cunniff Friday, March 20, 2015 06:25 am

JARED IRWIN They were teammates growing up and opponents while in high school. Next fall, Jared Irwin and Sal Zampirri will be teammates once again.

Irwin, of Wildwood High School, and Zampirri, of Wildwood Catholic, two of the top soccer players in Cape May County, will continue their careers at Division III Cabrini College.

Irwin, a striker for Wildwood last fall but who has also played in the midfield during his high school career, broke two significant programs records by netting a program-record 30 goals as a senior and a program-record 56 goals for his career.

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Teammates, then rivals, now teammates again

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Written by Brian Cunniff Friday, March 20, 2015 06:25 am

JARED IRWIN They were teammates growing up and opponents while in high school. Next fall, Jared Irwin and Sal Zampirri will be teammates once again.

Irwin, of Wildwood High School, and Zampirri, of Wildwood Catholic, two of the top soccer players in Cape May County, will continue their careers at Division III Cabrini College.

Irwin, a striker for Wildwood last fall but who has also played in the midfield during his high school career, broke two significant programs records by netting a program-record 30 goals as a senior and a program-record 56 goals for his career.

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ACHS to induct 10 into Hall of Fame

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Written by Staff Reports Wednesday, March 18, 2015 03:17 pm

ACHall1 Tory Cavalieri The Atlantic City High School Hall of Fame Association announced the 2015 inductees who will be honored at a ceremony scheduled for 11 a.m. Sunday, May 17 at the high school. Admission to the ceremony is $5.

The purpose of the Association is to honor players, coaches, individuals and teams who have made a distinctive contribution to the rich athletic history of the high school. The 2015 induction class consists of an impressive list of athletes, teams and outstanding contributors, including:

Tory Cavalieri, Class of 2000. Cavalieri was among the greatest guards in Viking basketball history. He was Press player of the year in 2000, all-conference, all-South Jersey and second team all-state. He was a three-year starter and captain at St. Francis College.

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Absegami sophomore breaks the ice for Mainland hockey team

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Written by Bill LeConey Wednesday, March 18, 2015 12:19 pm

gamihockey1 Julie Hazard/Absegami Supervisor of Athletics Steve Fortis, left, and Principal Dr. Jeri-Lynn Gatto, right, congratulate Absegami sophomore Mickenzie Restle on his efforts with the Mainland Regional ice hockey team. Mickenzie Restle, an Absegami High School sophomore, is an ice hockey player, not a wrestler, and he plays for the Mainland Regional High School hockey club.

It’s a bit confusing, but it makes perfect sense when you watch Restle glide effortlessly on the ice like he was born to play hockey.

He scored a team-high 23 goals and compiled 38 points in leading Mainland to a 13-2-2 record and its first-ever appearance in the prestigious Flyers Cup Scholastic Championships.

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Northfield youngster finds success with a new racquet

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Written by Bill LeConey Tuesday, March 17, 2015 03:05 pm

newracquet1 Submitted/Nick Walsh, 14, of Northfield is No. 3 in the state in the latest 16-and-under USA Racquetball rankings, and No. 46 in the nation in the 14-and-under category. Nick Walsh took to racquetball with the same relish that a bear takes to honey. And the results have been similarly sweet.

Walsh, a 14-year-old honors student at Northfield Community School, has only been playing racquetball for about 15 months. But already, through hard work and inherent ability, he is ranked No. 3 in New Jersey in the 16 and under age group, and No. 46 in the nation in the 14 and under rankings.

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Middle grad to play in NCAA Tournament

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Written by Brian Cunniff Sunday, March 15, 2015 02:44 pm

LAURYN FIELDS Around this time last year, the prolific high school basketball career of Lauryn Fields ended with a crushing defeat to Cedar Creek in the South Jersey Group II championship game.

Soon, Fields will be playing in the NCAA Tournament.

The Middle Township High School graduate is a freshman reserve guard for the Savannah State women’s basketball team, which earned its first-ever trip to the tournament with a 65-47 win over Maryland Eastern Shore in the Mid-Eastern Athletic Conference championship game on Saturday in Norfolk, Va.

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Magical playoff ride ends for Lady Tigers

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, March 12, 2015 09:05 pm

Lauren Holden scored 16 points against Manasquan in her final high school game WILLIAMSTOWN – The Lower Cape May Regional High School girls basketball team’s magical ride through the state tournament came to a crashing halt Thursday evening.

Manasquan, the state’s No. 1-ranked team, used a big run at the end of the second quarter to turn a close game into a rout and defeated the Lady Tigers, 77-43, in a state Group II semifinal at Williamstown High School.

“That was a very good basketball team,” said Lower coach Scott Douglass. “We knew it was going to be a challenge. We didn’t play particularly well. But we also knew we were going to have to play a monster game just to have a chance to a beat a team like that.”

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Lady Warriors ‘can’t be disappointed’ with season

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, March 11, 2015 06:51 pm

When it comes to sports, success is often measured in championships. But while the Wildwood High School girls basketball team didn’t win any of those this season, you definitely can’t say the 2014-15 season wasn’t a successful one.

The Lady Warriors bowed out of the South Jersey Group I Tournament in the semifinal round on Monday, losing 68-45 to top-seeded Haddon Township, which went on to beat Gloucester in the South Jersey championship game on Tuesday.

“Haddon Township was a very good ballclub,” Wildwood coach Dave Troiano said. “I think our top two players were very close to their top two, but then after that they had so much more depth than we did. All five of their starters were very, very good players.”

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Warriors came a long way in 17-win season

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, March 11, 2015 06:49 pm

It was a miserable start to the season for the Wildwood High School boys basketball team.

But even after the Warriors lost five of their first six games, head coach Scott McCracken remained optimistic.

“I still think we’re going to compete in our division,” he said in early January.

They did that and more.

Wildwood, given a boost by the eligibility of transfer Yamire McNeal in mid January, rallied mightily. The Warriors won 16 of their next 20 games, before being eliminated in the third round of the South Jersey Group I Tournament with an 82-49 loss to eventual sectional champion Paulsboro.

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Two straight 20-win seasons for WCHS girls

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, March 11, 2015 06:46 pm

Olivia Rulon ended her career seventh all-time in scoring for WCHS girls basketball. The Wildwood Catholic High School girls basketball program appeared to be at a major crossroads prior to the season.

Two seniors, one of whom is now playing at Michigan State, had graduated. Two freshmen who had started transferred out.

That left one returning starter and only one other player with any kind of varsity experience coming into the season.

But the Crusaders managed to enjoy their second straight successful season, ending it by giving the top seed in the South Jersey Non-Public B Tournament a major scare before an eventual 39-34 loss in the second round.

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Crusaders look forward after overachieving season

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, March 11, 2015 06:45 pm

Kevin McWade was the lone senior on this season's WCHS boys basketball team. There’s a natural instinct to assume a high school basketball team is going to be better the following season when it loses only one player to graduation from the current team.

Wildwood Catholic High School boys basketball coach Dave DeWeese was quick to warn against that thought.

“If we’re going to win another Cape-Atlantic League title or compete for a Cape-Atlantic League title we still have to get better and the next seven or eight months are critical,” he said. “If we don’t get better over the next seven or eight months we could go backwards. If we want to compete with some of the teams we want to compete with, we have a long way to go.”

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Middle falls to eventual SJ champ

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, March 11, 2015 06:43 pm

CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE – The Middle Township High School boys basketball team was going to have to shoot a rather high percentage from the floor, especially from three-point range, to have a chance to beat powerful Camden in a South Jersey Group II semifinal last weekend.

The Panthers shot a decent 18 for 45 from the floor (40 percent) but were only 3 for 20 on three-points (15 percent) in what turned out to be a 53-45 loss.

Middle trailed 18-4 to start the game but eventually rallied to get to within four points. It later fell behind by double digits twice and rallied within six points on both occasions but could get no closer.

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Excellent season for young Middle team

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, March 11, 2015 06:40 pm

There are a lot of high school basketball coaches that have figured out that if you play good defense and rebound, you will compete.

John Leahy, however, is one of the best at making his teams execute those aspects of the game.

Strong defense and excellent rebounding, especially for a bit of an undersized team, carried the Middle Township High School girls basketball team to an excellent season during what many thought would be a rebuilding campaign.

Featuring no seniors on the roster and just one junior in the starting lineup by season’s end, Middle qualified for the Cape-Atlantic League playoff tournament and gave eventual South Jersey champion Lower Cape May a difficult game before falling in the sectional semifinal round after a pair of state playoff wins.

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Lauren Holden's magical finish

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, March 11, 2015 06:38 pm

ERMA – In a very rare moment, Lauren Holden actually used the word “I.”

“We’ve never lost a home game (this season) and I sure as heck wasn’t letting that happen tonight,” the star senior point from the Lower Cape May Regional High School girls basketball team said following her team’s 58-55 overtime win over Sterling in the South Jersey Group II title game on Tuesday.

Holden, the humblest of stars, turned in a performance for the ages. Lower coach Scott Douglass called it “the best game I’ve ever seen her play.”

That’s not entirely true, because Holden at one point missed 11 straight shots from the floor and finished only 9 for 31 overall. She also turned the ball over six times against a defense that was very good in the post, occasionally causing Holden problems during her many forays into the lane.

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