Atlantic County Current Sports

New gym, old gym – there’s nothing like home cooking at playoff time

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Written by Bill LeConey Wednesday, March 04, 2015 02:36 pm

homegyms Alan Dumoff/The Holy Spirit High School gymnasium was packed for a game this season against St. Augustine Prep. If these walls could talk … they might reminisce about Chris Ford swishing shot after shot from the perimeter of a court framed in blue and gold. 

Or Rob Higbee ripping down a rebound and feeding Jon Evans on a breakout in the Mainland "Corral."

Or, in more recent times, Casey Thomas and the Stefanski quads leading the Cedar Creek Lady Pirates to championship glory in a gym full of “Creek Crazies.”

Whatever the decade and whatever the age of the facility, home courts and home crowds can spell the difference in a close game.

Read more: New gym, old gym – there’s nothing like home cooking at playoff time

   

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 the winner of Wednesday's first-round game between No. 3 Toms River South and No. 14 Seneca.

Read more: Power failure haunts Falcons in playoff loss to Ocean City

   

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.

Read more: Clarke is clutch for Absegami girls in OT playoff win

   

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.

Read more: Nelson, Hermits run past Spartans for CAL title

   

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

   

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.

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

   

Lady Spartans fold in fourth, lose to Lower in CAL semifinal

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Written by Bill LeConey Thursday, February 26, 2015 12:04 am

spiritgirlssemi1 Bill Neiderhofer/Holy Spirit used a zone defense to disrupt Lower Township in Wednesday's CAL semifinal. BUENA VISTA TOWNSHIP - The Holy Spirit Lady Spartans did a lot of things right in Wednesday’s Cape-Atlantic League semifinal game against Lower Cape May Regional.

The Spartans played hard and with determined resilience to come back from an early deficit.

They rebounded the ball, made clutch shots and defended about as well as could be expected against Lower stars Lauren Holden and Madie Gibson.

They just couldn’t close the deal.

Read more: Lady Spartans fold in fourth, lose to Lower in CAL semifinal

   

ACCC baseball to play all home games at Surf Stadium in AC

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Written by Bill LeConey Wednesday, February 25, 2015 03:33 pm

Surfstadium Surf Stadium in Atlantic City will be home to the Atlantic Cape Community College Buccaneers beginning in March. A baseball team will take up permanent residence at Surf Stadium in Atlantic City this spring.

No, it’s not the return of professional baseball to the former Sandcastle for the first time since the minor league Surf left town in 2008, but a junior college team – the Atlantic Cape Community College Buccaneers – will call the Bader Field stadium home beginning in March.

Read more: ACCC baseball to play all home games at Surf Stadium in AC

   

CAL Basketball Tournament off to exciting start

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Written by Tom Williams Wednesday, February 25, 2015 01:45 pm

danielsAC Mike Schultz/Atlantic City's Leon Daniels led all scorers with 18 points in the Vikings' 69-49 win in the opening round of the CAL playoffs. Daniels will his face his former team, Holy Spirit, in a CAL semifinal 5 p.m. Thursday at Absegami High School. The fourth annual Cape-Atlantic League Basketball Tournament is underway.

The first night produced a thriller in North Wildwood, an overtime game in Linwood and challenges in Ocean City and Lower Township.

The semifinals are set and it should all conclude with another great doubleheader on Saturday at Stockton University in Galloway.

Read more: CAL Basketball Tournament off to exciting start

   

Daniels sparks Vikings to CAL playoff win over Bridgeton

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Written by Mike Schultz Tuesday, February 24, 2015 02:02 am

Atlantic City's Leon Daniels scored 11 of his game-high 18 points in the third quarter of Monday's playoff win over Bridgeton Mike Schultz photo/Atlantic City's Leon Daniels scored 11 of his game-high 18 points in the third quarter of Monday's playoff win over Bridgeton. ATLANTIC CITY - Atlantic City High School boys basketball coach Gene Allen has a rule: If you get two fouls in the first half you’re sitting the bench for the rest of the half.

"Regardless of the game, regardless of the person, you sit. It's been that way since I got here,” said Allen.

Leon Daniels found out on Monday night that his coach means business.

Daniels sat the bench nearly the entire first half due to foul trouble. When he got back into the game, in the third quarter, he showed his coach that he's all business.

Read more: Daniels sparks Vikings to CAL playoff win over Bridgeton

   

Jones leads Spartans into CAL semifinal rematch with AC

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Written by Bill LeConey Tuesday, February 24, 2015 01:56 am

jones Bill LeConey/Holy Spirit junior Tyler Jones scored a career-high 24 points in Monday's playoff win over EHT. ABSECON – The Holy Spirit Spartans didn’t want to look back on an ugly, ugly loss, and they didn’t want to look ahead to the prospect of a third meeting with their arch-rival.

So the Spartans lived for the moment Monday, beating Egg Harbor Township 59-43 in a first-round Cape-Atlantic League playoff game at Holy Spirit.

Read more: Jones leads Spartans into CAL semifinal rematch with AC

   

Balanced effort yields playoff win and No. 100 for Spirit coach

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Written by Bill LeConey Tuesday, February 24, 2015 01:24 am

gallagher3 Bill Neiderhofer/Holy Spirit's Cass Gallagher takes a foul shot in Monday's playoff victory over Cedar Creek. ABSECON – In his fifth season as coach of the Holy Spirit High School girls basketball team, Dennis Smith earned his 100th career win in his team’s 20th win of the season.

Appropriately, it was a team effort.

Junior guard Cass Gallagher scored 15 points, hitting three 3-point shots, to help the Spartans beat Cedar Creek 58-50 in a first-round Cape-Atlantic League playoff game.

Read more: Balanced effort yields playoff win and No. 100 for Spirit coach

   

D’Arcy wins 4th straight; Giegold, Kraus, Bishop first-time District champs

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Written by Mike Schultz Sunday, February 22, 2015 01:25 am

1final Mike Schultz/Holy Spirit's Pat D'Arcy won his fourth District 32 Championship on Saturday at Absegami. D'Arcy was also named the meets Most Outstanding Wrestler. GALLOWAY - You'd think that winning a fourth consecutive District title would lack some luster. That was not the case for Holy Spirit High School's Pat D'Arcy.

D'Arcy was aggressive in his dissection of Cedar Creek's Andrew Soloman, earning a 10-1 major decision win. He was also chosen as Most Outstanding Wrestler of the NJSIAA District 32 Wrestling Tournament, which concluded Saturday night at Absegami High School.

"It always feels good," D'Arcy said, as he shook hands with admiring young fans.

"To come in here at Absegami, this is my hometown. Being a Galloway kid I always use to come here to watch Districts, so this is pretty special."

Read more: D’Arcy wins 4th straight; Giegold, Kraus, Bishop first-time District champs

   

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