Cape May County Gazette Leader Sports

Remarkable run by Lady Panther seniors

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, March 13, 2014 09:52 am

The MTHS girls basketball team enjoyed many successes over the past four seasons EGG HARBOR CITY – The stars seemed to be aligned just right.

Olivia Salvo practically couldn’t miss from the field, making an eye-popping 8 of 10 shots from the floor, most of the shots coming from 14 to 17 feet.

Lauryn Fields wasn’t having her best offensive night, but was playing the game with unyielding determination, leadership and fire. You got the feeling she was going to somehow will her team to victory, no matter what it might take.

Lauren Legler, Erin Ruskey and Holly McKaig were digging in defensively, battling a prolific offensive team to a stalemate both in the paint and on the perimeter.

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Middle will look to bounce back next season

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, March 13, 2014 09:49 am

Jeremiah Bland enjoyed a solid senior season for MTHS For the first time in Tom Feraco’s 33 seasons as head coach, the Middle Township High School boys basketball team finished under .500.

Last week’s second-round state playoff loss to top-seeded Haddonfield was indicative of Middle’s season as whole, in that the Panthers played a good team to the wire but couldn’t finish.

Trailing 48-43 with three minutes to play against the then-unbeaten Bulldogs, Middle saw Haddonfield score the final nine points to post what looked like a comfortable 57-43 victory.

Middle finished the season at 12-14.

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Fine season has Crusader girls seeking more

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, March 13, 2014 09:42 am

Senior Katie McCallion led the WCHS girls hoops team in assists this season Twenty-one wins, seven losses.

If you told a high school basketball team prior to a season that would be its final record, most would react joyously.

The Wildwood Catholic girls team, however, while happy with its accomplishments, was left wishing for just a bit more.

“I’d feel a lot better about it had we won the Cape(-Atlantic League) championship,” Crusader coach Steve DiPatri said, referencing the team’s close loss to Middle Township in the title game of the eight-team CAL tournament. “I know most people would be jumping up and down after 21 wins. And we did beat Washington Township, we beat Cedar Creek twice, beat St. Joe twice and we played a lot of top-level programs, but yet we don’t have a banner to hang. That kind of sticks in my craw a little. Hopefully that leads us to grow. We learned how to play big games and win big games but now we have to learn how to win championships.”

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Enjoyable 18-win season for Lady Warriors

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, March 13, 2014 09:40 am

Wildwood's JEss Freeman finished her career with 1750 points There are many people associated with South Jersey high school basketball who judge a team by its championships. They want to know if a team won its league or claimed a South Jersey championship before they’ll call it a successful season.

But that’s really a poor way to quantify a team’s effort.

Take the Wildwood High School girls basketball team, for example.

The Lady Warriors went into this season with two big injury question marks, as Jess Freeman (back) and Heydiah Farlow (knee) were hampered at the season’s outset. Freeman carried her debilitating condition through the season.

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Lady Tigers have chance to be special

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, March 13, 2014 09:36 am

Lauren Holden finished her junior season with 1690 career points Scott Douglass wants the players on his Lower Cape May Regional High School girls basketball team to understand that being a year older isn’t automatically going to make the team better.

After a strong state playoff run, the Lady Tigers are already being tabbed as a team to watch for next year, with superstar point guard Lauren Holden leading a club that featured an all-junior starting lineup, with underclassmen making up all of the reserve players as well.

“We’ve addressed it, that everyone has to work hard,” Douglass said after his team finished the season at 17-12 after Saturday’s South Jersey Group II semifinal loss to Cedar Creek. “Each individual girl is going to have to work hard. Sure, we have everyone back and some people coming in and we could have a strong year next year but nothing is guaranteed. We can’t take anything for granted. Some things fell right for us this year but we have to work.”

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Commentary: WC's best team in years

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, March 13, 2014 09:33 am

WCHS coach Dave DeWeese talks to his team during a timeout in the CAL title game The Wildwood Catholic High School boys basketball team won South Jersey titles in 2006 and 2007.

This year’s version of the Crusaders fell short of that goal. But you can make an argument they were a better team, maybe the school’s best boys basketball team in more than 25 years.

This isn’t to pick a fight with the players and fans of those Anthony Raffa-led clubs.

But let’s lay out some facts just for argument’s sake anyway.

The 2007 team of Raffa’s senior year didn’t have to look at a South Jersey Non-Public B bracket filled with the likes of the Patrick School, Roselle Catholic, Gill St. Bernard’s and even Holy Spirit. And the Trenton Catholic program that this year’s group lost to in the second round to end its amazing season was much more talented than the one seven seasons ago. The 2007 Crusader team also didn’t have to beat three ridiculously good teams to win a Cape-Atlantic League Tournament, since the CAL didn’t hold an eight-team playoff back then.

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LCM trio finishes at states

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Written by Brian Cunniff Thursday, March 13, 2014 09:29 am

LCM's Cory Damiana finished his career with 123 victories The three Lower Cape May Regional wrestlers who qualified for the state tournament fell short of the ultimate goal of reaching the podium in their weight classes. But two of the three also experienced a bit of success before their seasons ended in wrestlebacks.

Senior Cory Damiana, one of the most accomplished high school wrestlers in Cape May County history, went 2-2 at 195 pounds in the last of his three career trips to the state tournament.

Damiana opened his effort with a 12-6 decision over Aaron Saavedra of Bound Brook in a preliminary-round match on Friday. He then suffered a loss by fall in 2:17 to Mike Oxley of Christian Brothers Academy in the pre-quarterfinal round, sending him into Saturday’s wrestlebacks.

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Former OCHS coach Tom Miller died

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Written by Tom Williams Tuesday, March 11, 2014 06:53 pm

Tom Miller, who coached the Ocean City High School girls soccer team to its only South Jersey championship in 2000, died earlier this week after a long illness.

Miller coached the Raiders from 2000 until 2005, compiling a 91-24-11 record, the best in school history. All six of his teams won championships in the Cape-Atlantic League, including two league titles, two conference titles and two division championships. Christine Jack scored what is still a school record 23 goals during the 2000 South Jersey championship season. Five of Miller's teams also were invited tio the South Jersey Coaches Tournament.

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Cedar Creek edges Middle for S.J. title

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Written by Brian Cunniff Monday, March 10, 2014 09:48 pm

Members of the Cedar Creek girls basketball team celebrate winning the South Jersey title EGG HARBOR CITY – The Cedar Creek High School girls basketball team is widely regarded as one of the best shooting teams in South Jersey.

So the Lady Pirates were in great shape when Monday evening’s South Jersey Group II title game against Middle Township turned into a free-throw contest.

Cedar Creek made seven straight free throws in the final minute and was 9 for 11 overall from the line in the fourth quarter en route to claiming its second sectional title in three seasons with a 56-50 win over the Lady Panthers.

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Lady Tigers fade in second half, lose to CCHS

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Written by Brian Cunniff Saturday, March 08, 2014 07:04 pm

EGG HARBOR CITY – The magical ride taken by the Lower Cape May Regional High School girls basketball team through the early rounds of the state tournament came to a screeching halt Saturday afternoon.

Trailing by just two points at the half, the Lady Tigers mustered only 14 points after the break and fell, 64-39, to Cedar Creek in a South Jersey Group II semifinal game.

Lower, the seventh seed in the tournament, finished its season at 17-12.

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Middle dominates top seed, reaches SJ final

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Written by Brian Cunniff Saturday, March 08, 2014 06:40 pm

Lauryn Fields scored 17 points in Middle's playoff win over Deptford DEPTFORD – The Middle Township High School girls basketball team will return to a familiar place Monday evening.

Thanks to a dominating performance against the top seed in the section Saturday afternoon, the Lady Panthers will play in the South Jersey Group II title game for the fifth time in six seasons. Middle, the fourth seed in the tournament, will take on third-seeded Cedar Creek in Egg Harbor City for the sectional championship.

Cedar Creek won the other semifinal over Lower Cape May, 64-39, after leading by just two points at halftime.

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Crusader upset bid falls short

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Written by Brian Cunniff Friday, March 07, 2014 11:43 am

Eddie McWade had 17 points and 11 rebounds in Wildwood Catholic's playoff loss to Trenton Catholic HAMILTON – Jordan Robertson had what appeared to be a wide-open look at a layup that would have given the Wildwood Catholic boys basketball team a four-point lead with a little less than six minutes remaining in Thursday evening’s state playoff game.

But 6-8 Trenton Catholic center Richmond Arirguzoh bolted across the lane and blocked the shot, leading to a transition three-pointer by teammate Myles Powell. After another Trenton Catholic basket and a Wildwood Catholic turnover, Syracuse-bound forward Malachi Richardson swished another three-pointer to give the Iron Mikes a 40-34 lead.

Game. Set. Match.

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Lady Tigers stun No. 2 Sterling

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Written by Brian Cunniff Friday, March 07, 2014 10:51 am

Lauren Holden scored 41 points in her team's playoff upset win over Sterling Lauren Holden may have had one of the most sensational games of her already prolific high school career, but the Lower Cape May Regional High School girls basketball team’s upset victory over Sterling in a state playoff game represented the essence of a true team effort.

Holden poured in a head-shaking 41 points but the Lady Tigers were also able to get major contributions from others in a 71-61 upset road victory over Sterling in a South Jersey Group II playoff game Thursday evening.

The victory by No. 7 Lower Cape May sends the team into a sectional semifinal game with third-seeded Cedar Creek Saturday afternoon.

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Cape May County state hoops tourney results

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, March 05, 2014 10:34 am

Perhaps the most exciting week of the scholastic sports season began Tuesday evening with every area high school basketball team that qualified in state tournament action. The following are recaps from each of the games involving Cape May County teams:

BOYS

Ocean City 58, Toms River South 57: The 14th-seeded Raiders were one of three double-digit seeds in South Jersey Group III to win on the road in a game that featured an amazing 18 three-pointers between the two teams. Justin Ruggia sank 18 points and Jeremy Sullivan added 13 points to lead Ocean City (9-13). Ruggia and Sullivan also combined to make four free throws in as many attempts in the final 15 seconds. TRS, which got eight three-pointers and 28 points from Marquis Davis, made a three-pointer at the buzzer to set the final score. Ocean City plays at No. 6 Hammonton tonight.

Read more: Cape May County state hoops tourney results

   

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