Cape May County Gazette Leader 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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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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Feraco returns to sidelines

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Written by TOM WILLIAMS Wednesday, February 12, 2014 04:35 pm

When Tom Feraco entered the Paul Rodio Gymnasium at St. Augustine Prep on Saturday for Middle Township’s game with Cherry Hill West he was a bit nervous and a little anxious. It would be his first game on the bench since Jan. 7.

“It was great to be back,” he said, “and I felt good but I had lost my feel for the team. I had a good feeling for them after the first few weeks of the season. But I had lost touch and I was anxious to get that back.”

Feraco was away from the team for a medical leave. The longtime coach had successful surgery for prostate cancer in early January.

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Middle boys stay alive in playoff race

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Written by Tom Williams Wednesday, February 12, 2014 04:31 pm

arashid With Tom Feraco back on the sidelines, the Middle Township boys basketball team defeated Ocean City, 50-45, Monday evening to stay alive in the three-way race for second place in the Cape-Atlantic League’s National Conference. The team that finishes second will automatically qualify for the CAL Playoff Tournament.

“We’ve got a good shot,” said Feraco, who returned to the bench on Saturday. “We still have games left with the other contenders.”

After the win, Middle remained in a three-way tie with Hammonton and Oakcrest. The conference has been won by St. Augustine Prep. The Panthers were scheduled to travel to Hammonton tonight (Wednesday, Feb. 12; too late for this edition) and to Oakcrest on Tuesday. They also will host St. Augustine on Saturday afternoon and will face Bishop Eustace on Sunday at Cherry Hill East.

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Holden honored for scoring record

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, February 12, 2014 04:28 pm

holden Four of the five previous 1,000-point scorers were on hand for a ceremony Monday that honored junior guard Lauren Holden (center, with ball) for breaking the program scoring record. Pictured with Holden are (from left) Victoria Wermuth, Heidi VonColln-Hunter, Stephanie Dugan and Carol Faison. ERMA – Lauren Holden still has another entire season to go, but she’s already her program’s all-time leading scorer.

Holden, a junior guard, was honored prior to Monday’s contest against Hammonton for breaking the Lower Cape May Regional High School girls basketball all-time scoring record. Holden broke the record of 1,333 points set by 2008 graduate Victoria Wermuth early in Saturday’s victory over Clearview in a South Jersey Girls Basketball Invitational showcase game. Holden finished the game with 26 points.

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Robertson a breakout star

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, February 12, 2014 04:26 pm

robertson Last season as a junior, Jordan Robertson often displayed glimpses of greatness. An occasional pull-up jump shot, a smooth drive and finish at the rim or a put-back dunk would leave the crowd shaking their heads in amazement.

But then there were times, often during the same games, when Robertson would go almost unnoticed for long stretches. It led to some observers questioning his desire.

Robertson simply called it a matter of confidence.

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Crusaders move to brink of United title

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, February 12, 2014 04:23 pm

Crusaders move to brink of United title NORTH WILDWOOD – It wasn’t one of the Wildwood Catholic High School boys basketball team’s best efforts, but it was more than good enough.

Tuesday evening’s 51-35 win over Cedar Creek moved the Crusaders to the brink of clinching their first-ever outright Cape-Atlantic United Conference championship after the program tied for the title in each of the last two seasons. The United Conference was first created in 2011-12 when the CAL changed from a two- to a three-conference alignment.

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Olson nets 1000th point on Senior Night, dad's birthday

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Written by Brian Cunniff Wednesday, February 12, 2014 08:33 am

CAPE MAY COURT HOUSE – There are quite a few ways a talented high school basketball player can score the 1,000th career point of his or her career.

Doing it on a technical free throw to start the second half of a game might not necessarily come to mind, but Alexis Olson was certainly glad to have the opportunity.

“I guess that’s just how it was supposed to come,” the senior from Cape May Tech said.

Olson sank two technical free throws for her 999th and 1,000th career points Tuesday evening after Pleasantville was penalized for entering a player into the game to start the second half that hadn’t previously been recorded in the official scorebook. The points were two of Olson’s game-high 17 in what was a more-difficult-than-it-should-have-been 47-41 win by the Lady Hawks over the Greyhounds.

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Emily Johnson makes college choice official

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Written by Brian Cunniff Monday, February 10, 2014 03:38 pm

NORTH WILDWOOD – Emily Johnson couldn’t contain her smile early Thursday afternoon.

The senior distance runner from Wildwood Catholic High School made her college choice official during a short ceremony at the school, inking a national letter of intent to attend Seton Hall University on a combined cross country and academic scholarship that will cover about 75 percent of the school’s annual tuition.

Members of the Wildwood Catholic senior class, underclassmen and coaches from the cross country and track teams, teachers, school administrators and members of her family were on hand with Johnson to celebrate the moment.

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